WASHINGTON — Jose Urena’s previous start ended after one very heated pitch.
On Sunday, he went the distance.
Making the most of his borrowed time, Urena pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game in the majors to lead the Miami Marlins over the Washington Nationals 12-1 on Sunday.
Urena (4-12) was suspended for six games by Major League Baseball after he hit Atlanta Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. on Wednesday. Urena was ejected from that start after throwing one fastball and appealed the penalty, keeping him eligible to play.
“I know what I did, and I know what kind of person I am and what kind of teammate,” Urena said. “Just tried to execute my plan and go out there and have fun and show what I can do.”
Urena, tied for the National League lead in hit batters, didn’t plunk anyone on the Nationals, nor did he alter his approach. He struck out four, walked two and retired the last 16 batters. It was his first complete game in 74 big league starts.
“If you make a mistake, you’ve got to pay,” Urena said of Washington’s lineup. “We tried to move their feet, make them uncomfortable at the plate. Try to attack the inside.”
Right-hander Pablo Lopez was originally slated to start Sunday’s game, but manager Don Mattingly opted to push him back to Tuesday and insert Urena.
The 26-year-old right-hander’s next start would normally be scheduled for next weekend at home against the Braves. After the game Sunday, he said he will maintain his appeal.
Starlin Castro got a career-high five hits and scored three times. JT Riddle and J.T. Realmuto each homered and drove in three runs for Miami, with Riddle connecting for the second straight game. Isaac Galloway had three hits, including his first career home run.
It was the Marlins’ first series win in Washington since 2014.
Trying to keep pace with the Braves and Phillies in the NL East, the third-place Nationals have lost four of their past five against the last-place Marlins. The Nationals host the Phillies for three games beginning Tuesday night.
Gio Gonzalez (7-10) allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. In his past 13 starts, Gonzalez is 1-8 with 7.07 ERA.
“I think it was, in all honesty, an ugly game. And everybody saw it,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Gio couldn’t keep us in the game, and it got ugly.”
Leading 3-1, the Marlins broke it open with a five-run fifth. After Riddle’s sacrifice fly, the Marlins loaded the bases, and Rafael Ortega hit a bases-loaded, two-run double off the glove of diving first baseman Matt Adams to end Gonzalez’s afternoon.
Realmuto greeted reliever Greg Holland with a two-run single, making it 8-1.
After a pair of third-inning walks, Castro blooped an RBI single in front of charging center fielder Bryce Harper. Austin Dean then lined a two-run double over the head of Harper, who appeared to misread it off the bat. Later, Harper rushed in and dropped Brian Anderson’s fly ball for an error in the seventh.
Marlins: INF/OF Garrett Cooper (right wrist sprain) went 0-for-3 in a rehab game with Class A Jupiter on Sunday. He played six innings at first base.
Nationals: Martinez said RHP Stephen Strasburg (cervical nerve impingement), who threw a bullpen session Saturday, will come off the DL and start Wednesday vs. the Phillies. “He feels good,” Martinez said. “He says he’s ready.” … Martinez is hopeful that reliever Kelvin Herrera (right rotator cuff impingement) will return for the Phillies series. … RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) threw a bullpen session Saturday.
Marlins: Lopez (2-3, 4.79 ERA) starts when the Marlins host the Yankees in the first of two games Tuesday night. It will be his first start against the Yankees.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (8-12, 4.13) opposes the visiting Phillies on Tuesday night. He is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA against the Phillies this season but 5-0 with a 1.77 ERA overall since the All-Star break.