Stanton, Marlins send Nats to fourth straight loss

Stanton, Marlins send Nats to fourth straight loss

MIAMI -- Tom Koehler threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings on Saturday, and he kept the momentum rolling for the Marlins. Behind the right-hander's gem, Giancarlo Stanton and Adeiny Hechavarria both went yard as Miami blanked the Nationals, 8-0, at Marlins Park.

The Marlins have won four straight and pulled even with the Nats -- who have lost four straight -- and both teams now have a 7-11 record. Washington's Stephen Strasburg gave up four runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in six innings. The Nationals right-hander is now 3-5 with a 5.65 ERA in eight starts at Marlins Park.

The Marlins broke through with two runs in the fourth inning. Martin Prado doubled to open the inning, and Stanton blistered an RBI double to left. With one out, Justin Bour lined a run-scoring single over a drawn-in infield.

"Once we started to settle in and relaxed, we'd be able to play the way we're capable of playing," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I think you're seeing that. You're seeing guys, No. 1, as you get hits, you get more confidence. It's human nature."

Bour, called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Friday, started at first base, as Michael Morse was given his first day off. In the sixth inning, Bour posted his second RBI single. Miami made it 4-0 on J.T. Realmuto's double-play grounder, which scored Marcell Ozuna.

Stanton homered off Rafael Martin to open the bottom of the eighth, and five batters later, Hechavarria mashed a three-run shot.

Hechavarria's three-run homer

"Today, there wasn't much to say other than [the Marlins] got some big hits, we didn't. So it was a rough day for us. We have to respond, we have to respond tomorrow and play well," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "Not much other than that to say." More >

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gordon's defensive gem:
Koehler retired 10 straight before Jayson Werth's two-out single in the sixth. Bryce Harper walked, and the Nationals threatened. Ryan Zimmerman then slapped a hard grounder up the middle, and second baseman Dee Gordon made a diving stop and flipped to Hechavarria for the inning-ending forceout on Harper.

Strasburg not good enough:  Strasburg pitched six innings, and he allowed four runs on eight hits. He was cruising until the fourth inning, when Prado scored on the double by Stanton. One out later, Bour singled, scoring Stanton. Two innings later, the Marlins tagged Strasburg for two more runs.

"I didn't really change my game plan," Strasburg said. "I made a good pitch to Stanton. From what I saw, it looked like it was a couple of feet by the foul line, so it could have gone either way. You just have to keep pushing, keep grinding. We are coming through a stretch where you don't get any breaks. I think we have to go out there and remember who we are, stick together, just keep playing hard."

Nationals having trouble scoring: Entering Saturday's action, the Nationals were 32-for-138 (.232) with runners in scoring position. They didn't fare any better in Saturday's game, as the Nationals were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

"It definitely wasn't our day today. It was a lopsided game," Werth said. "The intent is there. We come in ready to go. This needs to turn for us. We are going through a bad stretch right now. It will turn. It always does. We have to stay positive and keep going. It's too early to be frustrated."  

Bour's big start: Redmond has talked about players picking each other up. Morse has struggled at the plate, and he was given Saturday off against the hard-throwing Strasburg. Bour filled in, and he was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Bour on big day at the plate

INSTANT REPLAY
The Marlins didn't wait long to issue a challenge. In the bottom of the first inning, Gordon was thrown out by Wilson Ramos trying to steal second. After a review of one-minute, 43-seconds, second-base umpire Kerwin Danley's call stood.

Marlins lose challenge

QUOTABLE
"When you win, you're obviously going to be much happier. But at the same time, too, you're going to go through some funks. Unfortunately, we all kind of went through a little bit of a funk at the same time. That's over with. We've moved on from that. This is a resilient group. We've been through a lot together." -- Redmond.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his run-scoring double in the fourth inning and homer in the eighth, Stanton now has 55 career RBIs vs. the Nationals. That's his most against any team. Next is 43 against the Mets.

Stanton's RBI double

MEDICAL REPORT
Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez (on DL with right shoulder inflammation), who has been playing catch, will long toss in a couple of days and is expected to throw a bullpen session mid-week.

WHAT'S NEXT
Nationals: Left-hander Gio Gonzalez can go home again. On Sunday afternoon, the Miami native will pitch in front of the hometown crowd at Marlins Park. Gonzalez will face the Marlins for the ninth time in his career. He is 6-2 with a 1.67 ERA against them. Of all the players on the Marlins' roster, Ichiro Suzuki gives Gonzalez fits, going 11-for-33 (.333) against him.

Marlins: Dan Haren has gone at least six innings all three of his starts. For the most part, Haren has been effective, but he's been hurt by the long ball. He's given up five home runs in 19 innings, including two in each of his last two starts. In his career vs. Washington, Haren is 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.