The lost twice Monday at Park: the game to the Washington Nationals, 3-2, and starting pitcher Chris O’Grady to a strained right oblique.
’s eighth-inning, two-out, 0-2, pinch-hit single to center put the Nationals on top for good, after the Marlins had battled back from a two-run hole against Washington ace . Left-hander left a slider over the plate, and Lind sent it back up the middle for the lead and eventual win.
O’Grady’s injury, though, was the first loss. The Marlins officially considered him day-to-day, though that doesn’t match the nature of this type of injury.
“Well, any time you hear ‘oblique,’ you know it’s usually not a two- or three-day thing,” manager said. “We’ll find out [more Tuesday] … but usually obliques are going to take a while.”
The left-handed O’Grady exited after a strange sequence in the second. After the third pitch of the inning, a third ball to , O’Grady clearly grabbed at his right side, drawing a visit from Mattingly, pitching coach Juan Nieves and athletic trainer Dustin Luepker.
O’Grady remained in the game after a group chat, but three pitches later — after walking Zimmerman and getting to pop up — he appeared to be in even more pain, leaving no question whether he could continue.
“I asked him if he threw those [practice pitches] hard. He said he did. I’m not quite sure he did,” Mattingly said. “But I didn’t expect him to be able to stay in that game much longer.”
After the sixth start of his big league career — which began with a perfect, 12-pitch first inning and a strikeout of — O’Grady tried to strike a more optimistic tone.
“You just get those things all the time that you can pitch through,” O’Grady said. “But we just wanted to be safe and hopefully not make it any worse. Hopefully it’s nothing more than a cramp.
“It’s frustrating. I think you could see I was frustrated coming out of the game. I really didn’t want to. I felt really good going into the game after the first inning. But it’s better to be safe.”
Right-hander (3 2/3 innings, one run) came on in sudden relief and kept the Marlins in it.
“I felt for Chris because I’ve dealt with that same injury before and I know how uncomfortable it is to pitch through it,” Despaigne said through a translator.
Despaigne competed against Scherzer, who last week — at Marlins Park, against O’Grady — left after one inning with neck spasms.
Scherzer returned without missing a start and on Monday was largely his normal, dominant self. He struck out nine and allowed five hits in seven innings, though the Marlins did reach him for two runs — one in a predictable fashion, the other far less so.
The unpredictable came first. In the fifth, lined a one-out double down the left-field line. Despaigne, with two outs, sent a grounder up the middle for a single to score Telis, the first RBI and third hit in Despaigne’s 68 career plate appearances.
The predictable came an inning later. , after striking out swinging in his first two at-bats, homered to left-center, his 37th of the year, tying his career-high total from 2012 and 2014.
“I didn’t realize that was his career-high,” Mattingly said. “He’s a guy, for me, if he’s on the field and he stays on the field, he’s going to hit 40 to 50 every year. That’s just what’s going to happen if he stays on the field.”
Stanton’s blast matched Harper’s — a no-doubter over Stanton’s head in the fourth — to tie the game.
That was the last of the Marlins’ damage against Scherzer, who struck out Dee Gordon with his 114th pitch to end the top of the seventh.
For Scherzer, it was the 13th time in 23 starts this year that he finished seven innings. Marlins starting pitchers have lasted at least seven innings just 12 times combined this year.
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