Washington at Florida

W: H. Carrasco (5-3) L: J. Vargas (5-5)
HR: WAS - None   FLA - None

Marlins shut out by Nationals, closer to elimination

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

MIAMI -- The Washington Nationals, not the Florida Marlins, played like the team still fighting for a postseason berth.

Cristian Guzman had three hits and three RBI, Hector Carrasco pitched six strong innings and the Nationals beat Florida 4-0 Monday night to put the Marlins on the brink of playoff elimination.

Florida has dropped four in a row and 10 of 12. Another loss, or a Houston victory, will knock the Marlins out of NL wild-card contention.

After the game, the Marlins announced they sent pitcher A.J. Burnett home for the remainder of the season. It came a day after Burnett, who can become a free agent after this season, complained that the coaching staff is too negative.

"In the best interest of the team, A.J. was advised to leave the team and he has done so," Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest said. "There will be no multiyear contract offer made to him."

Carrasco (5-3), a former reliever making his fourth start this season, allowed two hits, three walks and struck out six. He has not given up a run in his past three starts, spanning 17 2/3 innings.

"I'm surprising myself," Carrasco said. "I'm surprised at the way I've been pitching. This is the first time in my whole career that I'm pitching the way I'm pitching now."

Jason Vargas (5-5) was the tough-luck loser. He yielded one run and five hits in seven innings.

"You have to go out and play every day like it's your last game," said Vargas, 0-4 in his past seven starts. "You have to think of there being something still to play for, and that's what we're doing. Things just aren't going our way around here lately."

Ryan Zimmerman's run-scoring single and Guzman's two-run double sparked a three-run eighth against Marlins reliever Antonio Alfonseca.

The victory snapped a three-game skid and gave Washington its second win in nine games. The Nationals moved above .500 again at 79-78.

"They see the finish line and they don't want the season to slip away," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "They want to finish above .500. They have pride."

Washington took 1-0 lead in the second. Nick Johnson led off with a triple to left, where the ball slipped past a diving Jeff Conine, and scored on Guzman's two-out single.

Guzman, hitting .215 overall, is batting .338 (23-for-68) in his past 21 games.

"I want the season to start over right now, but it's almost over," he said.

Jason Bergmann, Joey Eischen and Gary Majewski finished the five-hitter, Washington's ninth shutout this season.

Nationals right fielder Jose Guillen left after being hit by a pitch in the third inning. Guillen has a bruised left hand and is day to day.


  • Beinfest said Burnett was not suspended and would be paid for the rest of the season.
  • Marlins LF Miguel Cabrera was not in the lineup because he was serving a one-game suspension for violating a team rule.
  • Florida's Mike Lowell was back at third base after starting the previous three games at second. Joe Dillon started at second.
  • Robinson said right-hander Esteban Loaiza, originally listed as Washington's starter for Tuesday night, will go Wednesday instead. Tuesday's starter was to be determined, with a committee effort by the bullpen likely.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Base coach Jeff Cox consoles hard-luck starter Jason Vargas, who yields just one run in seven.  (AP)
Base coach Jeff Cox consoles hard-luck starter Jason Vargas, who yields just one run in seven. (AP)

Players of the Game

C. Guzman
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

R. Zimmerman
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, LF5010001 .250
Jamey Carroll, 2B4120100 .250
Jose Guillen, RF1000000 .282
    Marlon Byrd, PR-RF3010011 .254
Nick Johnson, 1B4110011 .292
Preston Wilson, CF3100103 .254
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4121001 .421
Cristian Guzman, SS4033001 .215
Gary Bennett, C1000201 .211
Hector Carrasco, P2000023 .000
   a- Jose Vidro, PH1000001 .275
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .333
    Joey Eischen, P0000000 .333
   b- Brandon Watson, PH1000010 .194
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
a-popped out for Carrasco in the 7th
b-struck out for Eischen in the 9th
2B - Brad Wilkerson (39, Resop), Ryan Zimmerman (7, Vargas), Cristian Guzman (18, Alfonseca)
3B - Nick Johnson (3, Vargas)
SH - Gary Bennett (3)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (6), Cristian Guzman 3 (30)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (3), Cristian Guzman 3 (13)
SB - Jamey Carroll (3, 3rd base off Vargas/Lo Duca), Marlon Byrd (3, 2nd base off Vargas/Lo Duca)
CS - Jamey Carroll (4, 2nd base by Resop/Lo Duca)
PK - Gary Bennett (1, Vargas)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Zimmerman-Carroll-N. Johnson
Washington Nationals
Hector Carrasco (W,5-3) 6200360 1.73
Jason Bergmann (H,1) 1.2100120 2.45
Joey Eischen (H,8) 0.1000000 3.21
Gary Majewski 1200020 2.61
Pitches-Strikes - Hector Carrasco 93-53, Jason Bergmann 25-14, Joey Eischen 1-1, Gary Majewski 12-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hector Carrasco 6-5, Joey Eischen 1-0, Gary Majewski 1-0
Batters Faced - Hector Carrasco 22, Jason Bergmann 7, Joey Eischen 1, Gary Majewski 5
Florida Marlins
Juan Pierre, CF3010101 .271
Jeff Conine, LF2010200 .313
Carlos Delgado, 1B3000113 .304
Juan Encarnacion, RF4000023 .286
Mike Lowell, 3B4010021 .237
Paul Lo Duca, C4010000 .285
    Chris Aguila, PR0000000 .209
Joe Dillon, 2B4000032 .129
Robert Andino, SS2000000 .182
   a- Lenny Harris, PH1000000 .288
    Josh Wilson, SS1000012 .000
Jason Vargas, P2010010 .308
    Antonio Alfonseca, P0000000 .000
   b- Jeremy Hermida, PH1000000 .148
    Chris Resop, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Andino in the 8th
b-popped out for Alfonseca in the 8th
SB - Juan Pierre (55, 2nd base off Carrasco/Bennett)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Andino-Dillon-Delgado
Florida Marlins
Jason Vargas (L,5-5) 7511240 4.09
Antonio Alfonseca 1433100 5.13
Chris Resop 1100110 9.60
IBB - Bennett by Jason Vargas
HBP - Guillen (by Jason Vargas)
WP - Chris Resop (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 111-64, Antonio Alfonseca 22-15, Chris Resop 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 6-10, Antonio Alfonseca 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 28, Antonio Alfonseca 7, Chris Resop 4
Game Information
Attendance - 11467
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Jerry Crawford