Nationals drop home opener 6-4 to Marlins

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Miami reliever David Phelps entered after a rain delay and shut out Washington for four innings while delivering his first career RBI at the plate, and the Marlins won 6-4 Thursday to spoil the Nationals' sloppy home opener in front of a dwindling crowd.

While Phelps (1-0) replaced Adam Conley following a 1-hour, 25-minute break because of a thunderstorm in the second with the score 3-all, Nationals starter Tanner Roark (0-1) surprisingly remained in the game. Roark allowed four runs -- three earned, all in the first -- and nine hits in four innings.

Bryce Harper was presented with his 2015 NL MVP and Silver Slugger trophies during pregame festivities and hit his second homer of 2016 in the seventh, a no-doubt-about-it solo shot to right off Bryan Morris. Before that swing, Washington trailed by three, and fans had long since started departing.

Harper flied out to deep center to open the ninth against A.J. Morris, who worked around a walk for his first save, striking out Daniel Murphy looking to end it.

Washington had allowed a total of four runs over 19 innings in its first two games, a pair of victories at Atlanta. And Miami came in 0-2 after a pair of losses against visiting Detroit in which the Marlins never led.

There was all sorts of sunny talk before the year's first regular-season game at Nationals Park. Washington general manager Mike Rizzo spoke about optimism. Harper spoke about "the passion, the fire we have as a team."

And then the day became rather dreary for the locals, in the sky and on the field.

The Nationals were outhit 13-6. They left 11 runners on base. They made an error that led to an unearned, go-ahead run off Roark in the third: Catcher Wilson Ramos' errant toss let J.T. Realmuto take third after stealing second; Realmuto then scored on Adeiny Hechavarria's hit.

Hechavarria and Martin Prado each drove in a pair of runs, and Jason Bour had two doubles for the Marlins.

Roark gave up four consecutive singles, and five in all, in the first to fall behind 3-0. Conley gave it all right back with a pair of walks, a wild pitch, and Murphy's bases-loaded triple off the wall in right.


Nationals manager Dusty Baker was jokingly asked whether he'd had any more premonitions after having basically predicted the outcome of the previous night's game, when Matt den Dekker showed up from the minors in the fifth inning and produced the go-ahead hit in the seventh. "I don't think about it. It just comes to me," Baker said. "And then I've learned, at this stage of my life: I just say it."


Marlins: RHP Tyler Kolek, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft, had Tommy John surgery. President of baseball operations Mike Hill said before the game that the surgery was Wednesday in New York. ... LHP Wei-Yin Chen, hit above his left elbow by a batted ball Tuesday, is slated to make his next start. "A little more sore today than he was yesterday," manager Don Mattingly said, "but that ... we kind of expected."

Nationals: CF Ben Revere (15-day DL; strained right oblique) was scheduled for an MRI exam, but Baker said before the game he hadn't heard any news yet.


After Friday's day off, the Marlins send RHP Tom Koehler to the mound against RHP Joe Ross, who went 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA at home as a rookie last season.


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