Soriano Blows Save as Nats Lose to Marlins
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MIAMI — Washington Nationals closer Rafael Soriano went from milestone to meltdown.
One day after notching his 200th career save, Soriano blew one Monday night, giving up four runs in the ninth inning as the Miami Marlins rallied to beat Washington 7-6.
Jeff Baker’s two-out game-winning single capped the comeback by the Marlins, who extended their winning streak to five games after trailing 6-0 with two out in the seventh.
Soriano (2-1) took the mound to start the ninth with a 6-3 lead and blew a save for the fourth time this season.
“Bad day for me,” he said. “I feel fine, but every pitch that I threw, I had no command. Everything that I tried to throw didn’t work.”
Jordan Zimmermann allowed two runs in seven innings and was in line for his first victory this month until the bullpen allowed five runs.
“No one’s perfect,” Zimmermann said. “These guys are going to have bad games. They’ve been picking me up all year. You’re going to have a bad game from time to time.”
The Marlins were coming off best seven-game trip in franchise history, a six-victory swing that put them back into the playoff picture. They now trail Washington by six games.
“At this stage, that’s got to be the biggest game of the year — right? — with where we are in the standings, and where we’ve got to go,” manager Mike Redmond said. “These guys understand that.”
The one-run victory was the 25th for Miami, most in the majors.
Casey McGehee led off the ninth with a four-pitch walk, Garrett Jones doubled and Marcell Ozuna hit an RBI single. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s sacrifice fly made it 6-5, and Adeiny Hechavarria ended an 11-pitch at-bat with an RBI triple to tie the game.
Left-hander Jerry Blevins replaced Soriano, and after a strikeout, Baker lined a hit over left fielder Bryce Harper that struck the base of the fence.
Soriano’s ERA rose from 1.10 to 1.96. The four-run outing was his worst in more than a year.
“He’s been pitching a lot lately,” manager Matt Williams said. “Tonight he was up in the zone, and they took good swings on him. He just didn’t have it tonight.”
A bad-hop grounder by Harper helped the Nationals build their big lead with five runs in the sixth inning. Danny Espinosa hit a two-run single.
Nationals: Jayson Werth twisted his right ankle when his foot came down awkwardly at second base while trying unsuccessfully to stretch a single into a double in the seventh inning. He was replaced in right field in the bottom of the inning by Nate McLouth but said he expected to play Tuesday.
“A little scary,” Werth said. “It will probably be a little sore.”
Werth had two hits and is batting .360 this month.
Marlins: Second baseman Derek Dietrich, who has been on the disabled list since July 4 with a strained right wrist, may begin a rehabilitation assignment next week, manager Mike Redmond said.
Stephen Strasburg (7-8, 3.67 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Nationals against Henderson Alvarez (7-5, 2.62). Strasburg is 1-6 on the road with a 5.09 ERA, and he has a career ERA of 8.61 with a 2-3 record in five starts at Marlins Park.
Alvarez is 0-3 in six starts against the Nationals.
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