WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman is quickly building a reputation for clutch home runs.
It was Zimmerman's second game-winning homer in less than three weeks. He hit a two-run homer in the ninth to beat the New York Yankees 3-2 on June 18.
"They're all good," Zimmerman said. "Can't take away anything from a game-winning hit. They're all special."
Zimmerman hit a 2-2 pitch from Florida closer Joe Borowski (0-2) over the left-field fence with Robert Fick on second and All-Star Alfonso Soriano on first. Zimmerman flipped off his helmet as he approached home plate and leaped into a mob of jubilant teammates.
"You sit in the dugout and dream -- nothing wrong with that," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "And sometimes, it comes true."
The Nationals won their fourth straight and second in four days on a game-ending home run. Nick Johnson homered to give the Nationals a win over Tampa Bay on Saturday.
The Marlins have dropped three in a row.
Robert Fick and Alfonso Soriano singled with one out in the ninth. Jose Vidro then flied out to set it up for Zimmerman, who lined a slider from Borowski over the left-field fence.
"I didn't know. I knew I hit it pretty good. But I really didn't know," Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman, a rookie, has 56 RBI, and has played the last two games as the Nationals' third hitter in the batting order.
"He doesn't play like a rookie, like the average rookie," Robinson said. "You all heard the accolades that was thrown at him and thrown on him. He's showing some of that. He's a very special individual. They don't come along often."
Chad Cordero (4-3) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win.
Hanley Ramirez homered and scored two runs for the Marlins. His fifth drive of the season off Jon Rauch in the seventh tied it at 3.
The Marlins took a 4-3 lead after All-Star Miguel Cabrera scored on a botched double play in the eighth. With runners at first and second, Joe Borchard hit a grounder to third baseman Zimmerman, who went to second for the forceout. But Jose Vidro's relay throw to first bounced in the dirt and bounded away from Nick Johnson.
Cabrera raced in from third and beat Johnson's throw to the plate to give the Marlins the lead.
Borowski entered with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, but he got two outs to work out of the jam. Fick's one-out single in the ninth barely went over Ramirez's glove at shortstop, and Soriano reached on a high popup that landed in shallow center field.
One batter later, Zimmerman ended the game with the home run.
"It's unfortunate because Joe did a great job," Florida manager Joe Girardi said. "Fick's base hit, Soriano's base hit, he threw one pitch that they hit hard, it cost us the game. And it's unfortunate, because he did an awesome job."
Marlins starter Scott Olsen allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits in six innings. He walked four, struck out six and allowed a second-inning home run to Marlon Byrd.
John Patterson allowed two runs and four hits, walked one and struck out five in five innings for the Nationals. He is winless in three starts since returning from two months on the disabled list with a right forearm strain.
After retiring the first nine batters he faced, Patterson struggled in the fourth. Ramirez walked and scored on All-Star Dan Uggla's RBI double. Uggla then scored on Cabrera's single to make it 2-1.
|Ryan Zimmerman gives the nation's capital a b-day gift with a walk-off homer in the ninth. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||2||1||1||1||1||1||.269|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||0||0||.306|
|Mike Jacobs, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.275|
|Wes Helms, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.255|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||4||1||2||1||0||1||1||.346|
|Jeremy Hermida, RF||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.285|
|Joe Borchard, LF||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.237|
|Joe Borowski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Reggie Abercrombie, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.216|
|Matt Treanor, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.204|
|Scott Olsen, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.083|
|a- Josh Willingham, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.258|
|Taylor Tankersley, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Randy Messenger, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Alfredo Amezaga, LF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.244|
|a-struck out for Olsen in the 7th|
|2B - Dan Uggla (12, Patterson)|
|HR - Hanley Ramirez (5, Rauch)|
|RBI - Hanley Ramirez (22), Dan Uggla (45), Miguel Cabrera (56)|
|2-OUT RBI - Hanley Ramirez (10)|
|SB - Hanley Ramirez (24, 2nd base off Patterson/Schneider)|
|CS - Alfredo Amezaga (4, 2nd base by C. Cordero/Schneider)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Joe Borchard 1|
|E - Jeremy Hermida (2, Uggla Throwing error), Dan Uggla (8, Uggla Throwing error)|
|Joe Borowski (BS,2; L,0-2)||1.1||3||3||3||0||0||1||3.94|
|IBB - Guillen by Randy Messenger|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Olsen 101-61, Taylor Tankersley 7-5, Randy Messenger 18-9, Joe Borowski 25-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Olsen 4-7, Randy Messenger 2-0, Joe Borowski 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Scott Olsen 25, Taylor Tankersley 2, Randy Messenger 5, Joe Borowski 7|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||1||2||0||1||1||1||.269|
|Jose Vidro, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.306|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||3||2||2||3||2||0||0||.277|
|Nick Johnson, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.297|
|Jose Guillen, RF||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.209|
|Royce Clayton, SS||4||1||1||1||0||1||3||.268|
|Marlon Byrd, CF||4||1||1||1||0||1||3||.227|
|Brian Schneider, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|John Patterson, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.250|
|a- Matt LeCroy, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.219|
|Ramon Ortiz, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.103|
|Mike Stanton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jon Rauch, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Daryle Ward, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.309|
|Bill Bray, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chad Cordero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Robert Fick, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.288|
|a-walked for Patterson in the 5th|
|b-struck out for Rauch in the 7th|
|c-singled for C. Cordero in the 9th|
|2B - Alfonso Soriano (17, Olsen), Nick Johnson (27, Messenger), Royce Clayton (21, Olsen)|
|HR - Ryan Zimmerman (12, Borowski), Marlon Byrd (5, Olsen)|
|RBI - Ryan Zimmerman 3 (56), Royce Clayton (22), Marlon Byrd (18)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman 3 (19), Royce Clayton (7)|
|SB - Alfonso Soriano 2 (20, 2nd base off Olsen/Treanor, 3rd base off Olsen/Treanor), Ryan Zimmerman (6, 2nd base off Olsen/Treanor)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Vidro-Clayton-N. Johnson|
|E - Jose Vidro 2 (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Jon Rauch (BS,1)||1||1||1||1||0||2||1||3.35|
|Chad Cordero (W,4-3)||1.1||1||0||0||0||2||0||3.05|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Patterson 67-49, Mike Stanton 23-18, Jon Rauch 16-10, Bill Bray 17-11, Chad Cordero 16-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Patterson 4-6, Mike Stanton 1-0, Bill Bray 2-0|
|Batters Faced - John Patterson 20, Mike Stanton 5, Jon Rauch 4, Bill Bray 4, Chad Cordero 4|
|Attendance - 23118|
|Game Time - 3:11|
|Temperature - 92|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Field Culbreth|