LaRoche doing job on defense

Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is off to a slow start with the bat, hitting .188 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. However, the offense hasn’t carried over into his defense, which the best the team has ever had at the position since it moved to Washington after the 2004 season.

In fact, his defense helped the Nationals in the late innings during their 8-4 victory over the Marlins at Nationals Park on Sunday afternoon.

In the eighth inning, with Tyler Clippard on the mound, the Marlins had a runner on first, when Logan Morrison lined out to LaRoche, who doubled off Gaby Sanchez at first base to end the threat.

An inning later, with Brett Hayes on first, Chris Coghlan hit groundball to LaRoche, who had to go far to his right before making a strong throw to reliever Cole Kimball to get Coghlan for the second out of the inning.

“I’m one of those fellows that needs to do something productive. It’s not working at the plate right now,” LaRoche said. “Luckily, the defense has been there and I’ve been able to help these guys out a little bit.”

LaRoche is playing with a small tear in his left rotator cuff and insisted that the injury has nothing to do with his lack of hitting.

“It doesn’t hurt to swing. I feel it throwing a little bit. I can’t say [the injury is the reason for the lack of offense].”

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