WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Pinch hitter Corey Brown’s single drove in Ian Desmond with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning Saturday, lifting the Washington Nationals to a 7-6 victory over the Miami Marlins.
After Adam LaRoche singled off Chad Guadin (3-2) to open the inning, Desmond singled him to third and Danny Espinosa was intentionally walked to load the bases. With the infield in, Kurt Suzuki grounded into a fielder’s choice as LaRoche was thrown out at home, but Brown followed with a bloop single to right.
The Nationals, a major league-best 86-53, began the day with a 6½-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
Drew Storen (2-1) pitched a scoreless 10th inning for the win.
After a 2:33 rain delay, Jayson Werth led off the bottom of the ninth with home run off Heath Bell to tie the score at 6-all.
Before the game, Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s season was over. The Nationals had said Wednesday’s start at the New York Mets likely would be his final appearance of the season. Instead, Johnson said John Lannan will make that start and remain in the starting rotation.
“He’s had a great year. I know what he’s growing through,” Johnson said before Saturday’s game. “The media hype on this thing has been unbelievable. I feel it’s as hard for him as it would be anybody to get mentally, totally committed in the ballgame. And he’s reached his innings limit. So we can get past this and talk about other things for a change.”
Strasburg allowed five runs and matched his career low by lasting only three innings in the Nationals’ 9-7, 10-inning loss to the Marlins on Friday night.
“I sensed if from almost the first pitch of the ballgame yesterday, that that was gonna be it for him,” Johnson said. “I discussed it with (pitching coach) Steve McCatty and (GM) Mike Rizzo and they were in agreement.”
It was his second rough outing in two weeks against Miami, with six shutout innings in a no-decision against St. Louis in between.
“With the media attention I see it’s harder for him to concentrate on the job at hand. Physically he’s a little tired, but this kind of distraction really exacerbates the situation,” Johnson said.
Strasburg finishes 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA in his first full season following elbow-ligament replacement surgery on Sept. 3, 2010. He struck out 197 in 159 1-3 innings.
Ryan Zimmerman’s 20th homer of the season, a two-run shot to left-center off reliever A.J. Ramos with no outs in the eighth, cut Miami’s lead to 6-5 and Michael Morse and LaRoche followed with singles.
Ryan Webb came in and got Desmond to ground into a fielders’ choice, putting runners on first and third. After Desmond stole second, Espinosa was called out on strikes and Chad Tracy intentionally walked. Webb struck out pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina to end the inning.
Miami starter Mark Buehrle allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings and struck out five.
For the second day in a row, the Marlins tagged Washington’s starter early.
Gorkys Hernandez led off with a homer to left-center off Ross Detwiler and two outs later Giancarlo Stanton homered for the second day in a row. It was Stanton’s 32nd homer of the season and 10th in 19 career games at Nationals Park.
Donovan Solano made it 3-0 when he singled home Donnie Murphy in the second.
Jesus Flores’ homer to left in the bottom of the third made it 3-1 and the Nationals got to within one in the fourth. Zimmerman led off with a single and scored when Desmond and Espinosa hit back-to-back two-out singles.
Miami scored two unearned runs against Detwiler in the fifth. Solano led off with a walk and, with two outs, Carlos Lee walked. When LaRoche was unable to come up with Justin Rodriguez’s sharp grounder at first, Solano scored on the error and Lee went to third. John Buck’s single scored Lee.
Detwiler gave up five runs, three earned, in five innings.
Bryce Harper’s solo blast into the upper deck in right-center field in the fifth made it 5-3.
The Marlins added a run in the seventh as Solano doubled and scored on Zimmerman’s throwing error on Ruggiano’s grounder.
NOTES: The last-place Marlins lead the first-place Nationals 9-8 in the season series. … Espinosa extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Buehrle (1,503) became the 24th active pitcher with at least 1,500 career strikeouts. … Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez was ejected after arguing from the dugout with the home plate umpire following Stanton’s homer. … Washington’s Edwin Jackson (9-9, 3.63) faces Ricky Nolasco (11-12, 4.64) in Sunday’s series finale.
Listen here to what Davey Johnson, Ross Detwiler, Jayson Werth, Drew Storen & Corey Brown had to say following the win.
Davey Johnson Postgame Audio
Ross Detwiler Postgame Audio
Jayson Werth Postgame Audio
Drew Storen Postgame Audio
Corey Brown Postgame Audio
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