WASHINGTON -- Ross Ohlendorf and four relievers held Miami to four hits and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 on Tuesday in the first game of a six-game homestand against the Marlins and New York Mets.
Ohlendorf (3-0) got the win allowing just one run while the Washington bullpen of Tanner Roark, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano allowed just one hit over the final four innings.
Soriano, who had struggled in recent outings, pitched the ninth, gave up a two-out single and earned his 34th save.
The Nationals (66-65) made a two-run first inning stand up and are back above .500 for the first time since July 14, when they beat the Marlins in Miami. Washington has won seven of 11 while the Marlins (49-81) have lost eight of their last 11 and officially will not have a winning season.
Starter and loser Nathan Eovaldi (2-5) went six innings for the Marlins. He gave up two runs and eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts. He has gone at least six innings in 11 of 13 starts this season but lost his fifth straight decision as the Marlins have scored just six runs in his last eight starts.
Desmond, who drove in the eventual game winner in the first, had three hits and Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche had two for the Nationals.
Washington began the day eight games back of Cincinnati for the second wild-card spot in the National League.
"I still think we are in a pennant drive," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "Now is the time."
The Nationals play their next 18 games against the Marlins, Mets and Phillies -- teams that began Tuesday a combined 55 games under .500.
The Nationals scored all they would need in the first on an RBI groundout by Jayson Werth and a run-scoring hit by Desmond against Eovaldi.
Ohlendorf, in his fourth start of the season, retired the first nine batters before working out of trouble in the fourth inning.
Christian Yelich hit a clean single to begin the fourth. The Marlins loaded the bases, but Ohlendorf retired Justin Ruggiano on a fielder's choice to end the threat.
The Marlins put up their lone run of the game thanks to Yelich, who belted a leadoff home run in the sixth to make the score 2-1.
Ohlendorf was lifted after just 78 pitches in favor of rookie reliever Roark.
NOTES: The Nationals announced prior to the game they had recalled RHP Ryan Mattheus from Triple-A Syracuse and sent LHP Xavier Cedeno back to the Chiefs ... Marlins third baseman Placido Polanco was reinstated after spending seven days on the DL with a concussion. He was hitting .253 in 312 plate appearances heading into Tuesday's game. ... CF Chris Coghlan, born in nearby Montgomery County, Maryland, was sent to Triple-A Calgary on his rehab schedule, according to manager Mike Redmond. He is hitting .277 in 130 at-bats with one homer for the Marlins. "From what I have heard things are going well," said Redmond, who added Coghlan will rejoin the Marlins Sept. 1 when rosters expand. ... Washington left-hander Ross Detwiler, who has been on the DL since July 7 (retroactive to July 4) with a back strain, might not pitch again this season. "Probably not. He has been out so long," said manager Davey Johnson. "In the next day or two I will know more." Detwiler is 2-7 with an ERA of 4.04 in 13 starts.