Marlins tip cap to top Nationals pitchers

Marlins tip cap to top Nationals pitchers

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It's a first the Marlins would rather forget.

For the first time in franchise history, they opened a season by not scoring a run in their first two games. Justin Ruggiano's home run in the second inning Thursday ended the drought.

Credit is being given to Nationals starters Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. But the Marlins also haven't helped themselves, often showing impatience.

"Sure we got shut out," manager Mike Redmond said. "I felt like leaving Spring Training that things were good. We were swinging the bats good. It was against two really good pitchers. We knew we would have our work cut out for us, and we do. But we have to stay positive, and grind it out.

"We've got to keep working on the positives. We've got some young guys out there who are probably a little bit nervous. It's going to take those guys a little bit of time to settle in. I think this little span will be good. We don't have a day off for a while. We'll have a better rhythm of games."

Previously, the longest scoring drought to start a season was 13 innings in 1996.

"When guys get that first hit, it takes that pressure off," Redmond said. "Then, hopefully, we'll go from there."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter