Tanner Roark pitched six innings, Jason Werth and Zach Walters each hit clutch homers and the Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins 6-3 to bounce back from a tough loss and win the series.
Roark started the game, and was solid through three innings, allowing no runs and only one hit. In the fourth, however, Roark ran into trouble. Garret Jones and Casey McGehee both singled to start the inning. Then, after a Jarrod Saltalamacchia fly out to Tyler Moore, Derek Dietrich crushed a homer to center to make the game 3-0 and put the Nationals in yet another hole.
Throughout this year Werth has been clutch when the Nats have needed him. Tonight was no different. Jose Lobaton started the sixth inning with a double. Roark attempted to bunt him over, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia made a daring attempt at Lobaton advancing to third. The boneheaded play while up 3-0 resulted in both runners being safe.
The opportunity to get back in the game began to look bleak, however, when Nate McLouth struck out swinging and Anthony Rendon popped up to second base. That is when Werth came to the plate and reinvigorated the team. On an 0-1 count, Jose Fernandez tried to sneak a fastball by Werth and he launched a homer into the right field seats to tie the game at 3-3.
The game remained tied until the top of the eighth. Walters pinch hit for Drew Storen and hit a mammoth homerun to left field to give the Nats the lead. The team was not done there, however, as they loaded the bases to give Ian Desmond a chance to blow the game wide open. He did just that with a single to left field that scored Nate Mclouth and Anthony Rendon. The runs gave the Nats a commanding 6-3 lead and put the game out of reach.
Rafael Soriano slammed the door shut in the ninth, and the Nats received a much-needed win. They will face the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow at home for the beginning of a four game series.
-The Nats’ starters have pitched the team into holes throughout the season so far. The Washington Post’s James Wagner pointed out that “the Nats have trailed after four innings in 8 of their 15 games” so far this season. This has put pressure on the team’s offense and bullpen. If the Nats want to contend they need to win some games with ease to take some of the pressure off.
-Zach Walters is jacked. The ball he hit tonight was an absolute rocket. I am excited to see what he does for the rest of the year.