October 21, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 160 Review: Marlins win slugfest in spring training atmosphere

SOUZA HOMERS IN LOPSIDED LOSS AFTER EARLY CLINCHER

With homefield advanatage sewn up by virtue of their in in the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Friday, the nightcap took on a spring training feel, with Taylor Hill called up to make his Major League debut behind mostly minor league teammates.

Hill struggled, as did Miami Marlins starter rookie Andrew Heaney, and the slugfest went clear into the ninth inning as the Marlins topped the Nats 15-7.

The Marlins went right to work in the top of the first, as Christian Yelich walked, went to third on a single by Donovan Solano and scored on Casey McGehee’s RBI single. Three batters into his first start, Hill had already surrendered a run.

The Nats tried to get him off the hook, and responded for three runs in the bottom of the inning against Heaney. Michael Taylor led off with a double and scored on Kevin Frandsen’s single. Jayson Werth tripled, and Frandsen came around to score. Werth then came home on Wilson Ramos’ ground out.

Miami picked up another run in the second. Justin Bour singled and went to third on J.T. Realmuto’s ground-rule double to center. The big first baseman came in on Adeiny Hechavarria’s ground out.

Steven Souza, Jr. made it 4-2 in the third, with his second career home run, a titanic blast into the table section on the Red Porch.

But Hill’s night ended in the top of the fifth, with manager Matt Williams desperately trying to get Hill qualified for his first career win. With two outs, Hill hit McGehee. A visit by pitching coach Steve McCatty didn’t serve to settle Hill, as Garrett Jones was safe on a ball that ricocheted off Hlil’s foot, then Reed Johnson double home McGehee.

Williams ordered Hill to walk the lefty Bour intentionally, rather than bring veteran Ross Detwiler — who was warm — to face him. Hill then gave up a triple to Realmuto, which cleared the bases and made it 6-4. Williams then called on Detwiler, and he gave up a double to Hechavarria for a 7-4 deficit.

Washington got one of those runs back in the sixth. Jeff Kobernus was hit, went to third on Taylor’s line drive single, and scored on a Kevin Frandsen single.

But the Marlins weren’t done, picking up two more runs off Xavier Cedeno in the seventh on Bour’s two-run double.

Another run came in one a single and Aaron Barrett’s throwing error.

Tyler Moore’s fourth homer of the year in the bottom of the inning drew the Nats back to within three.

Miami got that one back in the top of the ninth off Craig Stammen, and then some, as the normally reliable reliever game up a grand slam to Kiki Hernandez.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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