Marlins rally to beat Nationals

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 28, 2012
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 11th home run of May, one short of the Marlins' record for a month, helping Miami rally past the Washington Nationals 5-3 Monday. Stanton tied the score in the sixth with his 12th homer of the year, Logan Morrison homered and scored twice, and Hanley Ramirez had three hits and a sacrifice fly. Reliever Edward Mujica got five outs while facing only four batters, and struggling closer Heath Bell pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in 12 chances. Bell had failed to finish the ninth in his previous two outings. The Marlins improved to 19-8 since May 1, best in the majors, and broke the franchise record for victories in any month. They're 5-9 against the NL East, while Washington fell to 11-4 within the division. Carlos Zambrano (3-3) rebounded from his worst start of the year, allowing three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. Jordan Zimmermann (3-5) hit his first career homer but couldn't hold a 3-1 lead. He gave up four runs in six innings, including both Miami homers. Miami rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the sixth to take the lead. Ramirez singled, and Stanton hit a homer estimated at 412 feet. Morrison doubled and took third on a single by Bryan Petersen, and Chris Coghlan's sacrifice fly put the Marlins ahead. Morrison tied the score with a leadoff homer in the fourth, his third. After the Memorial Day drive, he paid tribute to his late father, a Coast Guard veteran who died in 2010, by pointing upward as he crossed home plate. Morrison increased his average in day games to .388. He's batting .159 at night. Zambrano took a 4-3 lead into the seventh but departed after the first two batters reached. Left fielder Coghlan made a running catch of Bryce Harper's fly, and after Mujica entered the game, Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a double play. Zambrano, standing in the dugout, let out a celebratory ''Wooo!'' The Nationals went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Jose Reyes' hustle produced an insurance run for Miami in the seventh. He kept running after hitting a blooper to short center and barely beat the throw to second for a double. He took third on a groundout to the left side, then scored without a play when center fielder Rick Ankiel juggled Ramirez's shallow fly in his haste to throw home. Washington, coming off a sweep of the Braves, had a quick turnaround for the 1:10 p.m. start after a night game Sunday in Atlanta. The Nationals arrived at their hotel in South Florida at 3 a.m. but came out swinging, and three consecutive hits in the fifth put them ahead. Steve Lombardozzi and Harper singled, and Zimmerman cleared the bases when he doubled off the base of the wall to make the score 3-1. Zimmermann pulled a 2-2 curve over the left-field fence in the third inning for the game's first run. He got the ball as a souvenir because a fan threw it back onto the field. Trying for another homer in his next at-bat, Zimmerman swung so hard he nearly fell as he struck out. NOTES: Nationals C Jesus Flores, who left Sunday's game at Atlanta with a mildly strained right hamstring, said he felt better Monday and might play Tuesday. ... Marlins 3B Ramirez, who moved to a new position this season, made only his second error when he threw wildly in the first inning. ... Miami C John Buck ended an 0-for-26 slump when he singled in the second. ... RHP Anibal Sanchez, who is scheduled to start Tuesday, is 7-0 with a 2.18 ERA in 18 starts against Washington. ... Game-time temperature was 78 degrees - under the retractable roof. Outdoors the heat index was 99.
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