Another strong outing from Roark, Nats rally to win 4-1 against Marlins

MIAMI - Nationals left fielder Juan Soto doubled with one out in the second inning, but Marlins left-handed starter Wei-Yin Chen notched two strikeouts against the next three batters to get out of the inning. It was Soto's first double in the majors.

Trea Turner singled and stole second in the third, but Bryce Harper struck out and Anthony Rendon popped up to end the threat.

J.T. Realmuto singled in the first inning, but Nationals right-handed starter Tanner Roark induced a fly out to center and a grounder to short to end the inning. Miguel Rojas grounded into a 6-4-3 double play in the second. Soto ended that frame with a diving catch of a J.T. Riddle line drive in shallow left field. Roark put the Marlins down in order in the third.

End of three, the Nats and the Marlins are scoreless.

Update: The Marlins got to Roark in the fourth. J.T. Realmuto doubled down the left field line. Justin Bour struck out. Starlin Castro walked. Brian Anderson singled to score Realmuto. Miguel Rojas grounded into a 6-4-3 double play for the second at-bat in a row to end the rally.

After four innings, the Marlins have their first lead of the series 1-0.

Roark front view MDW uniform.jpgUpdate II: Roark got back on a nice track, striking out the side in the fifth. Derek Dietrich made a diving catch to rob Rendon of a base hit in the top of the sixth.

Mid-sixth, the Marlins lead the Nats 1-0.

Update III: Michael A. Taylor walked with two outs in the seventh, but Chen got Pedro Severino to fly out to end the inning. Chen allowed only four base runners, one on an intentional walk, for a total of two hits through seven innings.

Mid-seventh, the Marlins lead the Nats 1-0.

Update IV: Roark did his job. He went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 111 pitches, 71 for strikes.

After seven in Miami, the Marlins cling to a 1-0 lead over the Nats.

Update V: Wilmer Difo crushed a solo homer just over the left field wall to tie the game with one out in the eighth. It was his third homer of the season. Roark will not get the loss.

Mid-eighth, the Nats and the Marlins are tied at 1-1.

Update VI: Tim Collins allowed two hits, but recorded two outs in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Cameron Maybin singled and Realmuto doubled. Justin Bour grounded a ball to Mark Reynolds at first and Reynolds fired home. Pedro Severino caught it and tagged Maybin out sliding home. It was a big first out.

With two outs, Justin Miller made his Nats debut and struck out Castro looking.

Facing Brad Ziegler, Reynolds homered to left field to open the ninth inning. It was his fifth home run of the season. He has now hit 10 career go-ahead home runs in the ninth inning or later. Soto doubled again. Pinch-hitter Matt Adams dropped in an RBI single. Turner also tallied an RBI with a base hit.

The Nats scored three runs on four hits in the inning. They have scored 11 runs in the sixth inning or later in the first two games of this series.

Mid-ninth, the Nats lead the Marlins 4-1.

Update VII: Sean Doolittle recorded his 11th save with a scoreless ninth inning. The Nats are 16-8 on the road and have won 10 straight against the Marlins dating back to 2017, which is second longest in franchise history. They won 11 straight versus the Mariners from 2005 to 2014.

Final score: The Nats 4, the Marlins 1.

Postgame Quotes:

Manager Davey Martinez on Difo's game-tying homer and the energy he brings to the club: "The home run by Difo to tie the game, that's a big moment. Big hit for him. Helped our team. Collins coming in and then Justin Miller coming in and striking out a really good hitter. We gained momentum there. And then all of sudden, here we go, Mark Reynolds comes up and gives us a blast and we got going.

"You got to be careful too because he hits your hand really hard coming down those steps. He excites everybody in the dugout. He's just full of energy.

Mark Reynolds on his home run versus Brad Ziegler: "You realize he tries to keep his ball down and I try to get a ball up in the zone. I knew he didn't want to walk me there to lead off the inning and he left his sinker up, and luckily I was able to get it there."

Reynolds on the opportunity to play for the Nationals: "It's been a long road, to be honest. To get back up here. Frustrating offseason. I was kind of coming to grips with not playing anymore and gave it a shot. And here I am."

Reynolds on his key defensive play in the eighth that helped hold the Marlins off the board with runners on and one out: "I know they're going to be aggressive there going on contact. Make us make a play. Luckily, Bour hit the ball right at me. One hop, hard hit ball. Pitch and catch. I got the guy out and then (Justin) Miller came in, huge punchout right there and kind of gave us some momentum there in the ninth."

Justin Miller on his debut and first win with the Nationals: "I just wanted to throw strikes. It feels good. Anytime you get the win, anytime you help the ballclub out, it feels good. But it wasn't just me. It was everybody else. Difo hitting the home run and Mark coming in late and hitting that ball too."

Miller on the emotions he was feeling when Martinez gave him the ball: "Just breathing. Just trying to slow everything down and keeping my breathing good."

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