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Washington Nationals' Adam LaRoche And Middle Of The Order Thunder Too Much For Miami Marlins In Game One. 7-4 Nats.


• Cool Hand vs Brad Hand: John Lannan missed with a full-count fastball to Emilio Bonifacio, walking the first batter of the first game of two tonight in the nation's capital. The Nats' 27-year-old left-hander then let the first two Miami Marlins on when Donovan (brother of Jhonatan) Solano lined to right on an 89 mph 1-2 two-seamer from Lannan in the next AB. Jose Reyes bunted for a hit to load the bases with Carlos Lee due up, but El Caballo grounded into a 6-4-3 DP that did, however, bring in a run. 1-0 Miami. Austin Kearns K'd swinging to end an 18-pitch inning in which Lannan managed to limit the damage after a slow start to his second major league outing of the year.

Marlins' left-hander Brad Hand retired the first two batters he faced before surrendering double no.23 of 2012 by Nats' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Zim bounced his twenty-third two-base hit off the United Airlines sign on the right field wall in Nationals Park. Jayson Werth worked a six-pitch walk from the Marlins' 22-year-old '08 2nd Round pick and got Adam LaRoche up so that the Nats' first baseman could extend his hit streak to eleven games with an RBI grounder that got through the right side of the infield. Zimmerman scores to tie it. 1-1. Tyler Moore walked with two down to load the bases for Mark DeRosa, who was starting in right in game one, and the veteran bench bat battled in a nine-pitch AB with the Marlins' rookie that ended with DeRosa singling through short to bring in two more runs and make it 3-1. 33 pitches for Hand in the bottom of the inning after an 18-pitch top of the first for John Lannan...

• ABC, Easy As 3-5-4: New Fish outfielder Gorkys Hernandez walked with one down in the second, then stole second base off Lannan and Jesus Flores, who threw high to a covering Danny Espinosa. Lannan issued the third free pass of the game to backup Marlins' backstop Brett Hayes, but Brad Hand tried to bunt with two strikes and popped one up that Adam LaRoche let drop in front of the plate before throwing to Zimmerman at third and on to Steve Lombardozzi at second for the 3-5-4 inning-ender. 17-pitch 2nd. 3 walks so far. 3-1 Nats. Steve Lombardozzi singled with two down in the Nationals' second and Ryan Zimmerman walked, but Jayson Werth popped up behind first to end the inning. Still 3-1 Nats. 15-pitch second inning for Hand.

• LaMVP: Lannan needed just nine pitches to retire the Marlins in order in the top of the third. Adam LaRoche, who singled in a run in his first AB, took Brad Hand deep for the 21st HR of the year by the Nationals' first baseman the second time he stepped to the plate. A 91 mph 3-1 four-seamer sailed out to center and just off the hands of a fan at the edge of Nats Park's outfield wall above the big white-lettered GEICO sign in center field. 4-1 Nationals. LaRoche is 18 for 39 with 5 HR's and hits in 11-straight games.

• Ugly, Ugly, Ugly: John Lannan gave up a leadoff single by El Caballo, Carlos Lee, but retired the next three batters in order to end a 10-pitch frame. Danny Espinosa ripped a low liner by third base for his 27th double of the year with one down in the Nationals' fourth. Ryan Zimmerman was walked intentionally with Jayson Werth due up next in just his second game back following the broken wrist he suffered in May. Werth, who was 0 for 1 with a walk tonight and 1 for 5 overall vs Hand in their respective careers, walked to load the bases for Adam LaRoche. The Nats' first baseman battled for 10 pitches, just missing a few fastballs inside and fouling off pitch after pitch before taking a full-count fastball outside for ball four to force in a run and make it 5-1. Ryan Webb took over against Tyler Moore, and gave up an infield single on a grounder to short not even Jose Reyes could play. 6-1 Nats when Zim scores on the infield single and 7-1 when Mark DeRosa takes another bases-loaded walk.

• 3 for 3 for LaRoche: John Lannan threw a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth for the Nationals and he was up to 67 pitches overall after five, having retired 9 of the last 10 Marlins' hitters. Ryan Webb retired the Nats in order on 10 pitches in the bottom of the inning. After a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 6th, John Lannan had retired nine Marlins in a row going back to El Caballo's leadoff single in the fourth. 79 pitches overall. Jayson Werth singled to center off Webb with one down in the Nats' sixth, then went to third on an opposite field double by Adam LaRoche. Double no. 23 of 2012 for LaRoche, who was 3 for 3 and a triple away from the cycle when he was stranded at second on an inning-ending groundout by Mark DeRosa.

• Quick Exit: A leadoff walk by Austin Kearns broke up a streak of nine-in-a-row set down by John Lannan. A double by Donnie Murphy moved Kearns around to third and a wild pitch by Lannan brought the Marlins' second run in. 7-2 Nats. That was it for Lannan. Ryan Mattheus came out with the count 2-0 to Bryan Petersen and walked the Marlins outfielder. Ryan Zimmerman fielded a sharp grounder to third by Brett Hayes, but could do nothing with it. A run scored on the infield single to make it 7-3. Scott Cousins sent a one-hopper out to second in the next at bat, allowing Lombardozzi to turn a 4-3 DP and Emilio Bonifacio grounded out to end the top of the frame...

• Lannan's Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4 K's, 92 P, 49 S, 8/2 GO/FO.

• Storen?: Marlins' reliever Chris Hatcher gave up a one-out walk to Danny Espinosa in the bottom of the second, but retired the next two batters for a scoreless inning of work. Drew Storen came out to pitch the top of the eighth. Jose Reyes ripped into a 92 mph first-pitch sinker, sending a sharp grounder by first for a one-out double, no.24 of 2012. Storen missed with a full-count slider to Carlos Lee, putting two runners on for Austin Kearns. A passed ball advanced both runners, and a 3-1 pitch in the dirt put Austin Kearns on. Bases loaded. Storen got pinch hitter Justin Ruggiano swinging with three straight sliders for out no.2, but another wild pitch/passed ball to Bryan Petersen ended Storen's outing. Michael Gonzalez took over and got the Marlins' outfielder looking to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

• No Insurance, And Gorzo: Ryan Zimmerman hit his second double of the night and his 24th of the year to center and over Bryan Petersen's head to start the bottom of the eighth. Jayson Werth walked for the third time in game one. The Marlins' reliever, Chris Hatcher, popped Adam LaRoche up for out no.1, and Tyler Moore grounded into an eight-inning-ending 5-4-3. Michael Gonzalez came back out for the ninth and gave up double no. 6 of the year by Brett Hayes. Greg Dobbs hit a pinch hit single in the next at bat and Davey Johnson went for his closer, bringing Tyler Clippard on. Brett Hayes scored on a force at second on an Emilio Bonifacio grounder. 7-4 Nationals. Donovan Solano grounded out to short for out no.2 on a low throw from Espinosa that LaRoche scooped up. Jose Reyes grounded out to first to end it. 7-4 Nats win. No. 63 for the Nats. No. 22 for Clippard. Win no. 2 for Lannan.

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Nationals now 63-42.