WASHINGTON — One of the cliches in baseball is that the ball will find you right away on defense.
That was the case for Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, who played his first major league game in nearly two months Tuesday night.
He made a diving catch of a soft liner for the last out of the first inning with the bases loaded, and the Nationals’ offense thrived again in an 8-3 win over the Miami Marlins.
Washington has scored 19 runs in the first two games of the series and has seen the return of pitcher Max Scherzer, outfielder Jayson Werth and Turner from the disabled list the past two days. Turner was back after recovering from a right wrist fracture.
“I was just happy to make a play for Edwin,” Turner said of teammate Edwin Jackson. “He struggled a little bit in the first. He pitched great after that.”
Jackson was on the ropes after he allowed the 51st homer of the year to Giancarlo Stanton, the second batter of the game. But the catch by Turner kept the score at 1-0, and the Nationals scored in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings
Anthony Rendon ended up 2-for-4 with four RBIs to pace Washington.
“That was huge,” Jackson said of the Turner catch. “To be able to get out of that with only one run definitely was a game-changer.”
Jackson (5-3) defeated the Marlins for just the second time in his career and the first time since 2010. He went six innings plus four batters and allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) with four walks and five strikeouts.
The loser was Miami starter Vance Worley (2-4), who was in spring training with the Nationals. Worley gave up nine hits and five runs with three walks and two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
Jackson, now with his 12th team, began the 2016 season with the Marlins and entered Tuesday with a 5.87 ERA against Miami in his career.
“He was able to get out of some stuff. We really weren’t able to get to him,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Jackson. “We really had a chance in the first inning to do some damage. He got out of that with the one (run). Other than that, he had some good innings.
“I was surprised he went out for the seventh, honestly. We were able to get him in trouble there, and then the ‘pen gets him out of it.”
Brandon Kintzler pitched a scoreless eighth and closer Sean Doolittle went the ninth in a non-save situation for Washington.
Matt Wieters also collected two hits for the first-place Nationals, who were 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Dee Gordon had two hits for Miami.
The Marlins (66-65) trimmed their deficit to 5-3 in the seventh as Miguel Rojas scored on a throwing error by Jackson on Gordon’s bunt. However, lefty specialist Oliver Perez got a force at home with the bases loaded for the first out. Reliever Matt Albers retired Marcell Ozuna (strikeout) and J.T. Realmuto (groundout) with the bases full to evade more damage.
“I put them in a tough situation,” Jackson said of his bullpen.
Rendon had a three-run double in the seventh off Junichi Tazawa to make it 8-3.
Stanton hit his 51st homer in the first, launching a 1-1 pitch from former teammate Jackson over the Marlins bullpen in left to make it 1-0.
It was the 18th homer this month for Stanton, who tied Rudy York of the 1937 Detroit Tigers for the most homers in August.
Washington (80-51) took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-run, two-out single by Murphy.
Rendon had an RBI single in the fourth to give the Nationals a 3-1 lead.
Stanton hit a long sacrifice fly to center in the fifth to trim the margin to 3-2. The drive scored Gordon, who singled, stole his 47th base and went to third on a wild pitch by Jackson.
The Nationals responded with two runs in the fifth to make it 5-2. Turner doubled and scored on a throwing error, and Ryan Zimmerman had an RBI single to chase Worley.
“We had a lot of chances early,” Mattingly said. “We didn’t take advantage. They kind of got the big hit. We didn’t.”
The start of the game was delayed 26 minutes by rain.
NOTES: To make room for the return of SS Trea Turner from the disabled list, Washington sent INF Adrian Sanchez to Triple-A Syracuse and moved OF Ryan Raburn (left trap strain) to the 60-day disabled list. ... Marlins LHP Adam Conley (6-5, 5.17) will face Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 3.10) in the series finale Wednesday. ... Miami 1B Justin Bour, on the disabled list since July 25, said Tuesday he came out of on-field batting practice in “fantastic” shape Monday and hopes to begin a minor league rehab assignment soon.