WASHINGTON (AP) - Miami reliever Kyle Barraclough went right at Washington slugger Bryce Harper with the game on the line.
Then Harper went deep.
Barraclough surrendered a tiebreaking, two-run homer to Harper in the seventh inning, sending the Nationals over the Marlins 5-3 on Friday night.
It was 2-all in the Washington seventh when Anthony Rendon drew a leadoff walk. Barraclough (2-1) quickly got ahead 0-2, but Harper followed by working the count full, then hitting his 11th home run.
“Early I was throwing him fastballs and then that last slider kind of just stayed up in the zone a little too long,” Barraclough said.
Now in his second season, Barraclough has given up a total of two home runs, both to Harper.
“I’m just trying to get him to ground out. I’m going to pitch to him,” Barraclough said. “I’m not going to shy away. I accept the challenge and he won this one.”
Miami had no left-handers in its bullpen for the game to face the lefty Harper.
“In that situation there I don’t feel handicapped because it’s what we’ve been doing all year,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Once we got Clough, our seventh-inning situation kind of straightened out.”
Harper, playing while he appeals a one-game suspension for his behavior following an ejection on Monday, walked his first two times up and singled in the fifth.
Stephen Drew had a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the Nationals’ sixth that made it 2-all. Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey added a solo homer in the eighth.
Blake Treinen (3-1) pitched two innings and Jonathan Papelbon got the final two outs for his 10th save.
Giancarlo Stanton had a double and a single for Miami, which dropped the opener of a seven-game road trip following a 6-3 homestand.
Mattingly called on right-hander Bryan Morris to face the lefty Drew with two outs in the sixth. Drew hit his second homer of the season.
A leadoff walk and two errors by second baseman Daniel Murphy led to two Miami runs in the fifth.
Murphy botched a potential double-play grounder with no outs, and later threw wildly to first base with first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Gio Gonzalez converging on the bag on a play that culminated with two Marlins coming in to score.
The first three Marlins singled off Washington starter Gonzalez to load the bases in the sixth, but relievers Yusmeiro Petit and Oliver Perez picked up a strikeout and a double play.
“We had a chance to really add on and kind of get the game away from them a little bit,” Mattingly said. “We don’t score and the momentum changes in that inning right there.”
Following Max Scherzer’s 20-strikeout effort Wednesday night, Gonzalez allowed only one baserunner through four innings. He went five innings plus three batters, allowing two unearned runs and striking out seven with two walks.
Marlins starter Tom Koehler was charged with a run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked five.
Miami’s Marcell Ozuna extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a sixth-inning single. He’s hitting .426 (20 for 47) with four homers, eight RBIs and 10 runs scored during the streak.
Marlins: Mattingly said LH reliever Joe Beimel, signed by Miami on Wednesday, was undergoing his physical Thursday before reporting to extended spring training.
Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg makes his first start since agreeing to a seven-year, $175 million deal Tuesday in the opener of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader. Strasburg (5-0, 2.76) will be opposed by LHP Justin Nicolino (2-0, 2.79).
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