Behind the solid pitching of John Lannan (six complete, with four strikeouts) and the hitting of Adam LaRoche (3-4 and three RBIs, including his 21st home run), the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins, 7-4 in the first game of a twin bill at Nationals Park.
Lannan was solid in only his second MLB outing of the season, though the lefty walked five. But Lannan was solid enough to leave the game with the Nationals in front, 7-2. The southpaw was eventually credited with giving up three runs, keeping his ERA at a solid 3.46 on the season.
The hero at the plate on Friday was clearly Adam LaRoche, who is on fire. LaRoche raised his season average to .276, while hitting a single, double and home run — a triple short of the cycle. LaRoche is 14-36 in his last ten games and now leads the team in RBIs with 65.
The Nationals victory came against an N.L. East competitor that has been shaken by big time trades, a dump of salary, and a disappointing season. The only good news for the Marlins seems to be the performance of Jose Reyes, who extended his hitting streak on Friday to 21 games.
The Nationals victimized a starting staff that has been a problem for Miami all year. Starter Brad Hand couldn’t make it out of the fourth, after having walked in a run on a pitch to (who else?) LaRoche. Hand, a Marlins’ prospect who was 8-5 this year in New Orleans this season walked six and gave up six hits in his 3.2 inning performance.