WASHINGTON — Martin Prado and Marcell Ozuna homered off Washington starter Max Scherzer, and the Miami Marlins built a three-run lead and held on to beat the Nationals 4-3 on Friday night.
The Nationals began play 6 1-2 games behind the NL-East leading Mets.
Scherzer (11-11) went seven innings, allowing four runs and six hits. After surrendering Ozuna's homer to open the fourth, he retired the last 12 batters he faced. Scherzer struck out eight without a walk.
He has lost three straight starts for the first time since May 2010.
Miami's Adam Conley (2-1), in his fifth major league start, gave up three runs and six hits over five-plus innings.
A.J. Ramos pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth for his 23rd save.
Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos homered for the Nationals.
Washington was without center fielder Denard Span, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will have left hip surgery on Tuesday.
Trailing 4-2, Washington loaded the bases against Conley with no outs in the sixth, but scored just one run.
Facing reliever Kyle Barraclough, Ryan Zimmerman hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3, but Desmond struck out. After Danny Espinosa walked to re-load the bases, Ramos hit a grounder that deflected off Barraclough to second baseman Dee Gordon, who threw out Ramos.
Miami went ahead with two outs in the first when Prado singled and scored on Derek Dietrich's double.
Desmond's 15th homer of the year tied it in the second.
Prado's two-run shot into the Nationals' bullpen made it 3-1 in the third, and Ozuna added his solo blast to center in the fourth.
Ramos pulled Washington within 4-2 with a one-out homer in the fifth.
Marlins: LF Christian Yelich (right ankle, right knee) was out of the lineup for a second straight game and is day-to-day. . After allowing four runs in five-plus innings with Class A Jupiter on Thursday, RHP Jarred Cosart (inner ear) could make his next rehab start elsewhere amid concerns about Tropical Storm Erica's path, manager Dan Jennings said.
Nationals: 3B Yunel Escobar (right hand contusion) was out of the lineup after getting hit with a pitch Thursday and is day-to-day. ... OF Michael Taylor (right knee contusion), was not in the lineup after crashing into the wall while trying to make a catch Thursday, but was available off the bench.
Miami RHP Tom Koehler (8-12, 3.98) is looking for his first win since July 23. He is 3-5 with a 4.28 ERA in eight career starts against Washington. Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann (10-8, 3.54) has won his last two starts despite allowing eight earned runs and 17 hits over 11 2-3 innings.