The Nationals lost for just the second time in their past 10 games on Friday night, falling 9-7 to the Miami Marlins in 10 innings. Washington erased a four-run deficit in the late innings, but another comeback in the 10th would fall short.
Stephen Strasburg did not have it in his final home outing of the season. The Nationals ace gave up five early runs and lasted just three innings. Giancarlo Stanton would pace the early Marlins rallies, ripping an RBI double in the first and hammering a solo homer in the third.
Trailing 6-2, the Nationals put together a furious rally in the bottom of the seventh to pull within one. As they've done all year, the Nats bats came through with the clutch hits right when they needed them. Back-to-back doubles by Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki pushed the first two runs across. An infield single from Steve Lombardozzi scored Suzuki from second after a throwing error by Donovan Solano. One inning later, Michael Morse would knot things up at 6-6 with his 13th homer of the season -- a bomb to center field.
It appeared the Marlins would cruise to the win in extra innings, jumping on Tyler Clippard in the 10th for 9-6 lead. A two-run Jose Reyes triple was the big hit of the inning. But the Nationals, as always, made things interesting. Adam LaRoche started the bottom half of the inning against Steve Cishek with a double that landed at the base of the wall in right. He'd score one batter later when Morse hit one back up the middle that went off the glove of Cishek and then ricocheted into center field off the second base umpire. Ian Desmond then put the tying runs in scoring position by doubling to the gap in right, but Cishek would bear down and strikeout the side to strand the runners. Espinosa, Roger Bernadina, and Jayson Werth all fanned with the tying run on second base.
The Nationals will come back with Ross Detwiler on Saturday in the second game of the series.