They played all nine innings Monday night at Marlins Park, but the game essentially ended in the first.
The Washington Nationals, smarting from being swept at home over the weekend by the Atlanta Braves, took out their frustrations with a 10-3 rout of the Marlins.
Washington sent eight men to the plate in the first inning and scored four runs off Wade LeBlanc (0-3), setting the tone for a game that got out of hand quickly.
“You know it’s going to be tough,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said, assessing the outlook for the Marlins after the first inning.
The Nationals led 8-0 in the fourth inning and 10-0 in the fifth — more offense than they would need against the worst run-producing team in the major leagues.
Miami scored three runs — its highest offensive output in seven games. But an announced crowd of 15,933 at Marlins Park watched the Marlins allow season highs in runs and hits (16) as they fell to 2-11 to start the season.
Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (3-0) tossed the first complete game of his career.
“He’s a good pitcher, and when you have that many runs behind you it makes him even better,” Redmond said.
LeBlanc has given up eight earned runs in the first inning this year while allowing opponents to bat .579 (11-for-19). From the second inning on, he had allowed just five hits (.231) and no runs coming into the game.
That changed Monday when he was tagged for three more runs before he left with two outs in the fourth.
“We’re only three starts in, but something’s got to change,” LeBlanc said. “We’ve got to figure out how to get through that first inning unscathed and give these guys a chance. That’s priority No. 1 at this point.”
Washington’s first six batters of the game reached base, five on hits and one via a walk. The first out was recorded when Bryce Harper was thrown out at third base trying to advance on Ryan Zimmerman’s bases-loaded single.
LeBlanc retired the Nationals in order in the second, and he got the first two batters out in the third. Then he gave up three straight doubles before intentionally walking No. 8 hitter Kurt Suzuki and getting Zimmermann to pop out.
LeBlanc allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings, his shortest start since he allowed three runs in three innings June 20, 2011, in Boston.
He was relieved by John Maine, whose first pitch in the fourth was deposited over the left-field fence by Zimmerman.
With Miami trailing 10-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the crowd decided to have some fun by starting a wave. On cue, Chris Coghlan singled for the Marlins’ first base runner of the game against Zimmermann.
The Marlins’ offense showed signs of life in the sixth by scoring two runs with two outs. Donovan Solano, who was hit by a pitch, scored on a double into short left by Juan Pierre.
Pierre then scored on Coghlan’s second hit of the game.
Miami scratched out another run on three straight hits to open the seventh. Greg Dobbs doubled to right, advanced to third on Justin Ruggiano’s single and scored on Rob Brantly’s single up the middle.
“We didn’t quit. We kept fighting. We scored a couple of runs on him and had a some good at-bats,” Redmond said.
“I felt like we had much better … swings than we’ve had in the last few days for sure. Hopefully that’s something we can grow on.”
Before the game, Redmond praised his starting pitching for at least keeping the Marlins in most of the games this season.
Of Miami’s first 12 games, nine were decided by three runs or fewer, including four one-run games.
“Our pitching has been great. They’ve kept us in the game. I think we’ve been in every single game this year except maybe one,’’ Redmond said.
“We know the offense is going to come around. We know these guys can hit.’’
The Marlins are now 0-4 his year against Washington. They lost all three games at Nationals Park in their season-opening series.