Nationals 2, Marlins 0
In the first four years after Nationals Park opened, the home
team hated seeing the Marlins come to town.
In the stadium’s fifth season, Washington has a much better
Ross Detwiler and three relievers combined on a four-hitter,
Rick Ankiel homered and had three hits and the Nationals beat Miami
2-0 on Friday night in the first meeting between the teams this
Before the game, Nationals manager Davey Johnson talked about
how much he was looking forward to playing the Marlins, who had won
27 of 36 games at Nationals Park. It was a good test for his
”This is a big series. We’ve had a history of not playing good
against Florida – or Miami. Not that we thrashed them, but we beat
them first time out of the chute,” Johnson said.
”We know we’re pretty good. We just have to go prove it.”
Detwiler (2-0) allowed three hits over six innings and struck
out seven, equaling a career high. Craig Stammen threw a perfect
seventh and Tyler Clippard struck out Hanley Ramirez with two on to
end the eighth after walking Emilio Bonifacio on 14 pitches.
”That was a tremendous battle,” Johnson said. ”The last guy I
wanted to see come up with two guys on was Ramirez, and he handled
him all right.”
Henry Rodriguez walked two in the ninth but still earned his
fourth save as Washington improved to 11-4.
Miami had its four-game winning streak snapped.
”They pitched well,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. ”We
fight. We wanted the matchup. We get to the point, that’s the
matchup we want with Hanley hitting. We couldn’t get the big hit
Leading off the third, Ankiel drove a 2-0 pitch from Carlos
Zambrano (0-1) far over the center-field wall for his first home
run of the year.
”They’ve got a chance to be really good, and so do we.
Emotionally, you get hyped up,” Ankiel said.
In the eighth, Ankiel doubled to right with one out off Steve
Cishek, went to third on an infield out and scored on an RBI single
by Ian Desmond.
Ankiel’s slide into second was nifty. He faked putting his left
hand on the bag, pulled it back and eluded Bonifacio’s tag by
putting down his right hand.
Zambrano is 8-4 against the Nationals, and hadn’t lost in
Washington since May 14, 2005. He allowed just two hits – both by
Ankiel, who also singled in the fifth. In seven innings, Zambrano
struck out six and walked none. It was Ankiel who cost him a chance
for his first win of the season.
”I wasn’t aggressive on that pitch, and I have to be more
aggressive,” Zambrano said. ”A good hitter, when you throw a
pitch that stays in the zone, they will make you pay.”
Detwiler threw 79 pitches and was in trouble only in the second
inning when Giancarlo Stanton led off with a single and former
National Austin Kearns doubled with one out. When John Buck flied
out to center, Stanton didn’t try testing Ankiel’s strong arm.
Runners remained at second and third as Donnie Murphy struck
Johnson removed Detwiler for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the
”To be able to get through the first inning, maybe the first
couple, that’s huge for me,” he said.
Pitching on a deep Washington staff, Detwiler will have to fend
off a challenge from Chien-Ming Wang to remain in the rotation when
Wang he returns from the disabled list.
”I do have to prove myself every time out because there’s
someone great right behind me. Once he’s healthy, it’s my job to
put it in their hands,” Detwiler said.
Jose Reyes hit a long fly to center that Ankiel caught up with
to end the fifth. He also made a fine running catch on Chris
Coghlan to start the eighth
”He was basically our offense – and our defense,” Johnson
NOTES: Nationals pitchers have allowed just two home runs in 140
innings this season. … Miami 2B Omar Infante won’t start this
weekend due to a sore left groin, Guillen said. Infante could be
used in an emergency as a pinch-hitter. Guillen hopes Infante will
be able to play Tuesday in New York. … Washington RHP Edwin
Jackson, who pitched for St. Louis last season, will be presented
with his World Series ring before Saturday’s game by former
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. … The Marlins will start RHP
Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 2.92 ERA) on Saturday against Washington RHP
Stephen Strasburg (2-0, 1.42).