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Nationals continue to slump, drop fourth in a row

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Nationals continue to slump, drop fourth in a row

MIAMI (AP) -- The Washington Nationals' untimely slump left even Bryce Harper flailing Friday.

The NL batting leader struck out three times and stranded five runners, and the Washington Nationals lost their fourth straight game, 2-1 to the Miami Marlins.

"Bryce has had a fantastic year for us," manager Matt Williams said. "He had a couple of opportunities tonight, and it didn't happen for him. We'll try to give him those opportunities again."

Shorthanded Washington out-hit the Marlins 7-5 but went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, and the Nationals' lone run was unearned.

Washington, swept in a three-game series by the Mets earlier this week, fell 8 1-2 games behind first-place New York, which beat Atlanta 5-1, in the NL East.

"It's not over yet," said Gio Gonzalez, who allowed one run in 5 1-3 innings. "Things change -- a lucky rabbit's foot or something comes through. We're going to stay positive most of the time. We still have a lot of fight in us."

Mike Dunn (2-5) struck out Harper, the only batter he faced, with two on to end the seventh and keep the score 1-all.

J.T. Realmuto led off the bottom of the seventh with a double off Casey Janssen (1-5). After the Nationals misplayed a sacrifice bunt, Realmuto scored the tie-breaking run on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Rojas.

"A little unlucky, I feel like," Janssen said.

Jarred Cosart, sidelined much of the season because of vertigo, pitched five shutout innings for Miami before departing for a pinch-hitter. His last pitch might have been his best: He struck out Harper swinging on a nasty breaking ball with two runners on to end the fifth.

Dunn, a left-hander, came on to face the left-handed hitting Harper with two on and two outs in the seventh, and struck him out swinging on a 95 mph fastball. Harper is 2 for 17 lifetime against Dunn.

"He and Dunn have a history," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "In that situation it was the right time for Dunn. He made the quality pitches that he needed to make."

A.J. Ramos pitched around a two-out walk in the ninth for his 26th save in 32 chances.

ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE

Rolf Koehler, a first responder on 9/11 as a member of the NYPD, was introduced between innings along with his son, Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler.

ROSTER MOVE

Before the game, the Nationals recalled RHP Taylor Jordan (0-2, 5.29) from Triple-A Syracuse for his fourth stint in the majors this year.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (left oblique), sidelined since Monday, again sat out and may miss at least a few more games. "The experience with obliques is that it takes a while," Williams said. "We're trying to get him to the point where he can swing a bat." ... 2B Danny Espinosa, who hurt his right wrist fielding a ball Wednesday, also sat out. ... 1B-OF Clint Robinson missed the game to be with his wife, who was about to deliver a baby.

Marlins: RF Giancarlo Stanton (left hand) hit in an inside cage before the game and showed progress, Jennings said. ... SS Adeiny Hechavarria (left hamstring) is improving and might be available to play within a week, Jennings said.

UP NEXT

Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez, returning from a right biceps strain that has sidelined him since Aug. 7, will try to become only the third pitcher since 1914 to win his first 16 career home decisions. Fernandez (4-0, 2.30) is 15-0 at Marlins Park with an ERA of 1.14. ... RHP Tanner Roark (4-4, 4.41) will start for the Nationals.

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.