The Nationals begin a nine-game home stand with a Memorial Day matinee against the division rival Miami Marlins, and are in the midst of a stretch of 15 of 19 at home. So far, they are just 4-6 in this stretch.
The Marlins come into the series in second place in the National League East, three games back of the Braves. The Nationals, despite losing three of their last four games, are 3 1/2 games off the pace. But Miami has struggled on the road. The Marlins are 6-17 on the road, worst on the majors. Yet they are 20-8 at home.
Washington was 14-5 against Miami last season and are 5-1 against the Marlins so far this season, including a sweep in D.C. in early April.
Each team has camouflage numerals and names on their jerseys, with camouflage dome cap and team color bill in honor of Memorial Day. The Nationals are wearing all white uniforms with desert-style camouflage numbers.
The Marlins did not waste time getting on the scoreboard. After Tanner Roark recorded the first two outs in the first inning, Giancarlo Stanton hit a wicked shot to right field that Jayson Werth could not grab, and Stanton had a double. A long single by Casey McGehee got Stanton home, and the Marlins led 1-0.
Manager Matt Williams was concerned about Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi and his 100 mph fastball. The Nationals went 1-2-3 in the first and the Marlins led 1-0 after one inning.
Update: Stanton's two-run blast to center field made it 3-0 in the third. It's the first homer allowed by Roark in 13 career games at Nationals Park.
Update II: The Marlins challenged a ruling on the field in the top of the sixth. Following a one-out double by McGehee, Roark caught McGehee off of second while facing Garrett Jones. Roark turned and threw back to Ian Desmond, who tagged out McGehee for the inning's second out.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond challenged the call that McGehee was called out. The video review upheld the call. Roark got out of the inning, but the Marlins still lead 3-0 heading to the bottom of the sixth.
The Nationals have managed just one hit through five innings, a second-inning double by Wilson Ramos.
Update III: The Nationals' struggle to get hits, and more importantly, timely hits off of Eovaldi changed in the sixth. Following a one-out single by Werth, Adam LaRoche blasted a two-run shot, his sixth homer of the season, and the Marlins' lead was trimmed to 3-2.
Update IV: Roark's finished seven innings, giving up only five hits, three runs, all earned, one walk, four strikeouts, one hit by pitch in 95 pitches, 62 for strikes.
Eovaldi went six and one-third innings, surrendering only three hits, two runs, one walk, five strikeouts and two hit by pitch. He fired 106 pitches, 67 for strikes.
Update V: Steve Cishek pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save. Wilson Ramos (fly out), Desmond (called third strike) and pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen (ground out) were unable to get on base.
The Marlins win 3-2. The Nationals have lost five of their last six and this was their first loss to the Marlins at home this season. They are now one game below .500 again at 25-26. Roark takes the hard luck loss, falling to 3-3. Eovaldi improves to 4-2.