The Nationals didn’t have a hit off Jacob Turner their first time through the order.
The second time through, the Nats did some damage.
The Nats put up a four-spot in the fourth inning, giving Ross Detwiler a 4-0 buffer and finally giving them a lead.
Bryce Harper’s two-run home run to right (his 13th homer of the season) got the party started, but he wasn’t the only guy to hit the ball hard in the fourth. Michael Morse destroyed a ball to center which went for a triple but probably leaves every other park in the majors, and he came around on Ian Desmond’s RBI single to make it 4-0.
Morse’s triple was his first in his last 924 at-bats.
A Nationals offense which had put up just six runs over its last 45 innings just put up four in one frame.
And it had to feel good.
Detwiler, meanwhile, followed that outburst with a 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth, giving the Nats a nice shutdown inning. He’s yet to allow a clean hit so far tonight, and has again relied on his fastball to mow down Marlins hitters.
Update: Harper just killed another baseball, sending one nearly halfway up the second deck in right.
He now has 14 homers on the season and his first career multi-homer game.
The Nats would love it if Harper could get back to swinging it the way he was earlier this season, and he’s swinging it pretty darn well tonight.
The lead is 5-1 after five innings. The Marlins finally got on the board in the fifth, but the Nats have done most of the damage so far tonight.
Update II: Detwiler is done after 5 2/3 innings and what was a five-run game has gotten tighter.
The Marlins put up two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh, cutting this to a 5-4 ballgame.
Detwiler is credited with allowing three earned on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Ryan Mattheus relieved the lefty and got out of a jam in the sixth before getting into trouble of his own an inning later and allowing the Marlins to make it a one-run game.
Update III: Drew Storen might have just saved the day.
Storen came into a 6-4 game with no outs in the eighth and runners on second and third, and he pulled a magic act. Storen somehow got out of the inning with neither runner moving an inch, retiring Carlos Lee, Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Ruggiano to end the inning and keep it a two-run game.
As I was typing this, Kurt Suzuki made it a three-run game with a solo homer in the ninth, his first longball as a National.
Put Storen down as my star of this game.
Update IV: It’s just one win, but it’s a fairly large win.
The Nats scrapped and clawed for a 8-4 victory tonight, a win which snapped the five-game losing streak and allows the team to have a happy plane ride home.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was needed.