Marlins come alive in 10th to take down Nationals
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Miami Marlins looked pretty haggard Wednesday night against the Washington Nationals.
They committed several baserunning gaffes, had an error, and watched their bullpen surrender a 4-0 lead.
Oh yeah, they won.
Casey McGehee’s fourth hit of the game drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, and Reed Johnson doubled home two more as the Marlins defeated the Nationals 8-5, sweeping the rain-shortened two-game series.
"I don’t even know where to start on that game," manager Mike Redmond said.
"It wasn’t a perfect game by far. We made many mistakes, but we kept ourselves in it."
Miami’s two wins at Washington, with four games left there, are already one more than they achieved in 2013.
Starter Henderson Alvarez threw five innings. He led 4-0, but left with elbow stiffness and the Nationals rallied against the Miami bullpen.
"He said he had a little tightness in his elbow," Redmond said. "He said he could pitch, but we took him obviously for precautionary reasons. I think he’s fine, but we’ll see over the next couple days."
Alvarez was seeking his first win since May 6, and his first road win of the season.
"When I started the game I got out to the mound and my arm felt tight," Alvarez said through an interpreter, later adding he’s felt similar tightness in the past.
"I’ll be fine for the next start," he said.
Ed Lucas singled off Jerry Blevins (2-2) to open the 10th and Christian Yelich walked. After Derek Dietrich bunted the runners over, the Nationals intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton.
McGehee then lined a single off the base of the wall in left off Aaron Barrett, scoring Lucas. Then Johnson doubled home Yelich and Stanton scored to make it 7-4. Donovan Solano singled home the eighth run.
Kevin Slowey (1-0) worked one inning for the win and Steve Cishek pitched the 10th, allowing one run.
Wilson Ramos, who went 3 for 6, hit a solo homer for Washington to tie the game in the seventh. Nate McLouth tied a career high with four hits.
The Nationals, who have lost six of seven, loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth with the score tied, but didn’t score.
"This is just a test for us," first baseman Adam LaRoche said, "to see where we’re at mentally, see how bad we want to grind our way out of it and get back in this division. It could always be worse."
Dietrich saved at least a run in the eighth when he backed up first on Denard Span’s bunt with two men on and kept Mike Dunn’s errant throw from sailing down the right field line.
"He was right in a perfect spot," McLouth said. "Because I rounded third there and was looking if there was any kind of a bounce away from him at all, but he was right there and it was a huge play in the game."
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann struggled for the fourth straight game, allowing four runs — three earned — and eight hits over five innings. His ERA rose to 4.07.
The Nationals batted around in the sixth, getting two runs on a double by McLouth and one more when first baseman Garrett Jones threw wide of pitcher Dan Jennings at first on Span’s grounder.
Ramos tied it when he sent a 2-0 fastball from A.J. Ramos into the Marlins’ bullpen for his first home run.
Despite two baserunning mistakes, the Marlins built a 4-0 lead.
In the first, Yelich doubled to lead off, but broke for third on a grounder to short and was thrown out.
The Marlins had first and second with no outs in the fourth.
McGehee then grounded a single to left. Third base coach Brett Butler held Dietrich at third, but Stanton rounded second and came halfway to third before realizing it and was tagged out.
However, Jones, Marcell Orzuna and Adeiny Hechavarria collected RBI singles, and Orzuna scored on a throwing error by Jayson Werth.
NOTES: Washington 3B Ryan Zimmerman (fractured right thumb) took live batting practice and fielded ground balls Wednesday for the first time since going on the DL April 13. . The first ballot update for the NL’s starting lineup in the All-Star game was released on Wednesday and Stanton was fourth among outfielders, trailing third-place Ryan Braun by about 20,500 votes. Washington 2B Anthony Rendon ranks fourth, well-behind leader Chase Utley. … Marlins SS Rafael Furcal (left hamstring strain) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Jupiter (Florida). … Both teams are off Thursday. Miami opens a three-game home series Friday against Atlanta, while Washington hosts the Texas Rangers.