Lane Thomas homers during seven-run third inning as Nationals rout Marlins 8-1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lane Thomas homered to highlight a seven-run third inning, and the Washington Nationals routed the Miami Marlins 8-1 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.

MacKenzie Gore struck out 10 over seven innings for Washington, which has won six of seven and improved to 5-0 against Miami this season.

The Marlins, who are an NL-worst 23-46, have lost three in a row and nine of their last 11. Miami fell to 3-21 when facing a left-handed starter.

Gore (6-5) won for the fourth time in five starts, giving up a run on five hits while matching the longest outing of his career.

“Gore’s good,” Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. “I had him in San Diego as a young kid and seeing him mature into what he is today is great to see, when we’re not playing him. He was on the attack.”

The Nationals chased Miami starter Shaun Anderson (0-1), who was called up from Triple-A Jacksonville earlier in the day, with seven consecutive hits — many early in the count — to start the third. After Jacob Young’s leadoff single, CJ Abrams had a sharp infield single on the next pitch and Thomas followed with a first-pitch homer off the foul pole in left.

Jesse Winker turned Anderson’s first offering into an infield single, and Eddie Rosario sent an 0-2 fastball to right for a double. Joey Meneses poked a first-pitch single to left to score two runs, and Luis García Jr. ended Anderson’s night with a hit on a 1-0 fastball.

“You don’t want to fall behind,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “It’s hard enough to hit. To hit with two strikes is tough. Be aggressive and be aggressive with balls in the strike zone, and we really did that today.”

Four batters later, Abrams lofted a two-run single to left to make it 7-1. The seven runs — all charged to Anderson — matched the most scored by the Nationals in one inning this season. Washington also did it in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 8-5 victory over Atlanta.

Anderson, who was purchased from Texas on May 30 and was making his Marlins debut, gave up hits to 10 of the 15 batters he faced. It was his first major league start since Aug. 7, 2019.

“He just kind of got in the middle of the plate a little bit,” Schumaker said. “The stuff is OK. He just needs to play a little bit more on the edges, and the height of the pitches I think was just exactly where they probably wanted them and a little bit higher than probably he wanted them.”

Catcher Nick Fortes drove in Miami’s run with a two-out single to third baseman Nick Senzel in the second. In the dugout in the middle of the second, Gore and Senzel had a brief shoving match, and both players downplayed it after the game.

“We’ve handled it in here,” Gore said. “I think the biggest thing is that that was something I can’t do. But I’m going to leave it at that. That’s on me.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: To make room for Anderson, Miami designated RHP Burch Smith for assignment. Smith was 2-0 with a 4.25 ERA in 25 games.

Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (forearm flexor strain) allowed a run in four innings and struck out two in a rehabilitation start Friday night at Double-A Harrisburg. … Martinez said 1B Joey Gallo’s MRI exam revealed a “significant” hamstring strain. Gallo was placed on the injured list Wednesday. … RHP Cade Cavalli (Tommy John surgery) will throw batting practice Saturday. … LHP Jose A. Ferrer (lat strain) will throw batting practice Monday.

UP NEXT

Washington LHP DJ Herz (0-1, 6.48 ERA) makes his third career start, while Miami counters with LHP Trevor Rogers (1-7, 5.37) as the series continues Saturday afternoon.

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