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Nationals drop fifth straight in 2-0 loss to Marlins

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Nationals drop fifth straight in 2-0 loss to Marlins

MIAMI (AP) -- Jose Fernandez returned from the disabled list and became only the third pitcher since 1914 to win his first 16 career decisions at home when the Miami Marlins beat the skidding Washington Nationals 2-0 Saturday night.

Pitching for the first time since he was sidelined by a right biceps strain Aug. 7, Fernandez (5-0) threw five innings, allowed two hits and struck out seven.

Johnny Allen (1932-33) and LaMarr Hoyt (1980-82) also started 16-0 at home, according to STATS.

Fernandez already held the major league record for most home starts without a loss to start a career. He lowered his ERA in 25 starts at home to 1.11.

The reeling and ailing Nationals lost their fifth consecutive game as they fade from contention in the NL East. Their mood was further soured by news that right-handed reliever Drew Storen broke his right thumb in a fit of temper following his latest outing Wednesday and will likely miss the rest of the season.

Ichiro Suzuki had three hits for the Marlins, who won their fourth in a row. They outhit Washington 12-3.

A.J. Ramos gave up a leadoff double in the ninth and then struck out the side for his 27th save and fourth in the past four games.

Fernandez, who returned from Tommy John surgery in July, lowered his ERA in eight starts this year to 2.06. He also singled in his only at-bat to hike his career average to .200.

The right-hander showed in the first inning he had his usual velocity, striking out Bryce Harper looking on a 99 mph fastball. Fernandez fanned Tyler Moore to end the fifth, walked off the mound with a grin and was replaced by a pinch hitter.

Fernandez threw 69 pitches and improved to 3-0 in five career starts against Washington with an ERA of 0.58.

Tanner Roark (4-5), making his eighth start this year, allowed two runs in 4 2-3 innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins: RHP Carter Capps (right elbow strain) will throw a bullpen session Sunday and is expected to join the team on its trip beginning Monday. ... SS Adeiny Hechavarria (hamstring) is not yet at full speed but will also make the trip.

Nationals: 3B Yunel Escobar (stomach bug) was scratched from the lineup. Washington was again without 1B Ryan Zimmerman (left oblique).

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (11-11, 3.03 ERA) faces the Marlins and Brad Hand (4-5, 5.20) in the series finale Sunday. Scherzer is 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA in his past seven starts.

MORE NATIONALS: Frustrated Storen breaks thumb slamming locker

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Lobaton’s sacrifice fly lifts Mets past Nationals in 12

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USA TODAY Sports

Lobaton’s sacrifice fly lifts Mets past Nationals in 12

Jose Lobaton hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly against his former team in the 12th inning and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Thursday night.

Lobaton, who spent the previous four years in Washington before signing with the Mets in December, lofted a one-out fly ball off Jefry Rodriguez (3-3) with the bases loaded to score Amed Rosario.

Jacob Rhame (1-2) worked two scoreless innings, and Paul Sewald pitched the 12th for his second save.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was ejected in the 12th for arguing home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn’s called third strike.

Washington starter Max Scherzer pitched seven innings, allowing three runs while striking out 13. He has 290 strikeouts this year, the most for a National since the franchise relocated from Montreal before the 2005 season. Scherzer set the previous mark of 284 in 2016.

However, he never held a lead Thursday. Michael Conforto smashed a two-run homer to left in the third, his 27th of the season. It was also his fourth home run in 23 career at-bats against Scherzer.

Four pitches later, Jay Bruce crushed his ninth home run of the season. It was the sixth time this season New York has hit back-to-back homers.

Washington’s Trea Turner led off the sixth with an infield single. Two batters later, Anthony Rendon golfed Jason Vargas’ changeup to deep left for his 100th career home run to narrow the deficit to 3-2. Vargas allowed two runs and struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings.

Jeff McNeil led off the eighth with a triple and scored two batters later when Bruce punched a single to right past a drawn-in infield. But the Nationals responded with Rendon’s run-scoring groundout and Juan Soto’s RBI double off Robert Gsellman in the bottom half of the inning.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway was ejected in the 10th inning for arguing after Reyburn ruled McNeil had offered on a bunt attempt.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores will miss the rest of the season with soreness in both knees. Callaway said Flores has early onset arthritis in both knees and will receive injections to alleviate the pain. “It’s not like surgery is recommended at this time,” Callaway said. “I think rest and a couple injections is supposed to knock this out pretty good.”

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (8-9, 1.78 ERA), who is 5-1 with a 2.76 ERA lifetime at Nationals Park, gets the nod for New York as the four-game series continues.

Nationals: RHP Joe Ross (0-0, 3.60) makes his second start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year.

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Anthony Rendon reaches home run milestone

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USA Today Sports

Anthony Rendon reaches home run milestone

For a guy whose nickname reflects how many doubles he hits, Anthony Rendon has quite the power as well.

Rendon, referred to as "Tony Two Bags" by the Washington Nationals' faithful, hit his 100th career home run on Thursday night. 

The home run came off New York Mets pitcher Jason Vargas, who has been magnificent in his two starts against the Nationals this season. Vargas had not allowed a run against the Nationals in 2018 until Rendon took him deep.

The home run was Rendon's 22nd of the season. This is the third consecutive year that Rendon has posted 20 or more home runs, and the fourth time in the 28-year-old's career that he has reached that milestone.

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