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|Nationals manager Dave Martinez acknowledged he was looking for someone who could end the game with one swing in the ninth inning Friday night. He chose the right guy.
Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run that lifted the Nationals past the Miami Marlins 3-2.
”Thought about pinch-hitting Michael (A. Taylor). He gets on Authentic Richard Rodgers Jersey , he can steal, but then what?” Martinez said. ”So I said, `Hey, we need somebody who can hit a home run right now and Mark is the perfect guy.”’
Kyle Barraclough (0-3) fell behind Reynolds in the count 3-0. Reynolds, who is 7 for his last 18 after struggling for most of June, fouled off a pitch. The Nationals slugger then sent a fastball into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center for his eighth home run.
”If I’m up there and it’s 0-2, I’m obviously not looking to turn on something,” he said. ”I knew 3-0 I was going to take a hack and then (he) pretty much threw the same pitch 3-1 and I kind of got my timing a little bit.”
Four Nationals relievers combined to allow only a hit and a walk over the final four innings. Sean Doolittle (3-2) pitched the ninth for the win as Washington defeated Miami for the 13th consecutive game dating to last season.
The Nationals loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, but failed to score.
Unlike Thursday night when Washington overcame a 9-0 deficit for a 14-12 win, big hits were harder to come by as the teams stranded 17 baserunners.
Miami starter Dan Straily lasted six innings, allowing two runs on five hits.
Gio Gonzalez threw 114 pitches over five innings and gave up eight hits and four walks. He was bailed out by three double plays and struck out Justin Bour and Garrett Cooper with the bases loaded in the fifth after walking in the tying run.
”I thought our offense did a pretty good job with Gio,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. ”We just didn’t really capitalize. . Didn’t get anything in the fourth and one in the fifth with chances to do more damage and didn’t do anything right there. I thought that was kind of the turning point for us.”
The Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on RBI singles by Adam Eaton and Wilmer Difo.
It was Reynolds’ second career walk-off home run, and first since July 26, 2016, vs. Arizona as a member of the Colorado Rockies. It was Washington’s first walk-off home run of the season.
With two outs in the sixth and Eaton on second base, Difo hit a shot to right-center. Center fielder Cameron Maybin raced to his left and made a diving catch to preserve a 2-2 tie. ”Unreal,” Straily said. ”I saw my reaction and it was one of those things where I was upset at myself for giving up a double in the gap there and all the sudden he lays out and catches it.”
Marlins: Cooper (right wrist contusion) was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Miami optioned LHP Dillon Peters (2-2 Authentic Joseph Noteboom Jersey , 7.16 ERA) to Triple-A New Orleans to make room on the roster.
Nationals: Martinez said RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) ”looked real good” throwing a simulated game Friday and could possibly go out on a rehab assignment Tuesday. … C Matt Wieters (left hamstring strain) will likely play a rehab game at Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday. … RHP Joe Ross (elbow surgery) threw a simulated game Friday and hopes to rejoin the team in September. … Martinez said the team ”bleached” the clubhouse due to an illness that has affected a few players.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-5, 5.55) has a 9.85 ERA in seven road starts this season. Against Washington, he’s 1-5 with a 4.15 ERA over nine career appearances.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (10-5, 2.16) looks for his first win since June 5. He’s 8-3 with a 3.39 ERA in 15 starts versus the Marlins.
Aaron Slegers and Jake Cave have been called up from Triple-A by the Minnesota Twins three times apiece this season, and the All-Star break is still more than one week away.
Their contributions to this struggling team on Thursday night were sure worthy of a longer stay.
Slegers picked up his first major league win with six smooth innings, Cave reached base all four times he batted, and the Twins stopped their six-game losing streak by hanging on for a 5-2 victory over the lowly Baltimore Orioles.
”I know that I think, and I know Slegers thinks the same thing, that we can play big league baseball,” Cave said. ”We’re ready to go anytime the team needs us, and that’s just kind of how you’ve got to think of it.”
Logan Morrison homered and Cave drove in an eighth-inning insurance run with one of his two doubles for the Twins, who turned to Fernando Rodney in the ninth for his 18th save following two consecutive blown chances. Slegers (1-0) gave up only one run, on the first of two homers by Jonathan Schoop.
”It’s fun to have that in the stat column, to be a major league winner,” Slegers said. ”I can say that for the rest of my life.”
With eight right-handers in the Orioles lineup, except for Chris Davis, Slegers put his sinker to good use against the second-lowest scoring team in MLB. The Orioles managed just three hits against the 6-foot-10 Slegers Authentic Brian Allen Jersey , who was the latest to fill the recently revolving fifth spot in the rotation. Manager Paul Molitor stopped short of a commitment, but he indicated Slegers earned another turn after needing only 72 pitches to complete those six innings in his first major league start this season.
”Sometimes you make tough decisions to protect those young guys when they’ve had good outings and make sure they feel good when they come out of the game,” Molitor said.
The Orioles squandered another quality start by Andrew Cashner (2-9) and lost for the 10th time in 11 games. They have the worst record in the major leagues at 24-62, just the team the Twins needed to face to start a season-long 11-game homestand after a pivotal 1-8 road trip.
Trailing AL Central-leading Cleveland by 11 1/2 games, Minnesota has become a probable seller before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31 with several accomplished players on expiring contracts. Baltimore has essentially been in that boat since April, with slugging shortstop Manny Machado widely considered the best asset on the market this summer.
Cashner, one of the offseason acquisitions by the Orioles that suggested their commitment to contending in the daunting AL East, has had more than three runs scored for him in only one of his 17 starts this year. He gave up three runs, two earned, and six hits.
”It’s not like we didn’t want to score for him,” Schoop said. ”I hope things start changing.”
Orioles starters have received the least amount of run support in the major leagues this season.
”I probably had the worst stuff I’ve had this season, but I thought I just grinded throughout the game,” Cashner said. ”When you’re not scoring runs, I feel like I keep my mind sharp on what I want to do out there and thinking pitch to pitch.”
Cashner was charged with an error in the third, when he was covering first base on a chopper hit by Bobby Wilson to Davis and fumbled the relay toss to let Cave score from second. Wilson eventually scored on a single by Eddie Rosario.
Rodney struck out Davis to start a perfect ninth, pushing the sputtering slugger into a first-place tie on the Orioles list for strikeouts with 1,305. He is tied with Cal Ripken Jr. Authentic John Kelly Jersey , who played 3,001 games for Baltimore. Davis has appeared in 972 contests.
Cave, who was recalled from Rochester last week, made a fully extended catch at the wall in right-center to take a potential extra-base hit away from Davis in the fourth inning. Cave doubled twice, driving in one run, to go with a single and an intentional walk.
”He can really flash it out there,” Slegers said.
Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day (strained left hamstring) has been scheduled for his season-ending surgery on July 12. He’ll need six months to recover.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who has started 80 of 84 games and appeared in all but one this season, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He’s batting .218.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (6-7, 3.75 ERA) will come off the DL to start Friday night. Bundy has been sidelined by a sprained left ankle.
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (5-7, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound in the second game of the series, coming off his worst turn of the season. He gave up seven runs in Chicago to the Cubs in just 1 2/3 innings.
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