MIAMI (AP) — Jake Alu had a tying RBI single in the ninth inning and Michael Chavis scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball as the Washington Nationals rallied to beat the skidding Miami Marlins 3-2 on Saturday.
Down to their last strike, the Nationals tied it on Alu’s hit off David Robertson (4-5) that scored pinch runner Jacob Young from second and moved Chavis to third. Chavis then scored the tiebreaking run on Miami catcher Jacob Stallings’ passed ball.
“You always want to be in those at-bats,” Alu said. “That’s who all of us are. It was fun to be there and got it done.”
Robertson allowed a leadoff triple to Lane Thomas and hit Joey Meneses with a pitch. Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez dove and stopped Dominic Smith’s grounder and threw Thomas out at home for the force. Carter Kieboom popped out before Alu’s grounder to center field on a full count.
“It shows that this team plays 27 outs and we’re just a scrappy team,” Alu said. “We’re getting it done and firing on all cylinders.”
Jorge Soler’s 34th homer, a solo shot off Jordan Weems (4-0) in the eighth, put Miami ahead 2-1.
Kyle Finnegan pitched a scoreless ninth around a leadoff single to Bryan De La Cruz to pick up his 24th save and finish the Nationals’ 11th win in 14 games. It also secured their fifth consecutive series victory.
“It was a well-played game,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “I’m glad we came out on top and now we gotta get one more (Sunday).”
Robertson is 0-3 and has squandered three save opportunities since Miami acquired him from the New York Mets July 29. The veteran right-hander heard jeers from the crowd of 13,966 when he finished the inning.
“It’s just a (bad) outing by me. Went out there and blew the game for the guys,” Robertson said. “It was pathetic.”
After sitting a season-high 14 games over .500 at the All-Star break, the Marlins dropped to 65-65 with their sixth loss in seven games.
“That one hurt, that’s just the bottom line,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “It’s not lack of effort. All the guys are giving everything they’ve got and I think that’s why it makes it even tougher.”
Miami rookie starter Eury Pérez allowed one unearned run over six innings. The 20-year-old scattered two hits and struck out seven in his 15th major league start.
Jake Irvin was just as effective in his six-inning outing for Washington. The right-hander gave up one run and four hits while striking out three.
“The way we’re playing ball right now, I just have to keep us in the game and those guys are going to do their thing,” Irvin said.
Pérez retired the first 11 until Meneses’ double. Marlins shortstop Joey Wendle then fielded Smith’s soft grounder but threw errantly to first, allowing Meneses to score from second for a 1-0 Nationals lead.
The Marlins tied it on Josh Bell’s solo shot in the sixth. Bell drove the first pitch from Irvin over the wall in left for his 19th homer and eighth since joining Miami on Aug. 1.
Marlins CF Jazz Chisholm Jr. robbed Thomas of a homer with his leaping catch at the wall in the first. Chisholm also made a diving grab of CJ Abrams’ sinking line drive to end the eighth.
The Nationals selected the contract of outfielder Young from Triple-A Rochester and optioned outfielder Jeter Downs to the same minor league club. The 24-year-old Young, Washington’s seventh round selection in the 2021 draft, is hitting .305 with five homers and 58 RBI while playing at three class levels this season.
Nationals: C Keibert Ruiz had the day off. Martinez said Ruiz visited a dentist earlier Saturday. . OF Stone Garrett (fractured left fibula) was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Marlins: RHP Matt Barnes (left hip impingement) moved his rehab to Miami after initiating it at his home in Connecticut. … RHP Anthony Bender (right elbow surgery) continues to throw bullpen sessions at the club’s spring training complex in Jupiter.
RHP Trevor Williams (6-7, 4.95) will start the series finale for the Nationals while the Marlins will go with RHP JT Chargois (1-0, 3.56) as the opener in a scheduled bullpen game.