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Washington Nationals avoid sweep with 8-3 win over Marlins in Miami

Ryan Zimmerman hit a big three-run home run in the fourth and the Nationals cruised to an 8-3 win over the Marlins in the series finale in Miami.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer extended his current unbeaten streak to eight-straight starts tonight and Ryan Zimmerman (with a three-run shot) powered the Washington Nationals in what ended up an 8-3 win in the series finale in Miami.

Scherzer held the Marlins off the board through six before giving up a solo HR by Christian Yelich on a hanging slider. It was 6-0 Nationals before the Marlins finally scored a run off the Nationals’ starter, 6-1.

Derek Dietrich hit a two-out, two-run home run later in the seventh inning, but that was all the Fish got off Scherzer as he earned his 18th curly-W, helping the Nationals avoid a sweep in Marlins Park. 8-3 final.

Here’s how it happened:

Danny Espinosa took advantage of a walk and two errors on one play to score the first run of the game.

Espinosa walked to lead off the top of the third, moved into scoring position on a sac bunt, took third on an errant pick attempt by Marlins’ starter Tom Koehler, then kept running when Christian Yelich misplayed the ball in center, 1-0.

Ryan Zimmerman hit his 15th home run of the season and his 10th career home run in Marlins Park in the fourth, taking a 1-1 curve from Koehler for a ride to left for a three-run blast that made it 4-0 Nationals.

Max Scherzer helped his own cause in the top of the fifth, singling to right off Dustin McGowan to start the frame, taking third base on an error by Adeiny Hechavarria on an attempted force at second, and scoring on an RBI single to left by Jayson Werth to make it 5-0 Nationals.

Trea Turner took a 3-2 slider from Austin Brice for a ride to left field in the top of the seventh, sending a solo shot out to the corner to make it 6-0 Nationals. HR No. 12 for Turner.

Christian Yelich jumped on a hanging slider and hit the first pitch from Max Scherzer in the seventh into the upper deck in right. Solo shot for Yelich, No. 20 of 2016. 6-1 Nats.

Two outs after Yelich’s blast, Derek Dietrich hit a two-out, two-run home run to right to end Scherzer’s night and make it a three-run game, 6-3 Nationals.

Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.2 IP. 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks, 2 HRs, 104 P, 71 S, 4/4 GO/FO.

Blake Treinen finished off the seventh.

Fernando Rodney gave up back-to-back hits to start the eighth with Anthony Rendon singling and scoring on a double to left by Wilson Ramos. 7-3. Ramos took third on a single by Stephen Drew and scored on a sac fly by Danny Espinosa to make it 8-3 after seven and a half.

Marc Rzepczynski and Shawn Kelley combined for a scoreless eighth inning and Mark Melancon came out for the ninth to end it. Ballgame. 8-3 final.

Nationals now 89-63


  • Washington’s 88-63 record after last night’s loss leaves them with the second-best record in the NATIONAL LEAGUE, behind only the Chicago Cubs (96-55).
  • Washington’s run differential (+147), is the second-best in the NL as well, behind only, again, Chicago (+232).
  • In today’s Nationals-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Washington is 100-115 overall against Miami, but 44-28 vs the Marlins... since 2013.
  • Giancarlo Stanton’s HR marked the 10th time in franchise history that a solo home run was the difference in a 1-0 win for Miami, and the third straight time they did it against the Washington Nationals.
  • Stanton now has 28 career home runs vs the Nationals, the third-most of any active player, behind only Ryan Howard (44) and Hanley Ramirez (31).
  • Martin Prado has the second-most doubles of any active player against the Nationals, with 43, behind only the New York Mets’ David Wright (51).
  • Tom Koehler starts the night (4-7) in 12 career starts vs the Nationals, over which he has a 4.04 ERA in 71 13 IP.
  • Bryce Harper starts the night 10 for 29, .345/.441/1.000 with a double and six home runs vs Marlins’ starter Tom Koehler in their respective careers.
  • Trea Turner leads the National League in total bases (147) and triples (tied, 7) since the All-Star Break.

Nationals now 89-63