WASHINGTON (AP) — Carlos Zambrano hoped that when he joined the Miami Marlins, his new team would have lots of offense, and he’d be a big winner.
Three starts into his Marlins career, it hasn’t worked out that way. Zambrano pitched brilliantly on Friday night, but Miami managed just four hits as Washington’s Ross Detwiler and three relievers combined to beat the Marlins 2-0 on Friday night.
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.
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“They pitched well. They pitched good. We fight. 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 today,” Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said
Henry Rodriguez walked two in the ninth but still earned his fourth save as Washington improved to 11-4.
The Marlins had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Leading off the third, Rick Ankiel, who had three hits, blasted a 2-0 pitch from Zambrano (0-1) far over the center-field wall for his first home run of the year.
“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.”
In the eighth, Ankiel doubled to right with one out against Steve Cishek and scored on an RBI single by Ian Desmond.
Zambrano is 8-4 against the Nationals, and hadn’t lost in Washington since May 14, 2005. He allowed two hits — both by Ankiel, who also singled in the fifth. In seven innings, Zambrano struck out six and walked none.
For now, Zambrano will have to settle for being a hard-luck loser.
“This is a long season. I’ve been in this situation before. One time in the past I didn’t win any games in the first month and I ended up winning 16. You know, 16 wins in a season is good,” Zambrano said.
The Marlins were 27-9 in the first four seasons of Nationals Park, and before the game, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he looked forward to the game.
“My guys know this is a good test for us. 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 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 out.
Jose Reyes hit a long fly to center that Ankiel caught up with to end the fifth.
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).