MIAMI -- The Nationals' team plane arrived in Miami after 3 a.m. on Friday after a rare getaway night game in New York, leaving manager Dusty Baker trying to determine how to get the best out of his team despite the quick turnaround and lack of sleep.
Baker's philosophy was to have the Nationals take light batting practice before the game in hopes of getting off to a quick start before fatigue set in. The Nationals did just that with a four-run second inning off Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino that helped guide them to a 4-1 victory at Marlins Park.
"We wanted to jump 'em early because we were operating on low energy," Baker said. "The longer the game went, the less energy we had. Trying to come out warm -- that's why we hit today. We didn't hit much, but we got some blood flow going out there, and it worked, because we scored early."
Washington came out aggressive against Nicolino. Ryan Zimmerman began the second inning with a solo home run. Anthony Rendon and Wilson followed with back-to-back doubles. Two outs later, Michael Taylor smashed a two-run homer to left field to give the Nationals a comfortable lead.
"I think [Nicolino] was missing over the plate, I think we just took advantage of it, put a four spot on him," left fielder Jayson Werth said. "That was the difference in the game. He's got good stuff."
The Nationals could get through this game on adrenaline, although Baker hinted that he might rest some of his regulars on Saturday.
"It's a normal day. Might feel a little bit more tomorrow," Werth said. "Even Dusty was saying it's not the first day, it's the second day."
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.