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Nationals 9, Marlins 2

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Rookie Tanner Roark pitched six scoreless innings in his first big league start, and the Washington Nationals routed the last-place Miami Marlins, 9-2, Saturday night at Marlins Park.

Roark (5-0), a highly effective reliever since being called up Aug. 7, lowered his ERA to 0.94 after allowing four hits -- all of them singles --- and no runs. He struck out four.

The Nationals then went to their bullpen, using Ross Ohlendorf, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen to close out the game.

The Nationals opened the scoring in the first inning by teeing off on Nate Eovaldi. After Denard Span singled, Ryan Zimmerman homered, and Jayson Werth doubled off the wall in center field, a 418-foot blast.

Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison then saved a run with a diving catch of a hard liner hit by Ian Desmond, keeping the score 2-0.

The Nationals continued the onslaught in the third. Zimmerman led off by hitting his second homer of the game and his 19th of the season.

Catcher Wilson Ramos capped the inning with a two-run double to right.

Eovaldi finished the third inning but was then removed after allowing nine hits -- four of them for extra bases -- and five runs.

The Nationals stretched their lead to 6-0 with a run in the sixth. Tyler Moore singled and advanced to third on Anthony Rendon's single. Moore then scored on Span's sacrifice fly.

After Werth and Adam LaRoche hit consecutive doubles in the seventh to extend Washigton's lead to 7-0, the Marlins finally got on the board.

Miami got run-scoring singles in the bottom of the seventh from Adeiny Hechavarria and Jeff Mathis to cut Washington's lead to 7-2.

But Washington, which totaled 16 hits, added two more runs in the ninth on Desmond's two-run single.

NOTES: Nationals LF Bryce Harper, who has been dealing with a hip injury, was pulled from the lineup just a couple of minutes before the start of Saturday's game. He was replaced by Moore. ... Span extended his hitting streak to 18 games, a career high. ... Zimmerman made a spectacular first-inning play on a ground ball that took him to the right of third base. His one-hop throw to first beat Donovan Solano. ... The teams will play the deciding game of the three-game weekend series on Sunday. The Marlins will star RHP Jacob Turner, who has a 3.13 ERA -- 15th-best in the National League -- since getting called up May 3. ... The Nationals will start RHP Stephen Strasburg, who lasted just two innings in each of his past two starts against Miami. On July 12, he allowed seven runs vs. the Marlins. Then, on Aug. 28, he allowed no runs but again left after two innings because of a 72-minute rain delay.
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