Reyes' hit streak to 21, but Marlins fall in Game 1

Reyes' hit streak to 21, but Marlins fall in Game 1

Reyes' hit streak to 21, but Marlins fall in Game 1
WASHINGTON -- Throw strikes and go as deep into the game as possible were a couple of things the Marlins were hoping for out of Brad Hand.

It was a struggle to do either for the 22-year-old left-hander, who was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to pitch Game 1 on Friday.

Hand was tagged for seven runs, including a home run by Adam LaRoche, and he walked six in 3 2/3 innings in a 7-4 loss to the Nationals at Nationals Park.

Needing an extra starting pitcher, Hand was promoted for a day, and he made his first MLB start since Sept. 18, 2011, also at Washington.

"Very tough outing," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Hand. "Very tough game. We got people going down, getting hurt. This kid tried his best. But he was a little wild, behind the hitters. When you come to the big leagues, you've got to throw strikes."

In Friday's Game 1 loss, Jose Reyes reached on a bunt single in the first inning, setting a career-high 21-game hitting streak. The string is the longest active streak in the Majors.

Reyes, while with the Mets in 2005, hit safely in 20 games.

The loss also hurt because Donnie Murphy, who doubled in the seventh inning, strained his left hamstring running the bases. He is listed as day to day.

Washington lefty John Lannan gave up three runs in six-plus innings.

The Marlins were hoping to spare an overused bullpen, which had to pick up six innings on Thursday at Atlanta. With Hand exiting early, the relievers had to work 4 1/3 innings.

Command was an issue for Hand, who was lifted with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Of his 96 pitches, 52 were strikes.

"Not very good," Hand said, summing up his day. "I fell behind in the count a lot. Too many walks, obviously. Those balls hurt you. I fell behind in the count, got into hitters' counts. Had to get back in the zone."

Immediately after the game, Hand was optioned back to Triple-A, and the Marlins recalled reliever Evan Reed.

The move was expected, because Hand was called up only to pitch because of the doubleheader.

As a rookie in 2011, Hand split time between Double-A Jacksonville and the Marlins. He made 12 big league starts, going 1-8 with a 4.20 ERA. But in 60 innings, he struck out 38 and walked 35.

At Triple-A this year, control wasn't so much of a problem. The lefty was 8-5, and he hadn't allowed more than three walks in eight straight starts before getting the big league opportunity.

Three batters into the game, it looked like it would be a promising afternoon for Miami.

Emilio Bonifacio drew a leadoff walk, and Donovan Solano singled to right. Reyes dropped a bunt single, loading the bases along with extending his hitting streak.

But the potential for a big inning fizzled when Carlos Lee bounced into a 6-4-3 double play. Bonifacio scored, but the chance for more runs disappeared.

Washington gained command in the first, scoring three times. Hand needed 33 pitches, with 18 strikes, to get three outs.

In the first inning, Hand was in position to record a perfect inning. But the frame turned dramatically.

Hand recorded two quick outs, but Ryan Zimmerman's double to right field started a string of five straight Nationals reaching. Jayson Werth walked, and LaRoche delivered an RBI single to center. After Tyler Moore walked, Mark DeRosa slapped a two-run single to left.

"The double to Zimmerman, I tried to pitch a little too fine, instead of just attacking him," Hand said. "[Catcher Brett] Hayes said after that inning, 'Don't worry about that inning, attack them and put the pressure on them.' It led to a long inning."

In the third inning, LaRoche did some more damage, connecting on a home run, his 21st, to make it 4-1.

The Marlins had chances early off Lannan. In the second inning, Gorkys Hernandez and Brett Hayes drew back to back walks. Hand was in a bunting situation, but he popped an attempt up. LaRoche acted as if he would catch it, but let it drop, and was able to turn an inning-ending double play.

Washington knocked Hand out of the game with three more runs in the fourth inning. His afternoon was done after LaRoche walked with the bases loaded. During the sequence, LaRoche crushed a ball that sailed foul into the third deck.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.