MIAMI -- Paul Lo Duca just missed. Jose Guillen didn't.
The Nationals were two outs away from winning in the ninth, but Carlos Delgado's first home run in a Marlins uniform pulled Florida into a 2-all tie. Lo Duca nearly won it for Florida two batters later, but his fly ball to left bounced off the top of the scoreboard and stayed in the park.
Guillen made sure the Nationals took advantage. He sent a fastball from Antonio Alfonseca (0-1) over the center-field wall for his second homer of the season -- lifting Washington to its third win in five games.
"I was looking for something to hit and I got a good pitch right in the middle," said Guillen, who had three of Washington's seven hits. "I hit the ball pretty good, no doubt. And the ball kept carrying."
The loss continued an all-or-nothing start for the Marlins, who have two wins -- both by 9-0 scores. Florida has been outscored 9-5 in its three losses.
"Game of inches, huh? We were within 12 inches of winning," said Delgado, who thought Lo Duca's fly ball was gone. "Just came up a little short. But that's the game. It's going to happen."
Chad Cordero (2-0), who gave up the Delgado homer in the ninth, allowed a one-out double to Juan Pierre in the 10th but managed to retire Damion Easley and Juan Encarnacion to end the game.
Church had two hits for the Nationals. Lo Duca had two hits for the Marlins, who were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
"This was a big win for us, from a psychic state of mind," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "It was nice to withstand a comeback."
The Marlins' Brian Moehler, who was making his first start since April 16, 2003, breezed through the first four innings, retiring 12 of the first 13 batters he faced.
But in a four-pitch span, Church and Castilla gave the Nationals a two-run lead in the fifth, each hitting their first homer of the season.
Church, who had only one at-bat in Washington's first four games, hit a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall for the first run. He has two career home runs -- both against the Marlins.
Castilla followed by sending a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence.
"This team never gives up. We've got a lot of heart," Castilla said. "Cordero blew the save, but he came back and won it for us."
Nationals starter Livan Hernandez kept his former team -- he helped Florida win the 1997 World Series title -- in check, allowing one run and five hits while striking out four. Moehler left after yielding three hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Florida made it 2-1 in the sixth. Juan Encarnacion -- who started in center for Pierre, whose streaks of 1,700 consecutive innings played and 299 starts ended -- singled to lead off, and later scored when Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman threw away what would have been an inning-ending double-play ball.
Florida had runners on first and third following consecutive one-out singles from Lo Duca and Jeff Conine in the second inning, yet couldn't come through with the game's first run. Alex Gonzalez, who was 6-for-15 coming in, popped out to Hernandez, and Moehler remained hitless for his career by striking out.
"Not getting any breaks right now," McKeon said. "But it's early."
Encarnacion and Lo Duca are the only Marlins with a hit in all five games. ... Nationals CF Brad Wilkerson is 10-for-14 when putting the ball in play; he's struck out seven times. ... Moehler is hitless in 31 career at-bats, and hasn't recorded a major-league win since Aug. 16, 2002. ... Miami native Jennifer Rodriguez, a two-time Olympic speed skating bronze medalist and a top hopeful for the 2006 U.S. team, threw out the ceremonial first ball. ... Attendance was 30,739; through five games, Florida is averaging 29,379.