Nationals 9, Marlins 0

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez picked up his first win since the All-Star break, and Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond hit three-run homers as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 9-0 Thursday to sweep the three-game series.

Bryce Harper (three runs) also homered for the Nationals (68-65), who have won 14 of the last 19 and are three games above .500 for the first time since July 8. Miami (49-83) has lost four in a row and eight of nine. The Marlins have drawn 34 walks in the past 10 games, but none have scored.

Harper gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead in the fourth with a two-run homer just over the fence in left field. A fan pulled the ball out of some flowers between the wall and the first row of seats. It was the 19th homer of the season for Harper, whose team improved to 14-3 in games in which he has homered.

Werth (three hits), the top hitter in the majors since July 1, crushed a long homer to left off Tom Koehler (3-9) to give the Nationals a 5-0 lead in the sixth. Rookie second baseman Anthony Rendon added an RBI single against reliever Sam Dyson, just called up from Triple-A New Orleans, later in the inning to make it 6-0.

Desmond made it 9-0 in the seventh when he lofted a homer off Dyson to left for his 20th long ball of the season. He leads major league shortstops in extra-base hits with 55.

Gonzalez (8-6) lasted a total of 14 1/3 innings in his previous three starts, but he picked up his first win since July 10 at Philadelphia.

Gonzalez, who retired 11 in a row to end his night, gave up three hits in seven innings. He struck out eight. Tanner Roark closed out the win with two innings of one-hit ball.

Ryan Zimmerman had three hits and a walk in four trips to the plate for the Nationals.

Washington's Denard Span led off the first with a single to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.

The Nationals pulled within 6 1/2 games of Cincinnati for the second wild-card spot in the National League.

NOTES: The Marlins called up Dyson after RHP Arquimedes Caminero was sent to Triple-A following Wednesday's game. Caminero gave up a game-tying homer to the first batter he faced, Werth, on Wednesday. ... Miami RHP Ryan Webb was hit in the back while stretching during the Nationals' batting practice, but he did not appear to be seriously hurt. ... Desmond, who has 18 steals, is bidding to become the third Nationals player to make the 20-20 club ... Span is hitting .388 (19-for-49) in his past 12 games.
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