WASHINGTON (AP) — Miami outfielders Jesús Sánchez and Avisaíl García each threw out a runner at the plate in the fourth inning, and Joey Wendle hit his first home run for the Marlins, a three-run shot that helped produce a 5-1 victory over the reeling Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.
Sandy Alcantara (2-0) extended his shutout streak to 17 innings over his past three starts for the Marlins and ended up giving up one run and six hits over six innings, aided by some bungling on the basepaths by the hosts before an announced crowd of 12,613 on a rainy evening.
In what would become a sixth consecutive loss for Washington, which is 6-13 and last in the NL East, the lineup managed to take three singles and two walks and turn them into one solitary run in the fourth.
After walks to Juan Soto and Josh Bell around a strikeout of Nelson Cruz, Yadiel Hernandez delivered a run-scoring single. Keibert Ruiz then singled to right, but Sánchez threw out Bell at the plate as he tried to score from second.
Bell, waved around third by base coach Gary DiSarcina, did not appear to be running at full speed, which is understandable given that he has been dealing with issues with his left knee and right hamstring and sat out Sunday’s game.
Then Maikel Franco singled, too, and Hernandez tried to come home from second, too — and he got thrown out, too, this time by García from center. One difference: DiSarcina had his left hand extended toward the runner and his right hand aloft in an apparent attempt to stop Hernandez at third.
Wendle, who turned 32 on Wednesday, drove an 83 mph first-pitch slider from Josiah Gray (2-2) to center field after Sánchez walked and Garrett Cooper singled. Wendle was an AL All-Star for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021, then was traded to Miami in the offseason.
Jacob Stallings drove in two runs for Miami.
Anthony Bender pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save in four chances. It was his first appearance since giving up a two-run homer to Nolan Arenado in the ninth inning of a 2-0 loss for Miami on April 20.
Miami, coming off a series win at reigning World Series champion Atlanta, has won three of its past four games.
Gray went 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs and seven hits. He tied his career high with 10 strikeouts.
Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas was out of the lineup for a third consecutive game with what manager Don Mattingly described as an “upper-respiratory thing.” Mattingly said Rojas was “way better” and is expected to play Wednesday.
Nationals: INF-OF Dee Strange-Gordon began a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Rochester. He went on the 10-day IL on April 15; the team did not say why, which has been its policy for roster moves involving COVID-19. Manager Dave Martinez wasn’t sure how long it would be until Strange-Gordon would return to the majors but said he “got pretty tired, quickly” taking groundballs on Monday’s day off for Washington.
Marlins RHP Pablo López carries a majors-best 0.52 ERA into Wednesday night against Nationals RHP Erick Fedde, who has a 6.75 ERA. How dominant has López been in 2022? He has given up just one earned run and a total of 10 hits across 17 1/3 innings through three appearances so far this season. His record is 2-0.
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