By Will Beverina
The Washington Nationals kicked off their first series against the Miami Marlins since May with a 4-3 loss on Monday. Two defensive mistakes by the Nats in the sixth inning helped to seal their fate.
A.J. Cole got the start on the mound for Washington, pitching four full innings and allowing four hits, including a Giancarlo Stanton second inning home run, along with two walks and two earned runs. It was that Stanton home run that started off the scoring, and the Marlins added to that tally in the third when Christian Yelich drove in Marcell Ozuna on a ground-rule double.
Down 2-0, the Nats came storming back in the fifth inning on a Danny Espinosa full count three-run homer to take the lead. It was Espinosa’s 22nd home run of the season.
The lead wasn’t meant to last, as Blake Treinen came on in the sixth in replacement of Mat Latos for Washington. Derek Dietrich hit a line drive to center field, where the rookie Trea Turner misplayed the ball, turning into an RBI double when Yefri Perez crossed the plate for the Marlins. Ichiro Suzuki then hit a grounder to second base, where Wilmer Difo, in replacement for Daniel Murphy, sent an errant throw home in an attempt to tag out Justin Bour, who scored the go-ahead run. The 4-3 mark would stand for the rest of the game.
Latos, facing his former team, picked up the loss for Washington, dropping his season record to 7-3. The right-hander Brian Ellington earned the win for Miami, improving his record to 3-2 on the year.
Washington’s magic number is now at five after the New York Mets dropped a decision to the Atlanta Braves.
The Nats and Marlins face off again on Tuesday night and then close out the series on Wednesday. First pitch for both games is estimated to be at 7:10 p.m. from Marlins Park.