MIAMI – Before the Miami Marlins' latest game, manager Ozzie Guillen was talking about his starting pitcher, rookie Jacob Turner.
"What am I looking for?" Guillen said. "Strikes."
Turner threw plenty of strikes, but two sailed over the fence off the bat of fellow rookie Bryce Harper, and the Marlins lost to the Washington Nationals 8-4 Wednesday night.
The first-place Nationals snapped a five-game losing streak.
Turner (0-2), auditioning for a job next year, allowed five runs in five innings. He gave his performance a mixed review.
"I just made mistakes, and obviously they capitalized on them," Turner said. "I threw a couple of pitches over really good and got really good results, and also threw a couple of pitches that were really bad and were bad results. I just have to be more consistent."
Guillen was more upbeat, and encouraged that Turner struck out six and walked none.
"He was pitching well," Guillen said. "The good thing about this kid is he wasn't walking people or getting behind people.
"This kid has a lot of potential. I don't mind when people get hit. I mind when people start walking everybody. I liked the way he threw."
The start was Turner's second with the Marlins after he was acquired from Detroit in a July trade and spent a brief time in their minor league system.
Harper's first two-homer game ended with his latest tantrum. The quick-tempered rookie was ejected for spiking his helmet in the ninth inning and drew a scolding from manager Davey Johnson.
With a chance for a third homer, Harper instead grounded into a double play in the ninth. After he crossed the bag he angrily spiked his helmet and it nearly hit first base umpire C.B. Bucknor, who ejected him.
"Bryce couldn't control his emotions again," Johnson said. "I had a little chat with him. He'll get over it. He's just a hundred-percenter. He expects great things out of himself, breaks bats, throws his helmet. He's just got to stop it. We can't afford to be losing him in a ballgame. He'll learn. He's young."
Harper's most notorious outburst came in May, when he slammed his bat against the side of a tunnel in frustration, and the barrel smacked off the wall and hit his temple just above the left eye, causing a gash that needed 10 stitches.
He was unhurt but sheepish after the latest incident.
"I shouldn't have done it, but I don't like hitting into double plays," said Harper, 19. "I just need to stop getting mad and live with it. I just need to grow up in that mentality a little bit and try not to bash stuff in. I've always done it my whole life. Things need to change."
His swing the Nationals like just fine. Harper hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and added a solo homer in the fifth, giving the rookie 14 this season. "I felt good up there," Harper said. "I saw some pitches I could drive and did some damage."
Before the game, Johnson called a brief team meeting, which he described as upbeat. The pep talk stirred the Nationals' bats, and they had 14 hits.
Michael Morse had an RBI single and drove in another run with his first triple since 2010 for the Nationals. Kurt Suzuki hit his first homer with Washington in the ninth off Heath Bell.
"That ballclub is in first place for a reason," Guillen said. "They can hit."
Ross Detwiler (8-6) allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings. Drew Storen came on with runners at second and third in the eighth and retired three consecutive batters to protect a 6-4 lead.
"Storen won the game for us," Johnson said.
Turner retired the first nine batters, striking out four, but the Nationals scored four runs in the fourth. Jayson Werth led off with a single and Harper hit his 13th homer. Adam LaRoche singled, Morse tripled and Ian Desmond hit an RBI single.
In the fifth inning, Harper homered into the seventh row of the upper deck in right field. The estimated distance was 425 feet.
NOTES: The Marlins gave out 15,000 Giancarlo Stanton bobbleheads. "I will take a couple," Guillen said. "I've had some requests, especially from women." ... Regarding his decision to call a meeting, Johnson said: "I saw some speeches watching the Republican convention. I said, 'Maybe I ought to give a speech.'" ... The Marlins' Carlos Lee went hitless and is batting only .184 against left-handers this year.