The errors pile up as the Nationals score five points in a loss to the Marlins

On Sunday afternoon, the Washington Nationals were struggling with both mental and physical failures that sapped any momentum and ultimately saw them lose 6-4 to the Miami Marlins, who extended their losing streak to five games.

The Nationals’ second error ultimately turned the game in the Marlins’ favor. In the ninth inning, it was tied with one out, and the runners were tied for first and second. Miami’s Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a groundball to first baseman Dominic Smith, who fired to shortstop CJ Abrams for the second out. Hoping for an unlikely double play, Abrams threw to pitcher Kyle Finnegan, who was the first to cover the ball, but the ball strayed, slipping past Finnegan and bouncing off the railing in front of Washington’s dugout.

The speedy Chisholm probably would have been safe with a perfect throw from Abrams, but a miss sent Luis Arraez on target and gave the Marlins the lead. They added an insurance run to right field with a blunder later in the inning.

“A bit over-aggressive in this situation when you’re trying to make another play,” Abrams said. “Took a bad throw that cost us. So learn from it and just keep going.”

After the Nationals’ rebound failed in the bottom half, Miami (70-67) had a four-game win. Washington (62-76) has been defeated by the Marlins three times this year; The Nationals finished 2:11 against them and are 6:26 for the past two seasons. Miami’s dominance over Washington has helped keep the team in the middle of the National League wildcard race.

The start of the ninth inning was just the continuation of an ugly day for both teams on defense – they made five mistakes combined. In the first game, Nationals right-hander Josiah Gray allowed Arraez a leadoff home run. Three batters later, Chisholm hit a flyball down the middle that Jacob Young lost in the sun. Young fell and the ball bounced over the wall, resulting in a ground rule double strike.

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Gray threw 12 of his next 14 pitches, running three marlins in a row to force two more runs home. After the latter two free passes, he was met with boos and sarcastic applause from the crowd at Nationals Park after scoring twice in that section. Robert Garcia began warming up in the bullpen before a double play ended the inning.

Gray, who usually saves his emotions on the field for a clutch strikeout or a timeout, vented some anger as he left the field by yelling at Young. Speaking to reporters after the game, Gray expressed remorse and said he apologized to his teammates.

While Gray kept Miami scoreless for the next three innings, the fourth was his last – he had thrown 86 shots, and 32 of them he managed in that painful opening inning. The All-Star rookie, who struggled a lot in the second half, saw his ERA soar to 4.13.

“That was just the story of my recent outings,” he said. “Things aren’t going the way I want them to and I might be a rope length away from that, but at the end of the day things just work out like a Ponzi scheme. So today, after the Sun Ball, I was a stone’s throw from obviously getting out of the inning, but couldn’t do that for the boys, so I just had to get back to the drawing board and really figure out a few things.”

Lane Thomas turned over a 100-mph inside fastball from the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara and sent it indoors behind left field in the first pass to cut the deficit to 3-1. Thomas went 7-13 with three homers in the series after missing the first game due to back problems.

Washington prevailed with a three-run fifth inning that included a Smith RBI double and runs-scoring singles from Young and Thomas. But her advantage didn’t last long.

Miami had runners on the corners in the sixth when third baseman Ildemaro Vargas missed a potential double-play ball and seeped into short left field. This allowed the Marlins to level the score at 4, leaving two men in the scoring position. Jordan Weems came out of the inning unharmed.

“As soon as the ball was hit, I immediately thought of double play,” said manager Dave Martinez. “The ball went between his legs. I’ve never experienced that with him. He’s really good out there so the mistakes alone killed us, the walks killed us today.”

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The sloppy game on the record also harmed the Nationals. With catcher Drew Millas on board in the seventh, Young threw a ball in the air that Alcantara caught. Millas, starting for the first time in his career, strayed too far from first base and slipped trying to come back, turning the sacrificial error into a double play.

After all of those mistakes — those that show up in the box score and those that don’t — Washington still nailed the winning run in the ninth game. But Thomas, who had three hits, finished the game with a swing and made the Nationals look like the inexperienced team they are.

“It’s difficult. It really is,” said Martinez, whose team played 13 games in as many days. “But 29 other teams are doing the same. So we have to forget the schedule and forget how many games we play. take this day [off Monday] and come back on Tuesday ready to play baseball.”

Note: Left-hander MacKenzie Gore, who was added to the mourning list on Thursday, will miss his next start. He was scheduled to play the New York Mets on Tuesday, but with Monday being off, fellow left player Patrick Corbin is starting his normal rest. Joan Adon will follow during normal rest on Wednesday. The errors pile up as the Nationals score five points in a loss to the Marlins

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