WASHINGTON (AP) — Jacob Turner pitched five shutout innings. He would have needed four more to keep up with Jordan Zimmermann.
The Miami Marlins starter remains winless on the road in his career after an 8-0 loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday night. Turner's game fell apart when he allowed four consecutive hits to start the sixth inning, while counterpart Zimmerman cruised all the way to a two-hitter.
"It's frustrating in the sixth, but at the same time, I did throw the ball well for five innings," Turner said. "Like I said, though, it's not about who throws the ball well for five innings. The other guy went nine. That's really the ultimate goal of a starter, to go deeper in the game."
It was at least some consolation that the Marlins, already enduring a dismal season at the plate, weren't on the wrong side of a no-hitter.
Zimmermann (19-8), who leads the NL in wins, needed only nine pitches to get through the first inning, eight of them strikes. He struck out the side in the second, getting Logan Morrison to flail at a high 96 mph fastball to end the inning. The perfect game ended with a two-out, five-pitch walk to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth, but the next hitter, Justin Ruggiano, was left so clueless by a two-strike, 88 mph slider that the centerfielder's left hand came off the bat during a halfhearted swing.
Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon made two nice plays on sharply hit one-hoppers — to his right in the fifth, to his left in the sixth — to allow those in the ballpark to start pondering the possibility of the franchise's first no-hitter since the move from Montreal in 2005.
Donovan Solano rendered such hopes mute with a solid single to center with two outs in the sixth, eliciting an "awwww" of disappointment and then a nice ovation from the crowd. Chris Coghlan singled in the ninth for the Marlins' other hit.