The Miami Marlins started off their second half on a sour note Friday night, with a loss to the Washington Nationals. The final of this one was 5-1 as Miami’s offense struggled to get anything together. The loss dropped the Marlins to ten games back of the first place Nationals and also moved them back to four games under .500.
Josh Johnson took the loss to fall 5-6 on the season by allowing eleven hits in only five and one third innings. Johnson allowed five runs on those hits but did not walk any batters. By throwing 62 of his 99 pitches for strikes, the Marlins’ ace showed excellent command but perhaps put too many pitches in the strike zone in this one. Wade LeBlanc, Ryan Webb and Randy Choate combined to toss three and two third scoreless innings after Johnson exited.
The Marlins’ offense put together seven hits but they were all singles and the team left seven runners on base. The lone run batted in was credited to John Buck who was 1-4. Justin Ruggiano continued to be the hottest bat for Miami, scoring the lone run after a base-hit and swiping three bases in all. Ruggiano who is hitting .388 on the year now has six steals as well.
The Marlins will look to snap their three game losing streak on Saturday with a scheduled pitching matchup of Mark Buehrle and Gio Gonzalez.