MIAMI — Jordan Zimmermann bounced back from the shortest start of his career to pitch seven innings and lead the Washington Nationals to a 9-2 win over the Miami Marlins, who endured their eighth loss in a row.
Bryce Harper had two doubles and an RBI triple for Washington. He has batted .520 over his past seven games to boost his average to .348.
Catcher Sandy Leon hit his first career home run, while Tyler Moore also homered and had an RBI single. Anthony Rendon drove in three runs with a double and a triple, and Danny Espinosa doubled and tripled for two of the Nationals’ 11 extra-base hits.
Zimmermann (1-0), who lasted only 1 2-3 innings when he gave up five runs against Miami last week, became the first Nationals starter to go seven innings this season. He allowed two runs, struck out seven and lowered his ERA from 8.10 to 5.27.
The right-hander tied the Nationals record of 44 career victories set by Livan Hernandez.
Zimmermann also had two of the Nationals’ season-high 16 hits. They improved to 4-0 this year against the Marlins and have outscored them 31-10.
Washington started fast against Brad Hand after being swept in a three-game series at Atlanta last weekend. Jayson Werth missed a home run by inches when he doubled off the top of the wall with two out in the first, and Harper followed with an RBI single.
Moore skipped a ball off the top of the wall into the Marlins’ bullpen for a homer in the second. Rendon hit a two-run double later in the inning to make it 4-0.
Hand (0-1) fell to 1-11 in his career as a starter. He lasted only three innings while allowing five runs and five extra-base hits.
Things are going so bad for the Marlins they brought in closer Steve Cishek trailing by seven runs in the ninth because he needed the work.
It likely won’t get any easier for the Marlins on Tuesday, when they face Stephen Strasburg. He beat them last week and began this week leading the NL in strikeouts.
NOTES: Nationals RHP Doug Fister (back muscle) threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session and said he felt good afterward. The next step for him is a simulated game. … Nationals OF Nate McLouth missed his second start in a row because of a sore left knee. … With a left-hander pitching for Miami, 1B Adam LaRoche sat out for the first time this season. … Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna was held out of the starting lineup after bruising his foot when he fouled a ball off it Sunday. … INF Rafael Furcal (hamstring) began a rehabilitation assignment Monday that is expected to last three weeks, meaning he won’t join the Marlins until early May. … Marlins 1B Garrett Jones is a fan of pro wrestling, and his new theme song when he bats is a tune used by The Ultimate Warrior, who died last week.
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