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Nats get good news on Juan Soto but take yet another loss to the Marlins

Marlins 3, Nationals 2 (10 innings)

Juan Soto didn't start Monday but walked as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

For the fourth straight day, the Miami Marlins gathered at the center of the diamond to exchange high-fives while the Washington Nationals headed to the clubhouse in dejection as their fans ambled toward the exits.

On Monday afternoon at Nationals Park, the Marlins managed a 10-inning victory — this time 3-2 — for the second time in as many days and the Nationals (29-53) were swept at home by a team they used to beat up on. It was Washington’s fifth straight loss overall after a stretch of six wins in eight games.

Ten of the teams’ 13 matchups this season have been decided by three runs or fewer — including all four in this series — but the Marlins (38-40) have won 12 of them, including all seven at Nationals Park. On Monday, Tanner Rainey allowed a two-run homer to Bryan De La Cruz in the 10th inning that bounced off the foul pole in left field.

“We’ve been in a lot of games versus them — just haven’t been on the right side of it,” said starter Patrick Corbin, who allowed one run in seven innings to trim his ERA to 5.68. “Today could’ve went either way. Just seems they’ve been pitching a little bit better, playing a little better defense and scoring a little bit more than we have.”

Washington’s opportunity to swing the game came in the eighth. After Luis García’s RBI single tied it at 1, Manager Dave Martinez turned to Juan Soto — who didn’t start after exiting Sunday’s loss with left calf tightness — as a pinch hitter with runners on first and second with one out. Marlins reliever Zach Pop didn’t challenge Soto, walking him on four pitches to load the bases. But Lane Thomas popped out and Josh Bell flied out to end the inning.

In the 10th, García hit into a double play that got the Nationals within one, but they couldn’t find another run.

The frustrating ending overshadowed another solid outing by Corbin, who has allowed two runs over his past 15 innings. He attacked the strike zone, and the Marlins were aggressive early. Corbin surrendered five hits in the first three innings but threw 24 of his 32 pitches for strikes. The Marlins grabbed a 1-0 lead when Jesús Aguilar singled to bring home Luke Williams in the third.

The Marlins finished with eight hits off Corbin, who struck out four and walked one. His slider continued to be effective; the pitch got seven whiffs on 15 swings and averaged 83.2 mph, almost 2 mph faster than his season mark.

“He’s actually throwing his slider a little harder, and it looks like his fastball coming in,” Martinez said. “It’s been very effective.”

Even last year, when the Nationals finished at the bottom of the National League East, they went 11-8 against Miami. This year, it hasn’t worked out that way.

What’s the latest on Soto? Soto said before the game that “everything was fine” after he underwent an MRI exam. He was removed from Sunday’s contest before the fifth inning after he felt tightness in the back of his knee after chasing a ball in right field.

“We’re going to be good,” he said. “They said it’s just a little tight, so it’s going to take a couple days and see how it goes. It all depends on how I feel day by day.”

Martinez monitored Soto during the game and turned to him to pinch-hit in the eighth. After his walk, Alcides Escobar pinch-ran for him.

After the game, Martinez said the Nationals will take Soto’s injury one day at a time.

Why is Tyler Clippard sticking it out in Rochester? To prove people wrong.

What happened to Jackson Tetreault? Tetreault was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right scapula following a throwing session Sunday and was placed on the 15-day injured list Monday; right-handed reliever Jordan Weems was recalled from Class AAA Rochester to take his place on the roster.

Tetreault struggled in his most recent start Saturday — he threw 44 balls and 40 strikes while allowing four runs in four innings. His arm felt weak while he was throwing Sunday, and after Sunday’s game he said he couldn’t lift his arm high.

“It’s pretty frustrating,” he said. “No one ever wants to be hurt, especially when you’re new up here and you’re trying to establish yourself and everything. I can’t help but feel like I’m squandering an opportunity.”

Martinez did not disclose who would replace Tetreault in the rotation.

Tetreault joins lefty Evan Lee (left flexor strain) as the second rookie pitcher on the injured list. Stephen Strasburg (stress reaction in his second and third ribs) and Joe Ross (out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery for a second time) are the veterans who remain sidelined.

Aníbal Sánchez (nerve impingement in his neck) is working his way back to the major leagues; he tossed 4⅔ innings Sunday in a rehab start for Rochester, allowing three runs and striking out seven.

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