Marlins snap 8-game skid by beating Nationals 11-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 15, 2014 at 10:29 pm •  Published: April 15, 2014
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MIAMI (AP) — Stephen Strasburg against the woebegone Miami Marlins figured to be no contest, and it was.

Miami won in a rout.

Giancarlo Stanton tied a career high with five RBIs, including a three-run homer off Strasburg, and the Marlins broke an eight-game losing streak by beating the Washington Nationals 11-2 Tuesday night.

Both benches and bullpens cleared briefly in the fourth inning when Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Nationals' Ian Desmond engaged in a heated, nose-to-nose conversation at home plate. Desmond was unhappy that Marlins starter Tom Koehler threw several pitches high and inside.

Among the tunes playing in the Miami clubhouse after the victory was Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy."

"It feels great," Saltalamacchia said. "We faced a great pitcher. It feels great to be able to make him work tonight."

Strasburg (1-2) allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings. He fell to 2-3 at Marlins Park with an ERA of 8.61.

"We've put together some pretty good at-bats off him over the last couple of years, and had some good games against him," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "We had a nice plan. Guys were aggressive. He threw quite a few fastballs early in the count, and we were ready for them."

That has often been the approach of hitters against Strasburg so far this season.

"They don't want me to get comfortable," the right-hander said. "A lot of the dominant pitchers with swing-and-miss stuff, that's what their approach is going to be. I felt I had a good mindset today. It was one of those days where it seemed like every pitch I threw, they hit it."

Koehler (2-1) allowed one hit and five walks in seven scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.89. The performance was a welcome change for a team that had an ERA of 6.12 during the losing streak.

Desmond became annoyed when he barely avoided being hit by an inside pitch from Koehler. Desmond hollered at Koehler and spat toward the mound.

Saltalamacchia then said something to Desmond, and their testy exchange began. Umpire Marty Foster stepped between them, and the confrontation didn't escalate.

"I wasn't necessarily thinking that he had intentions of hitting me," Desmond said. "It wasn't intended to escalate to what it did, but was heat-of-the-moment stuff."

Koehler said he went into the game mindful of the need to pitch inside against the Nationals.