Bryan Morris stumbles in 8th inning as Marlins cough up 2-run lead in 6-4 loss to Nationals

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WASHINGTON — There was no need for deep analysis. The Miami Marlins knew exactly what went wrong in a dreadful loss to the Washington Nationals.

The Marlins led in the seventh inning. They led again in the eighth. Miami gave up the advantage on both occasions, and the result was a 6-4 defeat Monday night.

"We coughed up two leads late," manager Mike Redmond said. "You can't go on the road and cough up leads."

Actually, it's not a good practice anywhere.

After Justin Boar broke up a pitchers' duel with a seventh-inning home run, the Nationals pulled even in the bottom half.

In the eighth, after Miami went ahead 4-2, Washington scored four runs against Bryan Morris (3-1).

A leadoff walk and a home run by Ian Desmond tied it, and with two outs the Nationals used three straight hits to take the lead for the first time.

Pinch-hitter Tyler Moore singled, Denard Span doubled and Yunel Escobar drove in two runs with a single to right — his career-high fifth hit of the game.

"I put myself in a bind when I walked the first hitter," Morris said. "Made a really bad pitch and it went over the fence. Then after that I left other balls up and they found holes as well."

Miami has dropped two straight after winning nine of 10.

Matt Grace (1-0) got his first major league win despite giving up two hits and a walk in the eighth. Tanner Roark worked the ninth for his first career save, sealing Washington's sixth victory in seven games following a six-game skid.

With the score tied at 2, Dee Gordon led off the Miami eighth with a walk and stole second. With two outs, pinch-hitter Jeff Baker singled to right, and the throw from Bryce Harper bounced away from catcher Wilson Ramos. Ichiro Suzuki added a run-scoring infield hit for a 4-2 lead.

It didn't last.

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann and Miami's David Phelps were cruising along until the seventh.

Starting at first base for the slumping Michael Morse, Bour sent a 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall to put the Marlins up 2-1.

In the bottom half, Phelps was pulled after issuing a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Clint Robinson, who scored on Jayson Werth's two-out RBI single off Sam Dyson.

Zimmermann gave up one earned run, six hits and no walks in seven innings. He has not lost to Miami in 13 starts since May 28, 2012.

Phelps allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts since replacing injured Henderson Alvarez in the starting rotation.

Miami got an unearned run in the first inning when Werth dropped a fly ball and Marcell Ozuna followed with an RBI single.

Ryan Zimmerman delivered a sacrifice fly in the bottom half, but Desmond struck out with the bases loaded.

After that, neither team got a runner to third base until Bour connected leading off the seventh.

FIELDING GEMS

Marlins: In the third inning, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria made a diving stop in the hole and threw to second base from a sitting position to get a force out.

Nationals: Span sprinted to the warning track in center to chase down a liner off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins: OF Christian Yelich (lower back strain) could rejoin the Marlins for their four-game series in San Francisco this week, Redmond said. ... Redmond said Alvarez (right shoulder) had a successful bullpen session last weekend will likely make a rehab start this week.

Nationals: 3B-2B Anthony Rendon was diagnosed with an oblique strain after visiting team doctors. Rendon played in three minor league games during the past 10 days while rehabbing from a left knee sprain. "We're just going to have to sit him a little bit longer," manager Matt Williams said.

UP NEXT

Marlins: Mat Latos (0-3, 6.86 ERA) tries for the sixth time to earn his first win of the season when he faces Washington on Tuesday night.

Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 4.60) starts the second game of the series. The right-hander has allowed one run or fewer in 12 of his 20 starts against the Marlins, but he's 9-6 with a 3.58 ERA against them and took the loss in an 8-0 rout last month.

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