No an­swer for Stras­burg

Nationals’ righty shuts out Marlins on six hits, fans 8

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS - — Tim Healey

WASH­ING­TON — Stephen Stras­burg was al­ready en­joy­ing one of the best pitch­ing per­for­mances of his ca­reer when he added another mem­o­rable mo­ment: A go-ahead home run.

Stras­burg tossed a six-hit­ter in ad­di­tion to his fifth-in­ning shot, Wilmer Difo added a home run and the Wash­ing­ton Nationals de­feated the Mi­ami Marlins, 4-0, Wed­nes­day to com­plete a three­game sweep.

“He was de­ter­mined from the be­gin­ning,” Wash­ing­ton man­ager Dusty Baker said. “You could tell by the look on his face. He had a great day. It was his day to­day. He hit, he pitched.”

Wash­ing­ton, which has won four in a row, ex­tended its lead in the NL East to 15 games over the Marlins.

The Marlins had no an­swer for Stras­burg (11-4), who struck out eight. Stras­burg threw 110 pitches in log­ging only his sec­ond com­plete game in 179 starts and his first since Aug. 11, 2013, against Philadel- phia.

Stras­burg is 1-1 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts since re­turn­ing from a dis­abled list stint for right el­bow nerve im­pinge­ment.

“We were pretty much over­matched to­day,” Mi­ami man­ager Don Mattingly said. “He had 73 through seven in­nings, so 10 pitches an in­ning, ba­si­cally.”

Mi­ami left-han­der Adam Con­ley (6-6) made it through the first four in­nings un­scathed be­fore Stras­burg launched the first pitch of the fifth to right-cen­ter for his sec­ond home run this season and third of his ca­reer.

“We haven’t had BP in such a long time I re­ally didn’t have high ex­pec­ta­tions for not hav­ing picked up a bat ... since my start in San Diego [on Aug. 19],” Stras­burg said. “I don’t know. Some­times you’re just lucky.”

Two bat­ters later, Difo con­nected for his fifth homer of the year.

The Nationals outscored Mi­ami 23-5 dur­ing the se­ries, and the Marlins were 1 for 22 with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion over the three games.

“Noth­ing re­ally went right for us as far as get­ting runs across,” Mattingly said.

Mi­ami’s Gian­carlo Stan­ton, who leads the ma­jors with 51 home runs and has 18 this month, went 0 for 4.

An­thony Ren­don had a two-out RBI dou­ble in the sev­enth and Ale­jan­dro De Aza scored on a passed ball in the eighth to pad Wash­ing­ton’s lead.

J.T. Real­muto had three hits for the Marlins, who went 2-8 at Nationals Park this season. Mi­ami, which had won 13 of 16 prior to ar­riv­ing in Wash­ing­ton, had not dropped three in a row since July 14-16.

“I think we just keep go­ing,” Con­ley said. “Three games at their place against the team lead­ing our divi­sion doesn’t out­weigh how long we’ve been play­ing good base­ball. We had to climb back quite a ways from how­ever many months ago when peo­ple were writ­ing us off. It’s just three games.”

Peters to be pro­moted

Dil­lon Peters’ time has ar­rived.

The Mi­ami Marlins plan to pro­mote the left-handed pitcher to the ma­jor leagues this week, and he will likely make his de­but in a start Fri­day against the Philadel­phia Phillies, a source told the Sun Sen­tinel.

Peters rep­re­sents the Marlins’ best chance at an in-house ro­ta­tion up­grade as they try to stay in the play­off race. They were swept by the Wash­ing­ton Nationals this week, push­ing them to 5 1⁄2 games back of the last NL wild­card spot.

A healthy scratch in his sched­uled start Wed­nes­day for Dou­ble-A Jack­sonville, Peters has dom­i­nated at that level in a small sam­ple this year. In nine starts, he had a 1.97 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, strik­ing out 40 bat­ters while walk­ing just 11.

Peters missed two and a half months fol­low­ing surgery on his frac­tured left thumb, suf­fered when he was hit by a come­backer in mid-April. Had Peters been healthy — in ad­di­tion to suc­cess­ful — this season, he likely would have been in the ma­jors al­ready given the Marlins’ ro­ta­tion woes.

En­ter­ing play Wed­nes­day, Mi­ami’s 11 starters had com­bined for a 4.93 ERA (25th in the ma­jors) and a 1.40 WHIP (19th). They threw 675 in­nings, ahead of only the re­build­ing Cincinnati Reds, and walked 278 bat­ters, tied for six­th­worst. Tom Koehler, Jeff Locke, Justin Ni­col­ino and Chris O’Grady are among those who have failed to sta­bi­lize the back end of the ro­ta­tion due to in­ef­fec­tive­ness or in­jury or both. And Vance Wor­ley has pitched a com­bined 8 1⁄3 in­nings in his past two starts, in­clud­ing a loss Tues­day.

Listed at 5 foot 9 and 195 pounds, Peters has a fast­ball that reg­is­ters in the low- to mid-90s to go with a curve­ball and changeup. MLB Pipe­line, which calls Peters a fu­ture No. 4 starter, ranks him as the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s No. 4 prospect.

Peters, who turns 25 to­day, was the Marlins’ 10th-round pick in 2014 after three years at Texas.


Mi­ami’s Gian­carlo Stan­ton walks off the field after fly­ing out dur­ing the eighth in­ning of Wed­nes­day’s game. Stan­ton was 0-for-4 in the game.

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