Game in a nutshell: In their attempt to deal Anibal Sanchez a loss for the first time in 19 career starts against them, the Nationals came up short once again. They did lead 1-0 in the sixth behind Corey Brown's perfectly executed suicide squeeze (for his first career RBI). But Edwin Jackson served up an RBI double to Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth and committed a costly throwing error in the seventh that allowed the go-ahead run to score. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman couldn't come through with the bases loaded in the eighth, and Hanley Ramirez's 422-foot bomb off Craig Stammen sealed the deal for the Marlins, who secured the series victory.
Hitting lowlight: Rarely in his first month in the big leagues has Harper showed a poor approach at the plate and expanded his strike zone. But the 19-year-old picked a bad time to look like a 19-year-old at last. With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, Harper struck out on three pitches from reliever Steve Cishek. The last pitch was a high fastball, well out of the strike zone, but Harper chased it. That rare, undisciplined display from the rookie wound up costing the Nationals big-time.
Pitching lowlight: Though he dominated for five innings, Jackson's night fell apart quickly in the sixth and seventh. It began with a one-out double by Omar Infante, then continued with an RBI double by Stanton (in a curious move, the Nats decided to pitch to Stanton with first base open and two outs). Jackson's biggest mistake, though, wasn't a pitch but an errant pickoff throw in the seventh that allowed Chris Coghlan to take two extra bases. That set the stage for Greg Dobbs' sacrifice fly, giving the Marlins the lead for good. In the end, Jackson's final line looks strong (one earned run in 6 23 innings) but the stats tell only part of the story.
Key stat: Harper now has four triples in his first 29 big-league games. Over the last 25 years, the only rookies to produce more three-baggers in that brief span are Andrew McCutchen and Carl Crawford (five apiece).
Up next: The series wraps up at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday when Chien-Ming Wang makes his first start of the season for the Nationals, taking over Ross Detwiler's rotation spot. Struggling ace Josh Johnson will start for the Marlins.