Nationals pepper Sixto Sanchez as Marlins drop first game of doubleheader

Tribune Content Agency

MIAMI — The Washington Nationals came out swinging early and often. Sixto Sanchez paid the price.

The Nationals tagged the Miami Marlins’ top prospect for five runs on eight hits over four innings and kept Miami’s bats quiet over the seven-inning contest to win the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, 5-0, at Marlins Park. All doubleheaders in the 2020 season are seven innings.

Miami, which has been shut out three times over the last 10 games, dropped to 25-24 on the season and is in danger of falling back into third place in the National League East standings. The Philadelphia Phillies won the first game of their doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays to improve to 25-25. A Philadelphia win and Miami loss in their respective second games of the day would push the Marlins back into third place in the division. Washington improved to 19-29.

The Marlins’ woes Friday began with Sanchez’s worst outing of his young MLB career. Heading into Friday, the 22-year-old righty had given up six total runs over his first 32 innings. The Nationals nearly matched that tally before recording their first dozen outs.

Sanchez, whose ERA jumped from 1.69 to 2.75 after the start, followed up a nine-pitch scoreless first with a four-hit, two-run second inning and a nine-batter, four-run fourth inning that could have been much worse if he didn’t get Asdrubal Cabrera to hit into an inning-ending fly out with the bases loaded.

Five of the eight hits Sanchez gave up happened on either the first or second pitch of an at-bat.

Overall, Sanchez has given up eight earned runs over nine innings against the Nationals over two starts.

In Sanchez’s other four starts, one each against the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, he has given up three earned runs, struck out 25 and held opponents to a .198 batting average in 27 innings of work.

Nationals starter Erick Fedde held the Marlins to one hit over six innings while striking out six. The Marlins only had a runner in scoring position once. Starling Marte reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and third but was stranded when Matt Joyce flew out to right field. Will Harris capped Miami’s loss with a scoreless seventh, only giving up a one-out hit to Garrett Cooper.

In their five losses over the homestand to this point, Miami has been held to an average of 5.2 hits and 1.8 runs per game, compared to 9.2 hits and six runs per game in the six wins.

Josh A. Smith threw two scoreless innings and Ryne Stanek threw a scoreless seventh to leave the Marlins’ bullpen mostly intact for the second game of the doubleheader.


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