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Strasburg struggles and Nationals' losing streak reaches 4 games with 8-0 thumping by Marlins

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MIAMI — It was unpleasant on the field and tense in the dugout Saturday for the slumping Washington Nationals.

Stephen Strasburg endured another rough outing and had a testy exchange with his pitching coach as the Nationals' losing streak reached four games with an 8-0 thumping by the revitalized Miami Marlins.

Strasburg (1-2) gave up eight hits and four runs in six innings. His frustration showed in the dugout, where he had an animated conversation with pitching coach Steve McCatty after allowing two runs in the fourth.

"That's something that's going to be kept between me and Cat," Strasburg said. "Obviously, I'm a competitive person. It's nothing that he did; it's nothing that I did. It was just maybe a little bit of frustration. I'm going to leave it at that."

Defending NL East champion Washington fell into a tie for third place with the Marlins, who have won four in a row after a 3-11 start.

"It will turn. It always does," Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said. "We just have to stay positive. It's too early to get frustrated."

Tom Koehler (2-2) gave up six hits in 7 1/3 innings and lowered his ERA from 6.75 to 4.50. Two relievers completed Miami's first shutout of the year.

Bryce Harper went 0 for 3 and is 2 for 15 lifetime against Koehler. Ryan Zimmerman went 0 for 4, dropping his average to .214.

"It was a rough day for us," manager Matt Williams said.

Strasburg had shut out the Marlins for 17 consecutive innings dating to last July before they broke through with two runs in the fourth.

PHOTO: Miami Marlins' Justin Bour (48) is safe at second on an error by Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, left, as shortstop Ian Desmond (20) jumps out of the way in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Marlins' Justin Bour (48) is safe at second on an error by Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, left, as shortstop Ian Desmond (20) jumps out of the way in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Miami added two more in the sixth and went 5 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

"Very frustrating," Strasburg said. "You want to go out there, especially after a loss Friday night, and shut them down. But they took good swings, and they came up big when they needed to."

Opponents are batting .317 against Strasburg, and his ERA rose to 4.88. He has a 5.65 ERA in eight career starts at Marlins Park.

"He was OK," Williams said. "There were a couple of balls just out of guys' dives. That's the way the ball bounces sometimes."

Giancarlo Stanton hit his fifth homer. Ichiro Suzuki had two hits and scored in the eighth for his 1,968th run in the major leagues (1,310) and Japan (658), surpassing Sadaharu Oh's record for a Japanese player.

"When it's Mr. Oh's record, it's very special," Suzuki said through a translator.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer's right thumb was still swollen, and the Nationals pushed back his scheduled bullpen session one day to Sunday. The Nationals are hoping he can make his next start as scheduled Tuesday at Atlanta. He jammed his hand while batting Thursday.

Marlins: An MRI determined that LF Christian Yelich has a slight disc bulge in his lower back. Rest and exercise are expected to resolve the problem, and Yelich said he's optimistic he'll able to come off the disabled list when eligible May 5. "It's feeling better every day, and that's encouraging," he said. ... RHP Jose Fernandez is scheduled to throw 15 pitches Thursday in his first batting practice session since undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery. ... RHP Henderson Alvarez (shoulder and elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session the middle of next week, his first since going on the disabled list April 17.

UP NEXT

Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-1, 3.44), a South Florida native, has won five consecutive starts against the Marlins and faces them Sunday. RHP Dan Haren (1-1, 3.32) is scheduled to pitch for the Marlins as they go for a sweep.

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