The real Miami Marlins returned Wednesday.
One night after nearly equaling in one game their entire run total for the rest of the home stand, the Marlins were back to stranding runners and struggling to score runs.
Miami went down meekly to the Washington Nationals, losing 6-1 in a game in which even its run wasn’t really a run, scoring on a blown call at the plate.
But help is on the way.
Slugging right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who has missed six games because of a bruised shoulder, is expected to return Thursday when Miami starts a four-game series in Cincinnati.
But even that news was tempered when shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria felt discomfort in his right elbow after making a throw during batting practice. Hechavarria was scratched from the lineup 90 minutes before the first pitch.
Manager Mike Redmond said the team should know more about the injury Thursday, but he did not sound optimistic.
“We can’t afford another injury,” Redmond said. “It seems like we get a guy back and lose another guy. It’s tough right now.”
Hechavarria hit the only home run on the home stand, in which the Marlins went 2-7. That came in Tuesday’s 8-2 victory over the Nationals, a game in which Miami scored two fewer runs than it did in the other eight games combined.
Miami has been outscored 64-32 this season.
The Marlins had seven hits and stranded seven runners Wednesday. Miami had a chance to make the game competitive, but Greg Dobbs and Austin Kearns never advanced after they singled off Nationals starter Ross Detwiler (1-0) to lead off the second inning.
“We weren’t able to get anything going off him at all,” Redmond said.
Ricky Nolasco (0-2) gave up hits to three of the first six batters he faced, including back-to-back singles to Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond to lead off the second. Both scored, giving the Nationals all the runs they would need.
“He kept us in the game,” Redmond said. “Everything is magnified right now because we’re just not able to put a big number on the board.”
For the second time in four starts, Nolasco would need more than 100 pitches (109) to get through six innings. The Nationals had runners on in each of Nolasco’s six innings except the fourth.
Of course, it helps when everything Nolasco throws to Bryce Harper must look as fat as a softball. Harper had three hits against Nolasco and now is 5-for-6 with two home runs against the Marlins ace-by-default this season. He is 9-for-20 against Nolasco in his career.
“Now it’s to the point where I make good pitches (to Harper), and they’re still falling,” Nolasco said.
After No. 8 hitter Kurt Suzuki homered in the fifth to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead, Harper led off the sixth with a double and scored the Nationals fourth run.
The Marlins can thank home plate umpire Greg Gibson for avoiding what would have been their fifth shutout in 15 games this season.
Chris Valaika, who replaced Hechavarria at shortstop, doubled to lead off the fifth. With two outs, Donovan Solano singled to right.
Valaika slid head first into home, touching the plate with his right arm. Gibson raised his right arm to signify Valaika was out before changing mid-call and waving him safe.
But replays showed Suzuki, Washington’s catcher, tagged Valaika in the helmet before he touched the plate.
Placid Polanco and Kearns each had two hits for Miami. Kearns, who was cleared by doctors on Tuesday after spending Sunday night in the hospital because of an irregular heartbeat, started in right field and had his first two hits of the season. He was 0-for-11 entering the game.