Confidence is rising rapidly for the Miami Marlins.
They just want to keep this going.
Riding a four-game winning streak, they'll have another opportunity against the Washington Nationals when they meet in the finale of a four-game series Monday in Washington, D.C.
Miami's 7-4, 10-inning victory Sunday afternoon came with three lead changes and two ties over four consecutive innings.
And the Nationals suffered a double loss -- one they hope doesn't linger long.
Nationals right fielder Juan Soto departed the game with a left calf injury in the fourth inning, putting his status for the series finale in question and causing worry in the clubhouse.
"We'll re-evaluate him and see what's going on," manager Dave Martinez said.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly has fewer worries entering Monday's game. His team has won 11 of 12 meetings with Washington this year, and key players have emerged, leading to the Marlins' success. Role player Luke Williams hit his first home run with the Marlins in Sunday's game.
"Luke and these guys are going to have to play to get our guys off their feet some," Mattingly said of the widespread contributions.
Despite the struggles that have resulted in a four-game losing streak, Martinez that there are signs that Washington will hit a good stretch.
"I feel like these guys are going to come through," Martinez said. "I expect good things to come from each and every one of them. We've got to keep playing them."
The Nationals were one strike away from winning the game in the top of the ninth inning. Jesus Sanchez's two-run homer off closer Tanner Rainey extended the game.
"I'll talk to Rainey and just go over what I saw transpire," Martinez said. "Hopefully he takes it to heart and he goes back out there. (He's) going to be back out there when we have the lead or are tied."
Even with another strong effort from a starting pitcher, the Marlins taxed their bullpen during the weekend. Starter Pablo Lopez gave up two runs on three hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings, leaving the relief corps to throw the final 3 2/3 innings.
"You know you're stretching them and they're not going to be available (Monday)," Mattingly said. "You're going for a 'W' right there and know the price you're paying. We were able to get it and now we move forward and just deal with what we've got (Monday)."
On Monday, the Marlins will go with left-hander Braxton Garrett (1-3, 5.24 ERA), who has completed five innings in only one of his five starts this season.
Garrett's lone outing against the Nationals came in September 2020 when he failed to finish the third inning and allowed five runs in a 15-0 loss.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin (4-10, 6.06 ERA), one of two pitchers in the majors with a double-digit loss total this season, will try to rescue the Nationals. Corbin is coming off a victory in a 12-strikeout performance against Pittsburgh last Tuesday and won three times in five starts in June.
Corbin has earned a decision in each of his past nine starts (4-5). He was tagged with a loss to the Marlins in late April despite giving up just two earned runs in six innings. He's 5-6 all-time with a 4.22 ERA in 16 starts against Miami.
--Field Level Media