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Marlins 8, Nationals 3

The SportsXchange

MIAMI - Stephen Strasburg pitched the worst game of his big-league career in terms of fewest innings and most earned runs as the Miami Marlins defeated the Washington Nationals 8-3 Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Marlins Park.

Marcell Ozuna's three-run triple in the first inning and Giancarlo Stanton's two-run homer in the second were the big blows for Miami.

Nathan Eovaldi (2-0) got the win, shutting down the Nationals for five straight frames after allowing a three-run first.

The Nationals nearly got back in the game in the seventh when, with two on and two out, Bryce Harper took reliever Ryan Webb's pitch deep to center. But Ozuna ran it down to preserve Miami's 7-3 lead.

The Marlins then added an RBI double by Adeiny Hechavarria in the bottom of the seventh.

Strasburg (5-7) lasted just two innings, allowing five hits, four walks and seven runs, all earned.

The two innings tied a career low that he set May 31. But his exit in that game was due to an oblique injury, not poor performance.

His seven runs allowed also tied his worst number, which came last year -- also against the Marlins. But in that game, two of Strasburg's runs were unearned.

Strasburg's ERA went up Friday from 2.45 to 2.99. He threw 66 pitches - just half of them for strikes - and struck out two batters.

Miami had been good to Strasburg previously. His three wins in this city were his most in any road park. And he won the final Major League game ever played at Sun Life Stadium, beating the Marlins 3-1 on Sept. 28, 2011.

The Nationals loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, sandwiching two walks around an Ian Desmond single. Adam LaRoche cashed in when he pulled a line-drive double to right and Jayson Werth had a run-scoring groundout to make it 3-0.

Strasburg, though, quickly gave up the lead, allowing five runs after walking the bases loaded with one out.

Ozuna's triple to left center tied the score at 3, Hechavarria extended his career-best hit streak to 11 games with a run-scoring single and even pitcher Nathan Eovaldi got an RBI hit to make it 5-3.

Strasburg faced 10 batters in the inning, including the pitcher, and got just two swings-and-misses.

Stanton, who snapped a 21-game streak without a home run, went the opposite way on a 3-2 pitch in the second inning. The distance of the homer was measured at 409 feet.

NOTES: Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey, who had been slated to start Sunday, has been moved back in the rotation. Henderson Alvarez will now make Sunday's start, which will keep him on regular rest. ... The Marlins signed their top draft choice, 3B Colin Moran of the University of North Carolina. He reportedly received the slot bonus of $3.52 million and could arrive in the majors by late next season. ... RHP Jordan Zimmermann will attend the All Star Game but will not pitch because of a neck injury. The injury, though, is not expected to cause the Nationals to put Zimmermann on the disabled list. ... Harper on Tuesday will become the youngest All-Star starter in NL history. ... Hechavarria hit .316 from June 5 to July 11, the third-best average among NL shortstops during that span. ... Desmond moved into sole possession of second place on the franchise list for most games played with 551. He moved past Cristian Guzman but still trails 3B Ryan Zimmerman (1,069).
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