Rendon, Murphy power Nationals to rout of Marlins
MIAMI -- If it sometimes looks like Daniel Murphy is a hitting machine, it is by design. And Anthony Rendon is pretty much the same way.
“I just try to get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it,” Murphy said on Monday night. “That’s pretty much the goal 600 times (per season). But sometimes the other guys do a pretty good job of thwarting that effort.”
There was no thwarting the Washington Nationals on Monday. Rendon had a homer and four RBIs, and Murphy homered and drove in three runs to lead Washington to a 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Monday night at Marlins Park.
Rendon, who has 23 homers and 90 RBIs, and Murphy (21 homers, 87 RBIs) helped the Nationals (83-54) get back on track after an uncharacteristically poor weekend in which they lost three of four games against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Washington’s power show overshadowed Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who hit his major-league-leading 53rd homer, a solo shot to right field. That ball was hit so hard it dented a TV camera situated in the bleachers.
It was also Stanton’s 112th RBI of the season, overtaking Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies for the National League lead. Stanton had been just 2-for-26 before hitting that homer, and his last three hits have all been long balls.
“Giancarlo is taking what (the pitchers are) giving him,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Stanton, who is on pace to hit 61 homers, matching what Roger Maris did in 1961. “He seems really disciplined for the most part. They are going away from him.”
The Marlins (67-70) have lost seven of their past eight games and trail the Colorado Rockies by six games in the race for the final NL wild-card playoff berth. The Brewers, who are 1 1/2 games back of Colorado, and the Cardinals, who are three out, are also ahead of the Marlins.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon went 1-for-4 and had his seven-game multi-hit streak snapped. He fell one short of the franchise record of eight, set in 2009 by Chris Coghlan.
Miami, which also trails Washington by 16 games in the National League East, did not get a good start from Adam Conley, who lasted just four innings. He allowed four hits, two walks and three runs.
Conley, who is 1-5 in seven career starts against Washington, entered Monday’s game with a plan to throw more changeups to keep the Nationals off his fastball.
“They had great at-bats,” Conley said of Rendon and Murphy in particular. “I think some really good changeups early -- kind of borderline pitches that weren’t called strikes. I wasn’t getting swings on them, and they battled really well.”
Washington right-hander A.J. Cole (2-4), who was called up from Triple-A Syracuse in time to make the start, earned the win. His team, whether it was Washington or Syracuse, had lost his past six starts before Monday.
“All my stuff felt pretty good,” said Cole, who allowed five hits, four walks and two runs, one earned, in 5 2/3 innings. “When I have my stuff, it opens up a lot of doors.”
Cole, though, got off to a shaky start in the first inning. Gordon hit an infield single, stole second and advanced on catcher Matt Wieters’ throwing error. Gordon scored on Christian Yelich’s RBI groundout.
Rendon’s second-inning homer gave Washington a 2-1 lead, and Murphy (third inning) and Stanton (fifth) traded solo shots.
Two-run doubles by Murphy and Rendon in the seventh gave Washington a 7-2 lead.
In the eighth, Marlins left-hander Wei-Yin Chen made his first career relief appearances after 144 starts. Chen, who hadn’t pitched since May 1 due to elbow issues, tossed a scoreless inning.
“The results were there,” Mattingly said when asked about Chen. “It was good to get him out there.”
NOTES: Miami’s Ichiro Suzuki got his 24th pinch hit of the season in the seventh. He is tied for fourth in major league history in single-season pinch hits. ... Nationals C Raudy Read got his first major league hit in the seventh inning on a comebacker off the pitcher’s glove. ... Washington placed RHP Erick Fedde (forearm) on the 10-day disabled list. ... Washington recalled C Pedro Severino from Triple-A Syracuse. ... Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton, named NL Player of the Month, also won that award in 2012 and 2015. ... Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (11-4, 2.90 ERA) starts against Miami on Tuesday. Miami will start RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (0-2, 4.13 ERA).