By Will Beverina
The Washington Nationals will once again be forced to wait and try to clinch home-field advantage in the National League Division Series after dropping a series-opening game to the Miami Marlins, 7-4.
It was the Marlins’ first road match since the death of Jose Fernandez, and the team opened up with a couple of multi-run innings to gain an early lead on the Nationals.
Justin Bour singled off of AJ Cole in the second inning on a ground ball to center field that allowed Christian Yelich to score, followed by an Adeiny Hechavarria line drive that saw Marcell Ozuna cross the plate. The Marlins continued their offensive run in the third when a Yelich sac fly brought Derek Dietrich home. Bour would pick up his second RBI of the game shortly after on another ground ball to center field, making it 4-0 Miami after three innings.
The Nationals would respond in the fourth when Anthony Rendon and Stephen Drew both homered, their 20th and 8th on the season, respectively. Catcher Jose Lobaton then smacked a line drive double to bring home Clint Robinson, and then was brought home himself when Trea Turner singled to right field. The rally would tie the game at 4-4 in the fourth inning.
But the four-run inning wouldn’t be enough. Yelich would go on to homer in the seventh, sandwiched between two more Marlins runs in the sixth and ninth, and Miami would end the game on top 7-4.
The loss for Washington means they drop to 93-67 and have two more games to clinch home-field over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nationals and Marlins meet again on Saturday at Nationals Park, with first pitch at 4:05 p.m.