- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Although the Miami Marlins have long been out of playoff contention, the game they lost Friday night felt like the kind they’ve been winning recently.

Jayson Werth scrambled home to score on Jose Lobaton’s sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and Washington Nationals sent the Marlins to a 5-4 defeat, just their fifth in 17 games.

“We battled all night and we didn’t do enough,” said Christian Yelich, whose throw from left nearly nabbed Werth at the plate.

Yelich hit an early two-run homer and had two hits, and Miguel Rojas doubled twice. Starter Jose Fernandez allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings in his second start since returning from a biceps strain. And Miami tied it in the ninth against Jonathan Papelbon, who blew just his second save of the season.

But the Miami bullpen allowed two runs in the eighth and one in the 10th. The Marlins went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position as the Nationals evened the four-game set at 1-all.

“First time we’ve done that over last two or three weeks,” Jennings said of the lack of timely hitting. “We’ve had better success.”

Werth hit a leadoff double in the 10th against Brian Ellington (0-1) and Robinson drew an intentional walk. Werth reached third on a passed ball and had to stay there when Ian Desmond chopped a ball back to Ellington.

After another intentional walk, Lobaton hit a pop fly to shallow left. Yelich’s throw home was in time, but catcher J.T. Realmuto couldn’t corral it, and Werth reached back to touch the plate following a headfirst slide.

Afterward, Yelich blamed himself for what he considered a poor throw.

“I didn’t do a good enough job getting around the ball,” he said. “That’s what it came down to.”

Casey Janssen (2-5) pitched for the final two outs of top of the 10th. The inning ended when Lobaton threw out Yelich trying to steal second.

Clint Robinson homered, singled and was intentionally walked twice for the Nationals, who remained eight games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets with 15 remaining.

Sixteen months removed from Tommy John surgery, Fernandez hit 100 mph with a fastball in the first inning and repeatedly hit 99. He allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked two, but also threw two costly wild pitches leading to a tying run in the sixth inning.

“Not being able to secure the ball back there put us in some tough situations,” Jennings said. “When you give up 90 feet it can come back to bite you.”


Marlins: Gordon has a 10-game hitting streak at Nationals Park. He’s batting .340 (15 for 44) with with three extra-base hits and eight runs scored.

Nationals: Werth was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning to extend his on-base streak to 27 games, tying a career-long set last season.


Marlins: Jennings gave INF Martin Prado (wrist) a “precautionary” day out of the starting lineup. Jennings didn’t specify which wrist Prado injured. . RF Giancarlo Stanton (left wrist fracture) could take live batting practice Saturday, Jennings said. Stanton last took BP on Monday. . RHP Carter Capps (right elbow) threw in a simulated game in Washington earlier in the day will throw at least one more before rejoining the team, Jennings said.

Nationals: Michael Taylor was out of Friday’s starting lineup primarily because the Marlins will start lefties on Saturday and Sunday. Manager Matt Williams said he was also “mindful” of lingering soreness in Taylor’s right knee.


Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino (3-3, 3.81) makes his 10th career start, while Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.51) looks to improve to 5-0 over seven starts.

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