PITCHING PUTTING NATS IN A HOLE: THEY’RE 11-15, AND MAYBE THIS IS WHO THEY ARE!

By Lewis Gould

Jesus Aguilar drove in three runs and the Miami Marlins defeated the Washington Nationals 11-8, taking three of the five games in the series.

Miami entered the series on a five-game losing streak. They now exit Nationals Park just above .500 at 12-11.

The Nats fell to 11-15 and are four games behind the first-place Braves in NL East.

Aguilar’s two-run double was part of a huge third inning for Miami off Nationals starter Austin Voth (0-3). The Marlins scored five runs with two-outs and six total, turning a one-run lead into a 7-0 advantage.

“Our starting pitchers got to go deeper in games,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said about Voth who lasted 3 2/3 innings Monday and hasn’t gone more than five innings in a start this season. “We can’t keep doing this every night.”

Pablo Lopez (3-1) allowed six hits and three runs — none earned — in five solid innings.

“It’s a really nice feeling to go on the mound knowing you have those runs on the board,” Lopez said. “At the same time, you want to stay on the attack.”

Adam Eaton hit a three-run homer in the eighth for Washington — his second of the season — and matched a career-high with four RBI. Juan Soto went 4 for 5 for Washington, which has alternated wins and losses over its last 11 games.

“You don’t really feel comfortable here,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said about his team having to hold on as last season’s World Series champs tried to stage a late rally. “They don’t have all the same guys, but a lot of the guys in that lineup are the same.”

After being hit hard early on with coronavirus related postponements and roster changes, Miami was helped in Washington with Miguel Rojas and Jorge Alfaro returning from the COVID-19 injured list. Also, promising newcomers Sixto Sanchez and Jesus Sanchez made their debuts.

Brandon Kintzler earned his sixth save of the season.

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