CJ Abrams homers as Nationals complete 4-game sweep of NL-worst Marlins with 7-2 win

MIAMI (AP) — CJ Abrams hit a two-run homer and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 7-2 on Monday night, completing a four-game sweep of the NL’s worst club in front of a season-low 6,376 fans at loanDepot Park.

The Marlins (6-24), who made the playoffs last season, have lost seven straight, their worst skid since opening the season 0-9.

Jake Irvin (2-2) allowed two runs on four hits in six innings, bouncing back from allowing 12 hits and six runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers in his previous start.

“I’m just trying to make those guys earn it, throw strikes and get ahead,” Irvin said. “It makes my job easier when I do.”

Ildemaro Vargas had two hits and an RBI for the Nationals, who swept Miami over four games for the first time since Sept. 18-21, 2014.

Washington has won four straight for the second time since the start of 2022 and improved to 14-14, its first .500 mark since it was 1-1 on March 30. The Nationals have not been over .500 since July 1, 2021.

“The boys played well as a team, which I love,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “I keep saying this but they keep feeding off one another. If one guy doesn’t do it, the next guy is gonna go up there and do everything he can to get it done. It was like that this whole weekend.”

Abrams put the Nationals ahead 2-0 in the third. Alex Call hit a one-out double before Abrams connected off Trevor Rogers (0-4) for his seventh homer. The shortstop hit 18 homers last year in his first full season.

“I was just looking for my pitch,” Abrams said. “I got a little antsy first pitch of the game — swung at that one. Next AB, I got a pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.”

Marlins shortstop Tim Anderson exited after the third inning because of a mild left thumb sprain. Anderson and Call collided at second base when Call slid into the bag for his double.

Anderson was not the only Marlins starter who left early. Miami manager Skip Schumaker removed right fielder Jesús Sánchez in the fourth for what he said was “lack of effort” while fielding Call’s double.

“I have literally no rules except for giving me everything you have,” Schumaker said. “He lost the ball in the lights. I’ve lost the ball in the lights many times. After that, I felt like the effort wasn’t there. Sánchez plays hard. He’s a good kid. There’s teaching moments and he hurt himself and he hurt the team by me having to remove him from the game.”

The Nationals made it 3-0 when Rogers walked Jesse Winker with the bases loaded in the fifth.

Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s two-run homer in the sixth got the Marlins within 3-2 before the Washington broke it open with a four-run seventh against relievers Calvin Faucher and Andrew Nardi. Joey Meneses had an RBI double and Vargas a run-scoring single.

Rogers gave up three runs and four hits over five innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Cade Cavalli (right elbow surgery) threw live batting practice Monday and Martinez said he reached 95 mph. ... OF Victor Robles (left hamstring strain) will begin rehab games with Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday.

Marlins: LHP Jesús Luzardo (mild left flexor muscle strain) felt no discomfort after a throwing session Monday. Luzardo was placed on the injured list Friday after experiencing tightness in his left elbow. ... RHP JT Chargois (neck spasms) has been shut down and will undergo additional tests after a rehab outing with Triple-A Jacksonville Friday.

UP NEXT

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (2-2, 3.12) will start the opener of a three-game series at Texas on Tuesday. RHP Jon Gray (0-1, 2.92) will start for the Rangers.

Marlins: RHP Sixto Sánchez (0-1, 7.20) will start the opener of a three-game home series against Colorado on Tuesday. The Rockies will go with RHP Ryan Feltner (1-2, 5.68).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb