If only baseball games were four innings long. If that were the case, the Washington Nationals (1-4) would be celebrating their first road victory of the season. Instead, a solid start to the game both on the hill and at the plate was quickly wiped away as the Florida Marlins (3-2) scored six runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 6-4 lead that they would not surrender in their 7-4 victory tonight.
Livan Hernandez, after escaping a first inning jam and throwing four scoreless innings, could not escape trouble in the fifth. A Hanley Ramirez double to left and John Buck triple that almost left the park quickly knotted the score at 4, and the Marlins added two more runs in the sixth to seize control of the game. Florida leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan was the Marlins' offensive star of the game, going four for five with three runs scored.
Despite looking like they might break out of their early season offensive struggles early in the game, the Nats bats once again fell asleep after the fourth. Washington stranded eight men on base tonight, and have stranded a whopping 20 total through the first two games of this series. The lone bright spot was shortstop Ian Desmond finally breaking through with his first four hits of the season out of the leadoff spot for skipper Jim Riggleman.
Tomorrow John Lannan will attempt to get Washington off the road schneid, but it won't be easy, as he will battle Marlins' staff ace Josh Johnson. First pitch is once again 7:10pm from vacant Sun Life Stadium.