Cabrera hit two homers to become the fifth active player to reach 100 for his career before his 24th birthday as the Marlins beat the Nationals 9-7 Wednesday night.
“It means a lot because those are big names,” Cabrera said. “When you see your name with those guys, you feel proud.”
Cabrera, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored, also became the sixth-youngest player overall to reach the milestone. He has 22 home runs this season, after hitting 33 each of the last two years and 12 as a rookie in 2003.
“He’s the kind of hitter that doesn’t come around every day,” Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla said. “I’ve never played with a hitter like him. One hundred home runs and he’s only 23, that’s pretty amazing. He’s a superstar already.”
“It’s a good sign when your pitcher bats twice in the first two innings,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said.
Scott Olsen (10-7) pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, to rebound after his shortest outing of the season and snap a personal three-game losing streak.
Olsen became the third Marlins rookie pitcher to reach 10 victories this season, marking the first time since the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers and only the third time since 1900 that a team has had three rookies with at least 10 wins.
“People talk about the 52 Brooklyn Dodgers and ears perk up,” Girardi said. “Brooklyn Dodgers, not since then. That’s something.”
“If you’d have asked before the season if I thought they’d be able to do it, I’d have said, of course,” said Uggla, another rookie. “I knew what kind of talent they have. They’ve been the best pitchers in their organizations. I faced all three of them last year all the time and it wasn’t any fun.”
Tony Armas, Jr. (8-9) lasted only 1 2-3 innings for Washington, giving up eight runs five earned and 10 hits. It was his shortest outing of the season and his third loss in three decisions against Florida. He is 3-12 with a 5.98 ERA in his career against the Marlins.
“I don’t know, I think they’ve got something against me,” Armas said. “They’ve been tough on me.”
After the game, which dropped Washington to 1-5 on its current nine-game road trip, manager Frank Robinson and GM Jim Bowden met behind closed doors for about 25 minutes.
“It was nothing serious, just letting off a little steam,” Robinson said. “We’re all frustrated with the way we’ve been playing on this road trip. Hopefully, we can get this thing around and win some ballgames.”
Cabrera hit a two-run home run in the second to start a five-run rally and he followed that the next inning with a solo shot.
After Escobar s RBI double gave Washington a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Marlins followed with a three-run rally after the first five batters got base hits.
“He just didn’t have anything,” Robinson said of Armas. “His pitches were flat and his location was horrible.”
Two Washington errors led to three unearned runs in the second after Cabrera’s home run. Cabrera’s shot hit the yellow line at the top of the center-field wall, and first base umpire Phil Cuzzi initially ruled the ball in play. However, after Girardi came out to argue the call, the umpires huddled and reversed the call.
Ward’s three-run shot in the ninth capped the scoring.
“You can take good losses, but ugly losses, bad losses, sloppy losses are not acceptable,” Robinson said. “They weigh on you.”
Cabrera’s four RBIs gave him 383 for his career, moving him past Gary Sheffield (380) for fifth place on the Marlins’ all-time list. … Armas’ 12 losses against the Marlins tied him with three other pitchers for second-most by an opponent behind Tom Glavine’s 18. … The game was the last between the teams, with the Marlins winning the season series 11-7. … Mateo’s home run was his first in 235 career at-bats spread out over the last six seasons. … Olsen’s single in the second inning gave him a hit in four of his last six outings. … Ramirez wasted little time extending his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the first inning. He had hit a leadoff homer the night before.