Roark still having trouble figuring out Marlins (Nats lose 7-1)

There's something about the Marlins that turns Tanner Roark from a dominant big league pitcher into just another guy on the mound. Who knows why this is, but facts are facts. And the fact is, the Marlins hit Roark like no other team in baseball.

It's happening again tonight, with Miami plating three early runs off Roark to take a lead over the Nationals in the nightcap of their split doubleheader.

tanner-roark-red-sidebar.jpgRoark managed to get out of the first inning unscathed, which was no minor achievement for him. The right-hander had given up three first-inning runs in each of his two prior starts against the Marlins this season.

But Roark couldn't keep them off the board for long. He gave up two runs in the top of the second, an inning that included Marcell Ozuna's leadoff triple down the right field line, Miguel Rojas' RBI single up the middle and Derek Dietrich's two-run double over Chris Heisey's head in right field.

Westfield High School's Justin Bour then crushed a 2-0 pitch from Roark off the batter's eye in center field in the top of the third, extending the Marlins' lead to 3-0 and extending Roark's misery against this franchise.

Roark has now given up 10 earned runs in three starts against Miami this year, but only three in five starts against everyone else in the league.

The Nationals, who with Bryce Harper serving his one-game suspension and several other key regulars sitting out the nightcap of the doubleheader are fielding a depleted lineup, have yet to crack through against rookie right-hander Kendry Flores.

Flores, making only his second career start, walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, but the Nationals couldn't covert. They've stranded four total runners on base through three innings.

Update: It's getting ugly here, and I'm not talking about the weather. The Marlins scored four more runs off Roark in the top of the fifth, getting back-to-back two-run singles by Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto. It's 7-1 now (the Nats scored in the bottom of the fourth on Stephen Drew's sacrifice fly), and Roark's numbers against the Marlins are exploding. He now has an 8.40 ERA and 2.13 WHIP in three starts against Miami this season, but an 0.79 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in five starts against anybody else.

Update II: This remains a 7-1 game after seven innings, thanks in part to Giancarlo Stanton, who made a nice, diving catch of Wilson Ramos' two-out line drive to right to end the bottom of the seventh. If that ball gets past Stanton, two runs score and the Nats might have some life. Instead, they're pretty much playing out the string at this point, with two innings to go and a six-run deficit staring them in the face.

Update III: And that'll do it. Nats lose 7-1. Not a whole lot to say about this one. They split the doubleheader. They'll go for the series victory tomorrow, with Joe Ross on the mound against Jose Fernandez.

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