Marlins beat Nationals, help Braves, Cards clinch berths
Sep 22, 2013 at 4:44p ET
After dropping their first eight games in Washington, the Marlins beat the Nationals 4-2 in the opener of Sunday's day-night doubleheader as Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich homered and Steve Cishek tied a team record by converting his 27th consecutive save chance.
Tom Koehler (4-10), who had been 0-4 in eight starts since Aug. 1, allowed two runs and three hits in six innings.
He had an extra day of rest following Saturday night's rainout.
"I was excited that he wanted to throw that first game and even after the long night," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He came out and did exactly what he needed."
Cishek pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances, completing a four-hitter and a scoreless day for the Marlins' bullpen. Mike Dunn and Chad Qualls also pitched in relief.
"You know it's crazy," Cishek said. "Out there I had a little more adrenaline pumping. It felt like a playoff atmosphere. The fans are really into it and those guys are digging in there and every at-bat was huge for them. It felt good to come out and win a game like that."
Cishek, who has 32 of 50 career saves this season, began his streak June 8 in a 2-1 win at the New York Mets. He ties a mark set in 2005 by Todd Jones.
"He's been tremendous down there," Redmond said. "I think there's not a guy on this team that doesn't have all the confidence in the world in him and his abilities, and when he gets out there, we feel like that game's over. It's been fun to see him adjust."
Dan Haren (9-14) lost to Miami for the third time this year, giving up three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Washington's Stephen Strasburg (7-9) was to start against Brian Flynn (0-2) in the night game, necessitated by Saturday night's rainout.
Stanton's 24th homer, a two-run drive after Yelich doubled, put the Marlins ahead in the first.
"I know there's a base open but it's the first inning," Haren said. "I guess in hindsight I could have just walked him. I wasn't trying to just challenge him, I was trying to get a good pitch down and away it just got a little too much plate."
Yelich added a solo shot in the third.
Koehler, who shut out the Mets for eight innings while earning a no-decision in his last start, limited Washington to two singles over the first five innings.
Ryan Zimmerman homered in the sixth, his 26th of the season and 11th of September.
"I thought Koehler did a nice job getting through the sixth inning and gave up the one big hit, but did exactly what we needed him to do," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Washington grounded into three double plays.
"We hit a few balls on the button, but right at somebody," Johnson said.
Donovan Solano drove in Miami's final run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
NOTES: Todd Jones saved 27 straight for the Marlins in 2005. ... The ceremony honoring Johnson included a pair of video tributes and the presentation of an engraved Tiffany crystal keepsake. ... Juan Pierre got his 2,216th hit, moving past Joe DiMaggio for sole possession of 175th place. ... Stanton has hit safely in 23 of 29 games at Nationals Park with 13 home runs.