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Nationals 2-1 Over Marlins In Series Opener In Washington, D.C.

The Washington Nationals scored two runs in the first to take a 2-0 lead, then held on as Ross Ohlendorf, Tanner Roark, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano held the Miami Marlins down in what ended up a 2-1 win in the nation's capital.

Greg Fiume

Miami Marlins' third baseman Ed Lucas looked home quickly, but decided against throwing there and went to first instead on Jayson Werth's RBI groundout to third in the top of the first. Washington Nationals' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who'd singled with one down on a full-count fastball from Nathan Eovaldi and taken third on a Bryce Harper single, then scored on Werth's grounder for an early 1-0 Nats' lead in the series opener with the Fish. Ian Desmond took a 2-2 slider to center in the next at bat to bring Harper in from second base and Ross Ohlendorf and the Nationals had a 2-0 lead when the right-hander retook the mound for the top of the second inning. 11 pitches later Ohlendorf got a sharp grounder to third from Justin Ruggiano that Ryan Zimmerman backhanded before popping up and making an inning-ending throw to first. 27 pitches in two scoreless for Ohlendorf.

It was still 2-0 Nationals when Ohlendorf took the mound in the third and got a groundout to second from Adeiny Hechavarria, retiring the seventh straight Marlin to start the game. Jeff Mathis was the eighth straight when he flew out to left field on an 0-2 slider that sent Bryce Harper back to the track. Adam LaRoche backhanded a sharp grounder from the opposing pitcher and took it to the bag himself to end a 13-pitch inning that had Ohlendorf up to 40 pitches total after three perfect frames.

Denard Span singled to start the Nationals' third, extending his current hit streak to 10 games, over which he was 17 for 42 after tonight's hit. One out later, with Bryce Harper up, a wild pitch moved Span up to second, but Harper K'd looking at a 2-2 fastball from Nathan Eovaldi that home plate Mike DiMuro thought was a strike and Jayson Werth grounded out to short to end the third with the score still 2-0 Nationals.

Christian Yelich lined to right on a 2-0 fastball to end Ross Ohlendorf's bid for perfection with the Marlins' first hit. One out later, Giancarlo Stanton improved to 33 for 91 with 11 doubles and 11 HRs in Nationals Park when he sent a sharp grounder by third for his 22nd double of 2013, putting runners on second and third with one down. When Ohlendorf fell behind Logan Morrison 3-1, the Nationals decided to put the left-handed hitting first baseman on and go after Ed Lucas instead. Lucas K'd swinging at an 0-2 slider in the dirt for out no.2 and Justin Ruggiano grounded into a force at third to end the fourth. 2-0 Nats. 21-pitch inning for Ohlendorf. 61 overall after four.

Ian Desmond was 2 for 2 tonight after he lined an opposite field single to right to start the Nationals' fourth. Adam LaRoche went the other way with a 2-0 heater for the second straight opposite field hit, and both runners advanced into scoring position on a Wilson Ramos' groundout. The Marlins walked Anthony Rendon to get to Ross Ohlendorf with the bases loaded though, and Ohlendorf K'd chasing an 0-2 slider out of the zone. Denard Span's grounder to second allowed the Marlins to get an inning-ending force at second and it was still 2-0 Nats after four in D.C.

Ross Ohlendorf dialed up a 92 mph 1-2 heater to get Adeiny Hechavarria looking for the first out of the fifth. Mike Mathis lined to short on a high fastball, where Ian Desmond made an easy catch. Nathan Eovaldi's fly to right ended a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth that had Ohlendorf at 74 pitches overall. Bryce Harper was 2 for 3 against Nathan Eovaldi when he singled to center with one down in the fifth. Jayson Werth popped out to right for the second out of the inning and Ian Desmond K'd swinging through a 2-2 fastball to end the frame with the score still 2-0 Nationals.

Christian Yelich hit his second HR of the year out to right field and into the Nationals' bullpen where Tanner Roark warmed up for the game he was about to enter. Ross Ohlendorf looked and was done after that, leaving the game with a one-run lead after 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 78 P, 50 S, 6/5 GO/FO. 2-1 Nationals. Roark took over and popped Donovan Solano up with the second pitch he threw. Four straight balls to Giancarlo Stanton put the Marlins' slugger on with one down, and Roark then walked Logan Morrison as well in front of Ed Lucas. Lucas took an 0-2 fastball for a called strike three and out no.2, however, and Justin Ruggiano K'd swinging through a 2-2 heater up high. Row-ark!!

Adam LaRoche singled to start the bottom of the sixth, but was doubled up when Wilson Ramos lined out to second. Donovan Solano made the catch and throw for the first two outs of the inning, and Nathan Eovaldi got Anthony Rendon looking to end the sixth and keep it close for the Marlins. 2-1 Nationals.

Drew Storen got the first two outs of the seventh with three pitches then got Marlins' pinch hitter Juan Pierre looking with a backdoor slider to end a six-pitch, 1-2-3 inning of work. Steve Lombardozzi hit for Storen to start the bottom of the inning, but flew out to right. Denard Span walked with one down. After Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging, the Marlins replaced A.J. Ramos with Dan Jennings to face Bryce Harper in a lefty vs lefty matchup. Harper rolled one out to second on the first pitch he saw, ending the seventh with the score still 2-1 Nationals.

Tyler Clippard got two quick outs in the eighth, but had to get by Giancarlo Stanton to get out of the inning. Three straight fastballs sat Stanton down and the Nationals took their 2-1 lead to the bottom of the eighth. Nine-pitch inning. Still 2-1 Nats. Chad Qualls got Jayson Werth for the first out of the Nationals' eighth, but Ian Desmond lined to right for his second opposite field single of the game. Desmond stole his 17th base of the year, but two outs later was stranded at second sending it to the ninth with the score still 2-1 Nats.

"Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!" Rafael Soriano came out in the ninth looking for save no. 34 of 2013. A 1-2 slider got Logan Morrison looking for out no.1. ONE! Ed Lucas grounded out to short on a 1-2 slider for out no.2. TWO!! Justin Ruggiano stepped with two down and lined a hanging 0-1 slider to left for a two-out single. Adeiny Hechavarria stepped in with the tying run at first and rolled the third out over to second. Ballgame. Nationals win, 2-1 final.

Work's done! Untuck that jersey, son!!!

Nationals now 66-65