WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington’s bullpen has been a problem all season. Thanks to Patrick Corbin, it wasn’t needed on Saturday.
Corbin pitched a four-hitter, Yan Gomes hit a three-run double and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 5-0.
“He picked us up,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of Corbin’s timely performance. “Well-needed rest for our bullpen, for sure.”
Corbin (5-2) faced the minimum through five innings while allowing two singles. The left-hander retired 10 straight from the end of the second until allowing a leadoff single in the sixth to Miguel Rojas.
He struck out five and walked one, needing 116 pitches to get through nine innings.
Corbin, who threw a career-high 118 pitches on May 4 at Philadelphia, said it didn’t take much convincing on his part for Martinez to send him back out for the ninth while reliever Wander Suero warmed up in the bullpen.
“I felt good, I thought I could get three more,” Corbin said about his mindset heading into the ninth. “So, I said I’ll get the next three.”
The Nationals bullpen had blown three consecutive games in the last series at the New York Mets.
After getting pinch-hitter Rosell Herrera to strike out looking, Corbin got Austin Dean to fly out to right field before Garrett Cooper grounded out to third base.
Corbin last pitched a complete game on April 17, 2018 while with Arizona.
Gomes’ three-run double to right field capped a five-run fourth inning for the Nationals, who have taken the first two of the four-game series against Miami. Washington has yet to win three straight games this season.
Juan Soto’s RBI single to right-center field scored Anthony Rendon and gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Soto scored two batters later on a throwing error by Brian Anderson to put the Nationals up 2-0. Soto later singled in the fifth and has a nine-game hitting streak.
Miami starter Sandy Alcantara (2-5) surrendered five runs — four earned — on six hits while striking out two in five innings.
Harold Ramirez had two of Miami’s four hits on a single in the second and a double in the eighth and was the only Miami player to get into scoring position.
Although available, Washington closer Sean Doolittle wasn’t needed Saturday. After one of the worst outings of his career Tuesday in New York, things didn’t go much better on Friday when he allowed a leadoff home run and two singles before earning his ninth save. Doolittle’s ERA more than doubled this week, jumping from 1.71 to 3.68.
Martinez said Doolittle’s recent issues are not health-related.
“He knows what he needs to do,” Martinez. “When you have a closer like that, they know how to work out their struggles … The biggest thing is I don’t want him to think something’s wrong with him. He’s good.”
The Marlins had their seven-game streak of hitting at least one home run snapped on Saturday. Miami’s streak was its longest since a nine-game stretch in July 2017. Before the recent power surge, Miami had hit just 12 homers in the previous 27 games.
Nationals: Called up RHP James Bourque from Double-A Harrisburg and optioned RHP Joe Ross — who allowed three earned runs on Friday and has a 9.22 ERA — to Triple-A Fresno. This is Bourque’s first time on a major league roster. Recalled outfielder Andrew Stevenson (back spasms) from a rehab assignment and optioned him to Triple-A Fresno. RHP Anibal Sanchez (left hamstring strain) felt good after throwing a simulated game Friday and is expected to throw a bullpen session Sunday and then make a rehab start Wednesday.
Marlins: LHP Caleb Smith (3-1, 2.38) has at least six strikeouts in all nine starts — a Marlins club record to open a season. Smith earned the win against the Nationals on April 19 after allowing one run on five and striking out eight in six innings.
Nationals: RHP Erick Fedde (0-0, 2.87 ERA) makes his second start of the season in place of Sanchez. Fedde pitched a season-high five innings in his previous start on May 21 against the Mets while allowing one run on four hits.
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