MIAMI (AP) Giancarlo Stanton singled, put the ball in play twice and took some pitches off the plate, which constituted a sign of progress for the Miami Marlins' slumping lineup.
Miami managed only six hits and lost 8-2 Sunday to Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals.
The Marlins have dropped four of their past five games while totaling nine runs. And their highest-paid hitter has been their most feeble.
Stanton ended an 0-for-19 drought, lining a Scherzer slider up the middle for a hit in the fifth inning. He also struck out twice and grounded out, and he is 5 for 52 with 28 strikeouts over the past 15 games.
''For me, the guy's seeing the ball better,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''You see a guy with more takes, and usually once that starts happening he's going to start hitting better.''
Stanton went 1 for 11 in the series with eight strikeouts. Nationals manager Dusty Baker was he was relieved to get out of town before the $325 million slugger finds his stroke.
''It's just a matter of time,'' Baker said. ''You hate to see a dangerous hitter cold, because you just don't know when he's going to break out of it.''
One of the few Marlins hitting well is Ichiro Suzuki, who singled twice off Scherzer, and a third hit was erased by a replay reversal. The 42-year-old Suzuki overtook Wee Willie Keeler for 32nd place on the hits list with 2,956, and he's batting .382.
Justin Bour ended Scherzer's shutout bid with a two-run homer in the seventh, his ninth home run this season and his second in as many games.
''Those last two homers, I'm not really trying to hit home runs,'' Bour said. ''I'm just trying to make solid contact.''
Miami trailed from the first inning on. Adam Conley (3-3) allowed six runs and walked seven, three intentionally, in 5 1/3 innings.
''Putting a guy on for free is about my least favorite thing in baseball,'' Conley said. ''And seven of those guys got on in my eyes without earning it. That's a hard pill to swallow.''
Conley's ERA in four career starts against Washington rose to 8.50.
Scherzer (5-3) struck out eight and allowed six hits and two runs in eight innings. He has 38 strikeouts in his past three starts, including a record-tying 20 against Detroit.
Washington won the three-game series and took a 7-6 edge in the season series. The NL East foes don't meet again until Sept. 19.
Nationals leadoff batter Ben Revere had three hits, two runs, two RBIs and his first two stolen bases of the year, and hiked his average to .185.
Anthony Rendon drove in three runs with a double and a triple, and was robbed of another hit when center fielder Marcell Ozuna leaped into the 407-foot sign to make a catch.
Marlins: LF Christian Yelich missed his second start in a row because of spasms in his back. ''It's so-so,'' he said. ''Frustrating.'' He said his status is day to day.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (3-2, 4.22) is scheduled to start Monday when the Marlins begin a four-game series against the Rays, with the first two games in Miami. The Rays are 30-14 against the Marlins since 2008.
Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 1.86) is scheduled to start Monday when the Nationals begin a seven-game homestand against the Mets. Gonzalez has a 10-4 record against the Mets.