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Matt Adams lifts Nationals past Marlins with 3-run bomb

By Alex Butler
Matt Adams lifts Nationals past Marlins with 3-run bomb
Washington Nationals first baseman Matt Adams is now hitting .250 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs this season after going 1-for-5 with a three-run homer against the Miami Marlins Wednesday in Miami. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, June 26 (UPI) -- Sometimes it takes just one pitch to spoil solid starter showings in Major League Baseball.

For Miami Marlins pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, that pitch happened to be a 3-1 slider to Washington Nationals first baseman Matt Adams. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound slugger made the Marlins reliever pay by pelting the offering over the right field fence in the sixth inning Wednesday at Marlins Park.

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Adams' three-run shot was the decisive blow in the Nationals' 7-5 victory.

Marlins rookie Zac Gallen made his second career start Wednesday. He allowed just four hits and had eight strikeouts in the appearance, but surrendered three earned runs. He left the game with two runners on base in the sixth frame. Chen allowed Adams' 382-foot homer two at-bats later.

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"I think ultimately, when you get through the lineup for a third time, guys have seen enough pitches and don't want to go with two strikes or deeper in the count," Gallen said. "They just ambushed a few pitches."

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The Marlins drew first blood on a Harold Ramirez RBI single in the third frame. Ramirez hacked a 1-0 Patrick Corbin slider to left field, plating Gallen on the play.

Washington tied the game in the sixth inning before taking control on Adams' long ball. Trea Turner and Adam Eaton led off the inning with back-to-back singles before Anthony Rendon tied the score at 1-1 with a line drive RBI single to center field off of Gallen. Chen then took the hill and struck out Nationals star Juan Soto in the next at-bat, before Adams stepped into the box.

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The Nationals first baseman eyed the left-handed pitcher's fifth offering of the exchange. He smoked the 84.7 mph pitch over the right field fence. The blast had an exit velocity of 98 mph and a launch angle of 32 degrees, according to Statcast. It also gave Washington a 4-1 advantage in the previously tight tilt.

Miami's bullpen unraveled after Washington's four-run sixth inning. The Marlins did not surrender a run in the seventh or eighth inning, before allowing the Nationals to invade the base paths in the final frame.

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Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero walked the first three hitters he faced in the top of the ninth inning, loading the bases. He then threw a wild pitch, allowing Yan Gomes to score Washington's fifth run. Rendon plated Gerardo Parra on a sacrifice fly two at-bats later, giving the Nationals a 6-1 advantage. Marlins catcher Bryan Holaday allowed a passed ball for the Nationals' seventh and final score.

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The Marlins attempted a late rally, scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning, but could not claw back from the massive deficit.

"I think he is going to be a guy that can do it," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I thought he was really good today. Just that one inning he gave out the three hits there."

Corbin allowed three hits and one run in seven innings to earn his seventh win of the season. The Nationals look to sweep the Marlins in the third game of the series, set for 7:10 p.m. Thursday in Miami.

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