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MIAMI -- Ross Detwiler pitched seven strong innings to pick up his first win of the season and end his road woes, Bryce Harper made a triumphant return from the stomach flu with three hits and Kurt Suzuki homered, tripled and drove in two runs as the Nationals took their rubber match with the Marlins 6-1 Wednesday night in front of an announced crowd of 22,302 at Marlin Park.
Coming off a series sweep at home to the first-place Braves and having scored two runs or less in three of their last four games, Washington (9-6) rebounded by breaking out of their offensive funk early with a few manufactured runs off Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco before Suzuki delivered the big blow -- a 370-foot solo blast to left to open the fifth.
An early 3-0 lead was all Detwiler really needed to pick up his second win in his last 14 road games. The 27-year-old left-hander scattered seven hits over seven innings and allowed just one earned run while striking out five.
Shortstop Chris Valaika, starting for an injured Adeiny Hachaverria who missed his first game of the season with a sore right elbow, scored the Marlins' lone run when he doubled and scored with a nifty slide on Donovan Solano's two-out RBI single to right in the fifth.
Detwiler, who came in having allowed just one earned run over his first 13 innings this season (0.69 ERA), did a nice job dancing out of trouble outside of allowing that lone run. He escaped situations with runners in scoring position in both the second and third.
Nolasco, who came in with an 11-6 record and a 3.54 ERA in 21 appearances against Washington including a pair of shutout victories over the Nationals during the final two months of last season, wasn't as fortunate.
Harper, who crushed a pair of solo home runs off Nolasco in the Nats' season-opening 2-0 win in Washington, had three of the Nationals' seven hits off Nolasco to raise his career average to .450 (9 of 20) against him. Harper led off the sixth with a double and then scored on Adam LaRoche's RBI single to left, which beat a drawn in infield.
The Nationals tacked on another run in the seventh off reliever Ryan Webb following a leadoff triple to left by Suzuki and a single by Seve Lombardozzi.
Marlins backup first baseman Joe Mahoney, called up from Single-A Jupiter after spending a couple of weeks on the disabled list with an intercostal strain, pinch-hit in the seventh and reached on a fielding error by shortstop Ian Desmond. But Mahoney was quickly retired on a Juan Pierre bouncer.
The Nationals came in just 3-10 all-time in rubber games against the Marlins in South Florida since moving to Washington in 2005. They've won five of six against Miami this season.
Beating Nolasco hasn't been an easy chore for the Nationals over the years, but Washington managed to grab an early 3-1 lead against the veteran-right hander after five innings Wednesday night.
Back-to-back singles by LaRoche and Desmond to open the second inning put runners on the corners and led to the first two runs of the game. After Desmond stole second, Roger Bernadina put the Nationals ahead with a groundout to short. With Desmond on third base, catcher Kurt Suzuki made it a two-run cushion with a sacrifice fly to center.
Greg Dobbs and Austin Kearns opened the second for the Marlins (3-12) with back-to-back singles for the Marlins. But Detwiler struck out Miguel Olivo, got Valaika to fly out softly to center and then whiffed Nolasco to end the inning.
Placido Polanco doubled with two outs in the third, but was stranded there when Detwiler retired Justin Ruggiano on a groundout to third.
Nolasco came in with an 11-6 record and a 3.54 ERA in 21 appearances against Washington including a pair of shutout victories over the Nationals during the final two months of last season.
Denard Span, who missed Tuesday's game with the stomach flu, was held out of the lineup again. Span said before the game he felt weak because he hadn't eaten much since falling ill.
NOTES: Marlins All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who missed his sixth straight game Wednesday with a bruised left shoulder, is expected to be back in the Marlins lineup Thursday in Cincinnati. Stanton took batting practice early on Wednesday and manager Mike Redmond said he hopes Stanton's return to the lineup will establish some consistency. The Marlins have used 14 different lineups during the first 15 games. ... Nationals' 2012 Minor League Player of the Year Matt Skole underwent Tommy John surgery on his nonthrowing arm Wednesday after being injured earlier this season in Double-A Harrisburg, general manager Mike Rizzo said. Skole, a first baseman ranked as the franchise's fourth-best prospect by Baseball America, went 6-for-24 with two doubles, seven walks and eight Ks in 14 games during spring training. ... Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa, who hasn't played since being struck by a pitch on his right wrist Sunday against Atlanta, is probably 50-50 to play on Friday against the Mets, Johnson said. Espinosa took fielding practice before Wednesday's game, but is still having trouble gripping a bat.