Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was happy after his team's latest win. He just wasn't sure how to describe it.
After chasing Washington starter Stephen Strasburg early in what was likely his final home start this season, the Marlins squandered a 6-2 lead, scored three runs in the top of the 10th and survived a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the inning to escape with a 9-7 win over the Nationals on Friday night.
''That's first time I ever remember managing a baseball game and I don't know when you win or know what to say,'' Guillen said. ''All the suffering, all the stuff that happened, when you win the game that's a plus. If you lose this game it's going to be very, very hard to sleep tonight.''
Jose Reyes tripled twice and drove in three runs for the Marlins, including a two-run triple in the 10th off Tyler Clippard (2-4) that made a winner of Chad Gaudin (3-1). Washington, which has the best record in the major leagues, lost for only the second time in 10 games.
Steve Cishek got his 13th save in 17 chances by striking out pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina and Jayson Werth to end the game with the bases loaded.
''I just started rearing back and letting it go. I don't know if the velocity was any different, but it felt like it was,'' said Cishek, who earlier in the inning surrendered three consecutive hits, including an RBI-single to Michael Morse that deflected off the second-base umpire.
Strasburg matched his career low by lasting only three innings, allowing five runs.
''He always has the good stuff, but we tried to be aggressive in the strike zone with the fastball early in the game. We were able to catch him,'' Reyes said.
It was the second time in two weeks the Marlins roughed up the Washington right-hander.
''Maybe we're not trying to do too much,'' Guillen said. ''We swing at strikes. We make him throw strikes the last couple of games because we're not chasing bad pitches.''
The Nationals, wanting to protect the arm of the 24-year-old right-hander in his first full season following elbow-ligament replacement surgery on Sept. 3, 2010, have said next Wednesday's start at the New York Mets likely will be his final appearance of the season, even though Washington is likely to see postseason baseball for the first time since the original Senators in 1933.
Strasburg, 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA, allowed two runs in the first, one in the second and two in the third, giving up six hits - including home runs to Giancarlo Stanton and Rob Brantly. He threw 67 pitches and was pinch hit for in the third.
Strasburg walked leadoff hitter Bryan Petersen, then got ahead of Reyes on an 0-2 count only to allow a single. Stanton singled down the third-base line to drive in a run, and Carlos Lee hit a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
Ryan Zimmerman tied the score with a two-run homer off Jacob Turner in the bottom half, but Brantly homered with one out in the bottom half for a 3-2 lead.
''I hit it and I knew I got under it,'' Brantly said. ''As I was jogging I was praying for a little gust of wind to give it an extra foot and fortunately it went out.
Stanton hit his 31st homer in the third and Donovan Solano singled in a run for a 5-2 lead. Reyes, who had three hits, tripled in a run off Zach Duke in the fourth.
Turner, acquired with Brantly from Detroit on July 23, allowed two runs and six hits over six innings, but was on an 80-85 pitch limit.
Washington closed in the seventh on back-to-back RBI doubles by Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki off Carlos Zambrano, who didn't get an out, and a run-scoring error by second baseman Solano on pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi's infield single. Morse tied the score 6-6 with an eighth-inning homer off A.J. Ramos.
Reyes' second triple and Lee's second sacrifice fly built a 9-6 lead in the 10th. Morse singled in a run in the bottom half off Cishek.
NOTES: In 18 career games at Nationals Park, Stanton is batting .394 with nine HR and 18 RBIs. ... Zimmerman, who also tripled, extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Miami's Mark Buehrle faces fellow LHP Ross Detwiler on Saturday.