Miami Marlins suffer different kinds of pain two days in a row in losses to Nationals

The Marlins let a nine-run lead disappear during a historically bad defeat a day earlier.

Friday night’s loss hurt in a different way.

Typically dominant closer Kyle Barraclough gave up a pinch-hit solo walk-off home run to Mark Reynolds in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Marlins fell 3-2 to the host Nationals.

The Marlins (36-54) lost their 13th in a row to the Nationals (44-43) marking their worst losing streak to an opponent in franchise history.

For Barraclough, who was named the National League’s Reliever of the Month for June and had a 20 2/3 scoreless inning streak until Monday’s game against the Rays, it was his third loss of the season.

Reynolds’ at-bat led off the ninth inning. Barraclough fell behind 3-0 in the count to Reynolds then threw a strike. Reynolds then tagged a 95.4 mph fastball from Barraclough and sent it 396 feet into the Marlins’ bullpen in left center field.

“Kyle has been so successful at getting ahead in the count and execute his pitches,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He just got behind there and he doesn’t want to walk him and it looks like [Reynolds] got one in his wheelhouse.”

Needing a quality outing from its starter after their bullpen was taxed yet again in Thursday’s debacle Dan Straily delivered by throwing a season-high 111 pitches in six innings.

Straily had only one strikeout, but gave up only two runs on five hits and three walks.

“[Getting deep into games] That’s always the goal,” Straily said. “The way the pen got used the last cuple of two days, but any time you take the ball you want to throw nine innings.”

The Nationals nearly broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth when Wilmer Difo sent a ball into the right center field gap that would have scored Adam Eaton had it landed. But Cameron Maybin tracked it and made a spectacular diving catch to end the inning.

“Unreal,” Straily said of the catch. “I was getting upset at myself for giving up a double in the gap right there and he comes in and catches it. It was awesome.”

The Marlins ran up Miami Monsignor Pace alum Gio Gonzalez’s pitch count to 114 through five innings. Gonzalez gave up eight hits and walked four, but struck out four and limited the Marlins to only two runs.

The Marlins grounded into three double plays and the Nationals turned another in the first inning when Gonzalez struck out Realmuto and Brian Anderson was thrown out at second by catcher Spencer Kieboom.

The Marlins loaded the bases in the fourth and came up empty when Cameron Maybin grounded into a double play. They loaded them again in the fifth and scored a run when Gonzalez walked Martin Prado. Gonzalez then struck out Justin Bour and Garrett Cooper, the final two batters he faced.

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“These were the kind of games again that give us a chance to win and Dan led the charge,” Mattingly said. “We did a good job with Gio and just weren’t able to break through.”

Drew Steckenrider extended his scoreless inning streak to 18 2/3, but nearly had it snapped in the eighth when he walked Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper and gave up a single to Matt Adams to open the frame. Steckenrider then got Adam Eaton to fly out to left and Cooper made a strong throw to hold the runner at third. Wilmer Difo then popped up at shortstop and Daniel Murphy popped up to center.

Cooper played in his first game since April 1st and went 2 for 3, also making some tough catches in left field.

“Coming back in and getting your feet under you and being in this environment again was good,” Cooper said. “First fly ball in the first inning was good to get that out of the way.”

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