Washington Nationals tough one out, defeat Marlins in opener

washington nationalsThe Washington Nationals led all the way, but it still wasn’t easy, in a 6-4 win in Miami Friday night that gives the Nats some breathing room for a 2019 playoff berth.

Trea Turner had a pair of solo homers, in the third, to open the scoring, and in the eighth, to extend a one-run lead to two.

Asdrubal Cabrera added a three-run shot, giving him 33 RBIs in 30 games as a Nat, in support of Anibal Sanchez (10-8, 3.91 ERA), who wasn’t his sharpest, but was able to get key outs in five-plus innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits, to get the win.

The beleaguered Nats bullpen put in four innings of scoreless baseball after getting out of a sketchy sixth inning, which saw the first two batters reach off Sanchez, before he was lifted for Wander Suero, who surrendered an RBI single to Isan Diaz and then was wild on a throw to first that allowed Starlin Castro to score, and eventually Tanner Rainey, who got Washington out of the inning with a strikeout of Harold Ramirez.

Daniel Hudson notched his third save with a two-inning stint in which he gave up three hits, but kept the Marlins off the scoreboard.

Washington (84-68) maintains its hold on the top spot in the NL wild-card race, with Milwaukee poised to stay a game back, and the Chicago Cubs, a 2-1 loser to St. Louis earlier Friday, three games behind the Nats.

Story by Chris Graham

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