Posted May 30, 2012 on AP on Fox
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 12th home run in May to tie the franchise record for a single month and the Miami Marlins earned their 20th comeback victory Wednesday night, completing a three-game sweep of the first-place Washington Nationals with a 5-3 win. Stanton hit a solo homer in the seventh inning, his 13th this year, and had a two-out RBI single in the first. Still only 22, Stanton tied Dan Uggla's team record for the most homers in a month and totaled 30 RBIs in May. Since the start of the expansion era in 1961, the only other player under age 23 to total more homers and RBIs in a single month was Bob Horner in 1980, the Marlins said, citing information from the Elias Sports Bureau. The Marlins rallied from a 3-1 deficit and lead the majors in comeback wins. They went 21-8 in May, best in the majors, and a franchise record for victories in any month. Miami is seven games above .500 for the first time and trails Washington by one-half game in the NL East. The Marlins went 7-3 during their longest homestand of the year. Josh Johnson (3-3) gave up three runs in six innings and singled home the tying run with his first hit of the year. Johnson and Anibal Sanchez are a combined 16-0 against the Nationals. Sanchez beat them Tuesday. Edward Mujica retired all six batters he faced, and Heath Bell followed with a scoreless ninth for his third save in the series and 10th this year in 14 chances. Bell struck out pinch hitter Rick Ankiel with runners at the corners to end the game and lowered his ERA to 7.20. Miami's Jose Reyes had two singles and extended the NL's longest active hitting streak to 11 games. Hanley Ramirez had three hits and went 8 for 10 in the series to hike his average to .275. Danny Espinosa had a triple and an RBI single and scored twice for the Nationals, and Roger Bernadina drove in two runs. Washington went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position and 2 for 19 in the series in those situations while scoring only seven runs. The Nationals finished 15-13 this month, their best May since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005. Washington's Chien-Ming Wang (1-1), making his first start of the season, allowed four runs in four-plus innings. Catcher Jhonatan Solano, who joined the Nationals on Tuesday, made several defensive contributions in his first major-league start. His sweep tag in the second inning nabbed Bryan Petersen trying to score from third on a flyout to right fielder Bernadina. Solano twice threw out Ramirez trying to steal second base. Wang took a two-run lead into the fourth but walked the first two batters, and both scored. After a groundout, Chris Coghlan hit a sacrifice fly, and Johnson followed with a two-out RBI single. Miami went ahead 4-3 in the fifth. Ramirez led off with a double and later scored on John Buck's infield single. Espinosa led off the second with a 400-foot triple and scored on Bernadina's sacrifice fly. Adam LaRoche started the fourth with a double and came home on Espinosa's single. Bernadina followed with an RBI double but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple. Notes: Marlins 2B Omar Infante made a diving catch of Bryce Harper's liner to rob the rookie in the fifth. ... Ramirez hiked his career average against the Nationals to .380 (76 for 200). ... Uggla hit 12 homers in May 2008. ... The Nationals went 5-4 on their trip. ... Donovan Solano affectionately tapped the shin guard of the Nationals' catcher - his brother - stepping to the plate to pinch hit in the eighth. He then walked.

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