MIAMI (AP) — Braxton Garrett pitched six effective innings in his first major league start in a month, and the Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 on Friday night.
Garrett allowed one run — Lane Thomas’ leadoff homer in the first — and five hits. The left-hander struck out six and walked none.
“I felt good, really confident,” Garrett said. “I was just trying to be in the zone with my stuff and get quick outs.”
Garrett (3-6) was recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville earlier in the day. It was his first appearance with Miami since he threw six scoreless innings against Atlanta on Aug. 14.
Three days after his performance against the World Series champion Braves, Garrett went on the injured list and eventually to the minors.
“Of course I didn’t want to get optioned, I thought I’d done well,” Garrett said. “It’s just the business of the game. We have a lot of really good pitchers. I don’t think anyone in my position would have been happy with it but I just try to take everything in stride and continue to do my job the best I can wherever that is.”
Garrett Cooper and Jon Berti each doubled and singled for the Marlins. Berti also stole his NL-leading 37th base.
Nationals starter Josiah Gray plunked Bryan De La Cruz with the bases loaded, snapping a 1-1 tie in the sixth. Charles Leblanc followed with an RBI single, and Miguel Rojas grounded into a double play that scored JJ Bleday from third.
“It was good to get those,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
Bleday’s sacrifice fly in the seventh padded Miami’s lead, but Washington got one back on Joey Meneses’ run-scoring double in the eighth.
Dylan Floro handled the ninth for his sixth save.
“We chased quite a bit tonight, we chased sliders in the dirt,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We’re really good at putting balls in play, waiting for a pitch to hit. But chasing is going to get you.”
Gray (7-10) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings. He remains winless since July 6.
Thomas drove Garrett’s second pitch over the wall in left for his 17th homer.
Miami answered in the bottom half on Cooper’s RBI double. Gray avoided additional trouble by striking out Nick Fortes and Bleday and retiring De La Cruz on a groundout.
“Anytime you put up a run in the first inning, kind of help Braxt get that leadoff homer out of the way, that’s big,” Cooper said. “I think we could have put up more runs but happy with the win and happy with how our offense played tonight.”
The Marlins honored infielder Yiddi Cappe and right-hander Eury Pérez with their minor league player and pitcher of the year awards. The 20-year-old Cappe hit .290 with nine homers and 40 RBIs at Single-A Jupiter. The 19-year-old Pérez struck out 110 in 77 innings at Double-A Pensacola.
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (back spasms) threw from 90 feet. Corbin exited after 12 pitches and didn’t complete the first inning in his last start at Atlanta on Tuesday. … LHP MacKenzie Gore (left elbow inflammation) will have his second rehab start with Triple-A Rochester on Monday.
Marlins: Placed INF Joey Wendle (left hamstring tendinitis) on the 10-day injured list. … LHP Trevor Rogers (left lat strain) was placed on the 15-day IL.
Erik Fedde (6-10, 5.29 ERA) will start the second game of the series for the Nationals on Saturday. The Marlins will go with Sandy Alcantara (13-8, 2.37 ERA), one of the leading contenders for the NL Cy Young Award.