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WSH 2, MIA 3; Sugar Kings get it done in the clutch

Zach Thompson solidified his place in the Marlins starting rotation with a career-high 11 strikeouts.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. dives into third base safely Photo by Danis Sosa/Fish Stripes

The Marlins pitching staff contained the hot-hitting Nationals when it mattered most, clinging to a 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon.

  • Patrick Corbin—6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 33.8 CSW% (77 pitches)
  • Zach Thompson—6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 38.5 CSW% (91 pitches)

Corbin has close to $100 million remaining on his contract while Thompson had never pitched beyond five innings in a major league game before, but you wouldn’t know it from watching this matchup. Miami’s rookie right-hander was the more dominant pitcher.

Thompson’s 11 strikeouts were the most by any Marlins pitcher in more than two years (since Caleb Smith on May 7, 2019). Seven of those came on curveballs.

The Nats did their only damage against Thompson with a huge help from some shoddy outfield defense.

In the top of the first inning, Juan Soto’s 107 mile-per-hour line drive was hit in the vicinity of Jesús Sánchez, but he didn’t adjust his route enough as it sliced to his right. Sánchez didn’t even get a glove on the ball and it rolled to the wall, allowing Trea Turner to score from first easily. In the fourth, Starlin Castro “doubled” home Yan Gomes when Sánchez and Starling Marte miscommunicated on a hit in the left-center gap.

The official scorer didn’t charge the Marlins with errors on either play, so Thompson’s earned run average climbed to 2.00. But even that qualifies as a massive success considering the quality of the lineups he has faced through four starts (Red Sox, Braves, Cubs and Nats).

For the second straight game, the Marlins offense (uncharacteristically) got on the scoreboard immediately. Jazz Chisholm Jr. scorched a leadoff triple, followed by a Starling Marte run-scoring groundout. The Fish took the lead later in the same frame when Miguel Rojas singled home Jesús Aguilar.

Jon Berti put the Marlins ahead for good in the bottom of the fifth. He stung a 2-0 sinker from Corbin to right field for a solo homer.

Berti would later add a hustle double, making this his eighth multi-hit game of June.

Anthony Bender navigated around a Josh Harrison double to keep the 3-2 lead intact with a scoreless seventh. Bender has yet to allow an earned run through the first 21 23 innings of his MLB career, tied for the fifth-longest such streak in history. Dylan Floro stranded two baserunners in the eighth. Yimi García worked into some deep counts in the ninth, but converted his 12th save.

Overall, the Nats went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Rojas recorded his 256th career hit at LoanDepot/Marlins Park, tying former double play partner Dee Strange-Gordon for the fourth-highest total ever.

This was only the Marlins’ sixth victory in a one-run game (compared to 16 losses). They improved their season run differential to plus-21, keeping pace with the Mets for the best mark in the National League East.

Fresh off starring in his own bobblehead giveaway, Sandy Alcantara will start the series finale Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Will the pitiful run support trend continue for him? With Max Scherzer on the mound for Washington, it’s unfortunately a strong possibility.

Win Probability Chart - Nationals @ Marlins Baseball Savant

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