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It’s not a full slate for July 5, but the MLB schedule will treat us to a healthy stock of eight night games. Let’s get to it … 

Thursday’s scores

Nationals 14, Marlins 12 (box score)
Rangers 7, Tigers 5 (box score)
Astros 4, White Sox 3 (box score)
Twins 5, Orioles 2 (box score)
Brewers 7, Braves 2 (box score)
Padres at Diamondbacks (GameTracker)
Angels at Mariners (GameTracker)
Cardinals at Giants (GameTracker)

Nationals overcome nine-run deficit

The Nationals entered Thursday needing a win in the worst way. They were below .500, a result of having won the fourth-fewest games in their last 30 attempts. Life had not been kind recently.

Early on, it looked like life would continue to stink. The Nationals fell behind 7-0 following two innings. Starter Jeremy Hellickson, reportedly ill, would exit after four innings and nine runs scored (eight earned), leaving the Nationals in a 9-0 hole.

Yet the Nationals battled back, thanks largely to shortstop Trea Turner. It was Turner who homered to get the Nationals on the board, and it was Turner who later delivered a go-ahead grand slam to officially give the Nationals the lead. Overall, he went 3 for 3 with two home runs and eight runs batted in, tying the all-time record for most RBI by a leadoff hitter:

The Nationals scored four runs in the fifth, five in the sixth, and four in the seventh, building themselves a 14-9 lead against Miami’s bullpen. Yet things were still tense once the ninth rolled around thanks to a three-run homer by Brian Anderson. The Marlins did get the tying run on base against closer Sean Doolittle, but it was too little too late, and the Nats notched the largest comeback victory in franchise history: 

Maybe this is the start of something, maybe not. It was a memorable night in D.C. either way.

Cueto returns, struggles against Cards

Prior to Thursday, the last time we saw Johnny Cueto on a big-league mound was back in late April. He’s been on the disabled list since due to a strained right elbow.

In his return start against the Cardinals on Thursday, Cueto might’ve wished he was still on the DL. He allowed four runs in the first inning and a fifth run in the second inning to put the game in boat-race territory. Nonetheless, Cueto would finish the evening having thrown five innings while allowing 10 hits and two walks. He also struck out a pair of batters.

Cueto pounded the zone with a fastball that clocked in at about 89 mph. For reference, his heater averaged around 90 mph during his five starts earlier in the season.

Prior to going on the DL, Cueto had a 0.84 ERA in his first 32 innings.

Miller’s third time isn’t a charm

On Thursday, Shelby Miller made his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery. It went better than his first two attempts, albeit almost by default.

Miller had allowed 15 hits and 11 runs in 8 2/3 innings against the Marlins and Giants prior to Thursday. Against the Padres, who entered the night tied with the Diamondbacks for the worst OPS+ among NL offenses, Miller threw 5 1/3 innings while allowing five hits and five runs (three earned). He walked two, but struck out seven and continued to show good velocity and control, as he averaged 94 mph with his heater and threw 60 of his 94 pitches for strikes.

Unfortunately for Miller, he’ll have to do even better next time out to get his first win.

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