MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins are convinced they have put their early season woes behind them — they’re making believers out of other teams.
Giancarlo Stanton homered leading off the ninth inning to tie it and Ed Lucas beat out double-play relay in the 10th to lift Miami over the Washington Nationals 2-1 Saturday night.
The Marlins, who were 14-41 through May, will go for the sweep of the three-game series on Sunday.
Stanton homered on a 1-2 pitch from Rafael Soriano leading off the ninth to make it 1-all. It was Soriano’s fourth blown save overall and first in the last 13 opportunities.
“I figured he wasn’t going to throw a strike — which that wasn’t,” Stanton said. “I just saw fastball and reacted to it.”
Steve Cishek (3-4) struck out Scott Hairston and Ryan Zimmerman with runners on second and third to end the Washington 10th.
“Cishek getting out of that big jam, the guys came in and that fired everybody up,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “Guys were like, `All right, this is it! Let’s go! Let’s get this thing over with!'”
Adeiny Hechavarria opened the Miami 10th by reaching second when third baseman Chad Tracy fielded his chopper but threw the ball into stands.
Craig Stammen (4-4) walked Jeff Mathis, and Placido Polanco sacrificed both runners over. Justin Ruggiano was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Lucas grounded to second baseman Steve Lombardozzi, who threw to shortstop Ian Desmond for the forceout at second. Lucas beat the throw to first as the winning run scored.
“That’s a double play in April,” Redmond said. “To win that thing on a fielder’s choice, and a lot of good at-bats . it wasn’t a thing of beauty, but I’ll take it.”
Nationals star Bryce Harper was ejected by home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after arguing a called third strike in the eighth. Harper also had complained about a called third strike in his previous at-bat, leading off the sixth.
“He called it a strike and I wasn’t going to take it,” Harper said. “So I gave him a piece of mind and got out what I wanted to get out and he threw me out.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Harper’s frustrations were aimed at the wrong person.
“You can’t do that,” Johnson said. “Take it out on the pitcher. You can’t take the frustration out on the umpire.”
Washington starter Dan Haren surrendered three hits in six scoreless innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
Jose Fernandez went six innings, allowing one run and four hits. The Marlins’ All-Star Game representative walked three and struck out four.
“I came out of my game a little but today, got a little bit too excited,” Fernandez said. “But I got it back and tried to keep the team in the game and look what happened, Stanton hit the ball out and then we got another run to win it.”
Jayson Werth’s sacrifice fly in the fourth gave Washington a 1-0 lead. Harper drew a leadoff walk, took third on Adam LaRoche’s one-out single and scored when catcher Jeff Mathis failed to grab a one-hop relay from Marcell Ozuna, who caught Werth’s flyball in medium center field.
Ozuna made a nice running over-the-shoulder catch of Desmond’s fly for the final out in the third with runners on first and second.
NOTES: Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he’d probably start RHP Stephen Strasburg and LHP Gio Gonzalez in the first two games after the All-Star break, followed by RHP Jordan Zimmermann, who will not play in Tuesday night’s event because of tightness in his neck. “Zimmermann’s getting the extra days because of the shoulder thing, the neck,” Johnson said. … Johnson said LHP Ross Detwiler likely would need a rehab start before rejoining the Nationals. Detwiler (lower back strain) was placed the disabled list on July 7, retroactive to July 4. … Marlins manager Mike Redmond said RHP Jacob Turner would start Friday’s game at Milwaukee but hadn’t decided on the order for the rest of his post-break rotation. … 3B Colin Moran, the sixth overall draft pick who signed with Miami on Friday, took batting practice with the Marlins.