For any team looking to break out of a funk, facing former Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer is not the easiest task. In the midst of a rough home stand, the team had lost five out of six entering play Thursday afternoon. Fortunately for the Marlins they came out strong from the start and defeated the Washington Nationals 5-1 at Marlins Park.
The Marlins starting pitching continued to keep the Fish in the game as they have all season with starter Tom Koehler putting up five strong innings while allowing one run on two hits and one walk. His lone run allowed came on a Bryce Harper solo home run in the first, but Koehler was able to keep the Nationals in check the rest of the way. The Marlins bullpen then accomplished something they haven’t done well all season—hold a lead. Craig Breslow, Kyle Barraclough, David Phelps, and AJ Ramos strung together four consecutive scoreless innings that closed out the 5-1 victory. Manager Don Mattingly has been looking for a winning combination to use out of the bullpen, and he hopes that these four can close out games while the team anxiously awaits Mike Dunn’s return from the disabled list.
Offensively, the Marlins were sparked by a Marcell Ozuna three-run home run in the first that set the tone. Ichiro Suzuki continued his quest for 3,000 hits with a 2-3 day that included two runs scored and a walk. Christian Yelich and Justin Bour joined in on the fun as both of them doubled with Bour adding an RBI. Martin Prado also had a couple hits and an RBI, as the Marlins were able to get to Scherzer early and often. In total, the Marlins were able to knock Scherzer out of the game after the fifth inning with five runs on eight hits and two walks. Manager Don Mattingly hopes that this win will help jumpstart his team before a big west-coast road trip.
The 5-9 Marlins now head out west for a three game set starting Friday night in San Francisco against the Giants. Jarred Cosart takes the mound for the Fish while the Giants will counter with Jeff Samardija. Game time is set for 10:15 p.m. EST.