Nationals 5, Marlins 2(10)
Struggling as a table-setter for the Washington Nationals,
Denard Span thrived Sunday as a run-producer.
Span was dropped from the top spot in the order for the first
time this season, and he responded with three hits in the No. 7
position, including a tiebreaking two-out RBI double in the 10th
inning to help beat the Miami Marlins 5-2.
Span snapped a 1-for-20 slump with a two-out RBI double in the
second inning, and singled in the fourth. The three hits raised his
average to .260 and helped the Nationals head into the All-Star
break at 48-47.
”I just said, `Hey, I’m going to try end this first half on a
good note,”’ Span said. ”I couldn’t play any worse than I have
this first half. I just wanted to go out feeling good. I didn’t
want to go home feeling in more of a stale mood than I’m already
It has been a frustrating season so far for Span and the
defending NL East champions, who averted a series sweep and snapped
a three-game losing streak. They went 2-4 on their trip and trail
division leader Atlanta by six games.
”I like this ballclub,” manager Davey Johnson said. ”We’ve
had few hiccups with injuries and whatever, but I think we’re in
good shape going into the second half. We’re an awfully good
ballclub, and we just need to play like it.”
On Friday, the Nationals begin their longest homestand of the
season – 11 games.
They salvaged the series finale at Miami despite going 2 for 10
with runners in scoring position, and hit .087 (4 for 46) in those
situations during their trip. They had four hits without scoring in
the fourth inning, when right fielder Giancarlo Stanton threw out
two base runners.
Bryce Harper replaced Span in the leadoff spot, batting there
for the first time in his career, and went 1 for 5 with a double
and a walk. Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon each had
two of Washington’s 14 hits.
”We hit a bunch of balls hard, and I like the way it felt,”
Johnson said. ”Everybody seemed to have a little energy in the new
lineup, and I’ll probably stick with it more.”
Harper was pleased with Johnson’s decision to bat him first.
”I loved it. I really did,” he said. ”Getting the ABs I did,
five or six ABs, that was pretty awesome. I like doing it. I did it
in high school. It was pretty cool. If he left it there, I would be
With the score 2-all, Werth hit a one-out single in the 10th off
Steve Cishek (3-5), and Span hit a double that landed on the
warning track in center field to give the Nationals the lead. That
ended Cishek’s streak of 16 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings, the
longest active streak in the major leagues.
Wilson Ramos added an RBI single, and pinch-hitter Chad Tracy
doubled home another run.
”I flipped in a couple of lazy sliders that killed me,” Cishek
said. ”I really wanted to finish on a strong note for the first
half. Sweeping the Nationals would have been great.”
Washington rookie Taylor Jordan remained winless in four career
starts despite an ERA of 3.32. The Florida native allowed two runs
in six innings before departing for a pinch-hitter.
Craig Stammen (5-4) pitched a perfect ninth. Rafael Soriano
followed with a scoreless 10th for his 25th save.
Miami snapped the Nationals’ franchise-record streak of hitting
a home run in 86 consecutive series. Derek Dietrich hit a two-run
homer for the Marlins, his ninth, but they squandered several
A line drive by Dietrich along the right-field line was
initially ruled fair by first-base umpire Mike Estabrook, putting
runners at second and third with none out in the second inning. But
plate umpire Alan Porter reversed the call, Dietrich struck out and
the Marlins didn’t score. TV replays were inconclusive.
Notes: Miami LHP Duane Below was optioned to Triple-A New
Orleans. RHP Chad Qualls will be placed on the paternity list. …
Werth fouled a ball off the top of his left foot and left the game
in the 10th. He was limping after the game and said he was unsure
whether he might miss any playing time when the season resumes. …
Washington RHP Tyler Clippard struck out the side in the ninth. In
his past nine innings, he has allowed one hit with 11 strikeouts.
… Miami SS Adeiny Hechavarria had two hits and is batting .412
(21 for 51) this month. … Marlins C Jeff Mathis has thrown out 13
of 18 runners on steal attempts.