Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, making his 29th start of the season and first in two weeks, got off to a slow start Sunday night in the second game of a split doubleheader versus Miami.
The Marlins' Donovan Solano led off the game with a double and later scored on a Christian Yelich grounder to first base. Miami led 1-0 after one.
In the second, Justin Ruggiano crushed his 18th homer of the season, a solo shot over the wall in left-center field to extend the Marlins' lead to 2-0.
Left-hander Brian Flynn is pitching for Miami, entering the game with a 9.64 ERA.
Strasburg had a 1.55 ERA at home, second-best in the majors coming in, but allowed two runs in the first two innings.
Update: The Nationals rallied in the bottom of the third, tying the game at 2-2. Anthony Rendon led off with a single against Flynn and was sacrificed to second by Strasburg. Denard Span provided a run-scoring single and the Nationals cut the deficit to 2-1.
Span got to second base thanks to a Flynn wild pitch. Ryan Zimmerman followed by lacing a base hit right up the middle to score Span, and the game was tied.
Update II: The Marlins took the lead back in the fourth. Adeiny Hechavarria's RBI single scored Giancarlo Stanton to make it 3-2 Marlins.
The Nationals loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with no outs. But Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg struck out. Then Span grounded into a forceout to Hechavarria, who in one motion caught the grounder and touched second base with his foot to end the inning.
Update III: Strasburg recorded his 500th career strikeout when he got Yelich in the fifth. Strasburg went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits in 109 pitches.
The Nationals got something going in the sixth inning. With men on second and third and one out, Span slapped a base hit past first baseman Ed Lucas down the right field line and the Nats had their first lead of the game, 4-3.
Update IV: Ian Desmond stole his 20th base of the season in the seventh. It is the seccond straight season Desmond has had at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases.
Stanton slapped a run-scoring double down the left field line off of Tyler Clippard in the eighth to tie the game again, 4-4.
Update V: With Sam Dyson pitching, Jayson Werth led off with a double in the bottom of the ninth. Eury Perez pinch-ran for him. With one out, Desmond was intentionally walked. Perez and Desmond then pulled off a double steal to put men on second and third.
Wilson Ramos' grounder to third base was booted by Chris Coghlan, allowing Perez to score the winning run, the Nationals take game two, 5-4.
The Nationals improved to 84-72, finishing 47-34 at home. They trail the Reds - who hold the second National League wild card - by five games with six to play.