Nationals manager Dave Martinez acknowledged he was looking for someone who could end the game with one swing in the ninth inning Friday night.
He chose the right guy.
Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run that lifted the Nationals past the Miami Marlins 3-2.
”Thought about pinch-hitting Michael (A. Taylor). He gets on Logan Cooke Jersey
, he can steal, but then what?” Martinez said. ”So I said, `Hey, we need somebody who can hit a home run right now and Mark is the perfect guy.”’
Kyle Barraclough (0-3) fell behind Reynolds in the count 3-0. Reynolds, who is 7 for his last 18 after struggling for most of June, fouled off a pitch. The Nationals slugger then sent a fastball into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center for his eighth home run.
”If I’m up there and it’s 0-2, I’m obviously not looking to turn on something,” he said. ”I knew 3-0 I was going to take a hack and then (he) pretty much threw the same pitch 3-1 and I kind of got my timing a little bit.”
Four Nationals relievers combined to allow only a hit and a walk over the final four innings. Sean Doolittle (3-2) pitched the ninth for the win as Washington defeated Miami for the 13th consecutive game dating to last season.
The Nationals loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, but failed to score.
Unlike Thursday night when Washington overcame a 9-0 deficit for a 14-12 win, big hits were harder to come by as the teams stranded 17 baserunners.
Miami starter Dan Straily lasted six innings, allowing two runs on five hits.
Gio Gonzalez threw 114 pitches over five innings and gave up eight hits and four walks. He was bailed out by three double plays and struck out Justin Bour and Garrett Cooper with the bases loaded in the fifth after walking in the tying run.
”I thought our offense did a pretty good job with Gio,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. ”We just didn’t really capitalize. . Didn’t get anything in the fourth and one in the fifth with chances to do more damage and didn’t do anything right there. I thought that was kind of the turning point for us.”
The Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on RBI singles by Adam Eaton and Wilmer Difo.
It was Reynolds’ second career walk-off home run, and first since July 26, 2016, vs. Arizona as a member of the Colorado Rockies. It was Washington’s first walk-off home run of the season.
With two outs in the sixth and Eaton on second base, Difo hit a shot to right-center. Center fielder Cameron Maybin raced to his left and made a diving catch to preserve a 2-2 tie. ”Unreal,” Straily said. ”I saw my reaction and it was one of those things where I was upset at myself for giving up a double in the gap there and all the sudden he lays out and catches it.”
Marlins: Cooper (right wrist contusion) was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Miami optioned LHP Dillon Peters (2-2, 7.16 ERA) to Triple-A New Orleans to make room on the roster.
Nationals: Martinez said RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) ”looked real good” throwing a simulated game Friday and could possibly go out on a rehab assignment Tuesday. … C Matt Wieters (left hamstring strain) will likely play a rehab game at Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday. … RHP Joe Ross (elbow surgery) threw a simulated game Friday and hopes to rejoin the team in September. … Martinez said the team ”bleached” the clubhouse due to an illness that has affected a few players.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-5, 5.55) has a 9.85 ERA in seven road starts this season. Against Washington, he’s 1-5 with a 4.15 ERA over nine career appearances.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (10-5, 2.16) looks for his first win since June 5. He’s 8-3 with a 3.39 ERA in 15 starts versus the Marlins.
Shohei Ohtani is limited to hitting these days because of an elbow injury.
He remains quite the presence for the Los Angeles Angels.
Ohtani’s two-out walk helped set up a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night in the opening game of the Freeway Series.
The Angels were down to their last strike in the ninth inning when Ohtani battled back from a 0-2 count all the way to a walk against Kenley Jansen (0-2). Ohtani then stole second and advanced to third on catcher Yasmani Grandal’s throwing error before David Fletcher hit a tying RBI single to left.
”I think it speaks to the threat Shohei is at the plate Aaron Jones Jersey
,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”(Jansen) is as good as there is at the back end of the game.”
It was Ohtani’s second stolen base of his rookie season. The two-way star has more time to practice other parts of the game while he is staying off the mound.
”I wasn’t absolutely going to go on the first pitch but for the hitter it’s easier to steal a base earlier in the count,” Ohtani said through an interpreter.
Ian Kinsler followed with another base hit, and Fletcher scored when Yasiel Puig’s throw skipped by Grandal for a game-ending error. Blake Parker (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
”It was a great at-bat. (Ohtani) did what he needed to do,” Kinsler said. ”The report on Kenley is that he loses track of runners or concentrates a lot on the hitter. You have an opportunity to steal against him. Shohei took second. It was huge. We got in scoring position and obviously the throw got away. He got himself in scoring position and that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
The 108 degree temperature set a record at first pitch for a game in Anaheim. The previous record was 106, which happened in 1988 and 2007.
The Dodgers wasted a solid start by Kenta Maeda, who struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings. They had won four in a row.
”For me it’s unacceptable at 0-2 to lose him there,” Jansen said. ”I had him where I wanted to. I just feel I almost lost my feel on the fastball up in the zone. I couldn’t get it where I wanted to. That walk irritated me. I’ve got to keep my composure.”
Matt Kemp hit run-scoring singles in the fourth and sixth to help the Dodgers jump in front, but the Angels rallied in the sixth.
Kinsler and Jose Briceno opened the inning with singles. Kole Calhoun then struck out and Andrelton Simmons flied out before Mike Trout was walked intentionally, loading the bases.
Maeda then was called for a balk, allowing Kinsler to score. Justin Upton walked to load the bases again, and Scott Alexander struck out Albert Pujols to end the inning.
Angels starter Felix Pena, a converted reliever, allowed two runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Fletcher had faced Jansen once before in spring training. He struck out. This time he got the big hit.
”The experience was good. Obviously, when you see a pitcher more than once it can help you,” Fletcher said.
Maeda and Japanese countryman Ohtani faced each other for the first time in Major League Baseball. Ohtani was 0 for 2 with a strikeout and a groundout. Ohtani went 2 for 7 against Maeda when the two played professional baseball in Japan.
”He was on top of his game I felt like,” Ohtani said. ”When the starting pitcher is pitching that well, to come back and win like that is big.”
Dodgers: LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder inflammation) threw a light bullpen of 20 to 25 pitches and then went to Arizona for more rehabilitation … RHP Walker Buehler (right rib micro fracture) threw a bullpen and will throw a five-inning simulated game Sunday morning.
Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (6-2, 2.27 ERA) starts Saturday night. He allowed four earned runs in six innings in the Dodgers’ 6-4 win over Colorado on Sunday. It was just the second time he allowed four runs in a start this season.
Angels: RHP Deck McGuire (0-1, 8.64 ERA) lasted just 3 1/3 innings against Baltimore in his last start.