The Washington Nationals dropped the second game of their series against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night. It was a frustrating 3-1 loss for the Nats, who could not come through in the clutch and pick up starter Edwin Jackson. The righty was not his sharpest but still held the Marlins to just one earned run over 6.2 innings. Jackson danced around five hits and three walks to keep his scuffling lineup in it.
Jackson had blanked the Fish through five innings, but Miami broke through with a run in the sixth. With one out, Omar Infante doubled and then moved to third on a throwing error by Rick Ankiel. Giancarlo Stanton, perhaps the hottest hitter in the game, brought Infante home with a double. One inning later, they would plate what proved to be the winning run on a Greg Dobbs sacrifice fly to left that brought home Chris Coghlan, who have moved from first to third on an errant pick-off attempt by Jackson. Leftfielder Corey Brown made a good enough throw, hitting catcher Carlos Maldonado on one hop but Coghlan was too fast. The frustration was written across Jackson's face, as the Marlins took their first lead of the night.
The Nats struggled to get anything going against Anibal Sanchez, who had a no-hitter through the first four innings. Washington scored their only run in the fifth, when Ian Desmond manufactured a run singlehandedly. After Miami took the lead, the Nats had a golden opportunity to even it up with Sanchez out of the game. Washington promptly loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but a Bryce Harper strikeout and Ryan Zimmerman groundout stranded the runners. Miami instantly responded when Hanley Ramirez rifled a homer into the left field stands. Ramirez has crushed the ball all series, and this was a rope off Craig Stammen.
The Nationals, who now lead the Marlins by just 1.5 games in the NL East, will try to salvage the sweep on Wednesday. Josh Johnson will go for Ozzie Guillen while Chien-Ming Wang will make his first start for the Nats.
For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Marlins perspective, check out Fish Stripes. For news and updates from the Nationals series in Miami, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC.