Thompson strikes out 11, Marlins beat Nationals 3-2

MLB Baseball

MIAMI (AP)Rookie Zach Thompson struck out 11 in six innings, helping the Miami Marlins beat Kyle Schwarber and the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Saturday.

Thompson (2-2) held Schwarber in check while allowing two runs and three hits in his fourth major league start. Anthony Bender and Dylan Floro each got three outs before Yimi Garcia earned his 12th save in 15 chances, working around Josh Harrison’s leadoff single in the ninth.

”As long as I can keep going and keep us in a good spot to win a game, that’s really important for me,” Thompson siad. ”Hopefully, six innings can kind of be a normal for me, and I can go even longer.”

Schwarber, who had homered in 13 of his last 14 games, struck out looking in the first and third against Thompson. He walked in the fifth, grounded out in the seventh and struck out again in the ninth.

”We have had our problems in the one-run games, not being able to get the big hit or giving up the run,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. ”It feels good to get a win here today.”

Thompson’s 11 strikeouts were the most at home by a Miami pitcher since Jose Fernandez fanned 11 against the Nationals in his final start on Sept. 20, 2016.

”It’s really fun to do,” Thompson said of his accomplishment. ”I’m just glad I was able to put my team in a winning situation.”

Jon Berti hit a leadoff homer in the fifth to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead. Berti drove Patrick Corbin’s 2-0 pitch over the wall in right for his fourth homer of the season.

”I got the pitch I wanted and put a good swing on it,” Berti said.

Corbin (5-6) was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh. The left-hander allowed five hits and struck out six.

The Nationals were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. They had a chance to tie it in the seventh after Harrison led off with a double, but Bender retired the next three batters. They put two runners on in the eighth and came up empty.

”We squared some balls up today, just couldn’t get the job done,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. ”Thompson’s curveball was pretty good.”

Juan Soto’s run-scoring double in the first gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead, but the Marlins responded with two runs in the bottom half. Jazz Chisholm hit a leadoff triple and scored on Starling Marte’s groundout, and Miguel Rojas singled home Jesus Aguilar.

”We put up a run there and you want to put up a zero no matter what inning it is but especially after we scored,” Corbin said.

Starling Castro’s RBI double in the fourth tied it at 2.

THIS TIME GARCIA PREVAILS

In a save situation at Washington on April 30, Garcia allowed Schwarber’s game-ending homer for a 2-1 Nationals win.

Schwarber had a 3-1 count in his ninth-inning at-bat Saturday before Garcia got the count to 3-2 and struck him out swinging on a fastball.

PLAYING IT CAUTIOUS

Miami’s Garrett Cooper homered and doubled twice Friday, but he was out of the starting lineup on Saturday. He walked in a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh.

Cooper was activated from the injured list Friday after being sidelined by a back strain.

”I knew I’d get questions about Coop not being in there today,” Mattingly said. ”Obviously he had a big night (Friday) but we think it’s the best thing for his body. It’s the first time he played nine innings. So, he’ll get a recovery from that.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: 1B Josh Bell returned from a two-game absence because of right side discomfort. He went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts.

UP NEXT

RHP Max Scherzer (6-4, 2.19 ERA) starts the series finale for the Nationals on Sunday. Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara (4-6, 2.93 ERA) makes his NL-leading 17th start.

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