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Nats Fall in Miami; Zimmerman Becoming Error Plagued

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MIAMI, FL - APRIL 15: Bryce Harper (R) of the Washington Nationals is put out by thrid baseman Placido Polonco of the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on April 15, 2013 in Miami, Florida. All uniformed team members are wearing jersey number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – APRIL 15: Bryce Harper (R) of the Washington Nationals is put out by thrid baseman Placido Polonco of the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on April 15, 2013 in Miami, Florida. All uniformed team members are wearing jersey number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images)

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MIAMI — Adeiny Hechavarria ended the Marlins’ nine-game home run drought with a three-run shot, and Miami beat the Washington Nationals 8-2 Tuesday night.

A throwing error by Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman — his fourth in five games — preceded the homer and led to four unearned runs.

The Marlins (3-11) began the game with the worst record in the majors but broke out of an offensive slump in the fourth inning with four runs, more than they had scored in all but one game.

Hechavarria sent the Marlins Park home run sculpture swinging into action for the first time this season and ended a homer drought that had tied the 20-year-old franchise record.

Justin Ruggiano had two hits and three RBIs, Greg Dobbs contributed a bases-loaded walk and run-scoring single, and Juan Pierre totaled three hits and hiked his average to .222.

Alex Sanabia (2-1) allowed two runs in six innings, and two relievers completed an eight-hitter.

Dan Haren (1-2) gave up seven runs, three earned, in 4 1-3 innings and lowered his ERA to 8.10.

As a tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, the crowd of 16,200 sang along to “Sweet Caroline” before the bottom of the eighth inning. The song has been featured at Red Sox home games since 2002.

Both teams were shorthanded, and the Nationals played without three regulars. Bryce Harper and Denard Span sat out with flu-like symptoms, and second baseman Danny Espinosa remained sidelined by a bruised right hand.

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton sat out for the fifth consecutive game because of a bruised left shoulder. He took batting practice and said he felt better, and he might rejoin the lineup Wednesday.

Manager Mike Redmond tweaked the Miami lineup, and Chris Coghlan batted leadoff for the first time since 2011, with Pierre dropped to second in the order. The Marlins responded with a season-high run total and 11 hits.

The Marlins had help. The game was scoreless in the fourth when Placido Polanco reached with one out on the latest wild throw by Zimmerman, who underwent right shoulder surgery last offseason.

Singles by Dobbs and Ruggiano scored the first run. With two out, Hechavarria hit a three-run homer, his first and the team’s third.

The rookie shortstop finished 1 for 4, hiking his average to .184.

Washington scored twice in the sixth on doubles by Adam LaRoche, Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi.

NOTES: Marlins reserve OF Austin Kearns received clearance to play after missing two games and undergoing tests for an irregular heartbeat. He struck out pinch-hitting in the sixth. … The Marlins still have no saves. … The Nationals’ Roger Bernadina reached second base in the fifth inning when Sanabia fielded his tapper and threw wildly, but Bernadina was ruled out for running inside the first-base line.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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