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Nationals fall to Marlins, 4-3, in season finale but win season-opening series

Nationals fall to Marlins, 4-3, in season finale but win season-opening series

WASHINGTON -- Justin Bour doubled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 10th inning after the Marlins erased two leads against a shaky Nationals bullpen, and Miami earned its first win of the season by beating Washington 4-3 Thursday night.

In a game delayed by rain for more than an hour both at the start and in the middle of the sixth, Bour sent a shot off Joe Blanton (0-1) down the left field line. That brought home J.T. Realmuto, whose single in the 10th was his third hit of the game, including a two-run homer in the eighth that made it two-all.

David Phelps (1-1) earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning. A.J. Ramos, Miami's sixth pitcher, worked the 10th to earn his first save. He put two men on with one out, then retired Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon to end it.

Nationals relievers Shawn Kelley, Sammy Solis and Blake Treinen combined to give up leads in the eighth and ninth innings.

Washington entered the eighth with a 2-0 edge thanks to homers from Adam Eaton and Jayson Werth.

But Kelley, who lost the spring training competition for the closer's job to Treinen, promptly blew it. He walked Christian Yelich, then two outs later, gave up Realmuto's second homer of the season.

Zimmerman put the Nationals back in front 3-2 in the eighth with a solo shot to straightaway center off Junichi Tazawa that originally resulted in a triple but was ruled on replay review to have cleared the wall. Zimmerman drove a 1-0 curveball just over the outstretched glove of outfielder Yelich and has homered in the past two games.

That lead didn't last long, though, because pinch-hitter Tyler Moore -- a former member of the Nationals -- delivered an RBI single up the middle off Treinen with a 2-2 count and two outs in the ninth. Treinen came in with a man on third, put there by Solis.

Eaton's homer came in the first off Tom Koehler, and Werth's was in the seventh off Kyle Barraclough, moments after Washington's left fielder made a running, twisting catch in the top of the inning.

A game that began 1 hour, 20 minutes late because of showers was held up for another 63 minutes in the middle of the sixth.

NATIONALS ROTATION

RHP Stephen Strasburg is being given an extra day of rest and will pitch Sunday at Philadelphia. That leaves the Nationals without a starter for Saturday, because the rotation's fifth member, RHP Joe Ross, was sent to the minors and can't be brought back yet. Manager Dusty Baker would not say who will pitch Saturday, but it is expected to be RHP Jeremy Guthrie, who hasn't appeared in the majors since 2015 with Kansas City.

UP NEXT

Marlins: Open a three-game series at the Mets on Friday, with LHP Wei-Yin Chen facing RHP Zack Wheeler. Chen is 0 for 50 with 21 strikeouts as a hitter in his big league career.

Nationals: NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer pitches Friday against the Phillies. Scherzer's spring preparation was delayed because he was still in pain from a fractured knuckle on his pitching hand. "I'm good to throw 100 pitches tomorrow. That's what's so exciting about where I was at, to where I am now. I'm going to be able to compete in this first turn of the rotation," Scherzer said Thursday.

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."

"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand." 

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news. 

Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report. 

Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:

"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."

"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.

RELATED: HARPER THANKS FANS FOR SUPPORT