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Willingham, Ramirez hit clutch homers for Marlins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- The Florida Marlins' dugout had cleared and players were already huddled around the plate before Josh Willingham could even watch his game-winning home run sail.

Willingham's winning homer in the 10th inning came after Hanley Ramirez's tying shot in the ninth forced extra innings, and the Marlins rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Monday night.

The celebration was anticlimactic: nobody jumping or cheering, and barely a few high-fives before a slow walk to the locker room. The Marlins are getting used to these kinds of celebrations.

"There was somebody yelling in the pile, 'Hey don't jump on him,"' Willingham said. "I was hoping they wouldn't."

A day earlier, players jumped on one another after a ninth-inning rally against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not this time, in part because these late rallies are becoming the norm for Florida, but also because no one wanted to hurt Willingham. The outfielder returned a week earlier after missing 50 games with a back injury.

It was the third career walkoff homer for Willingham, whose shot off Jon Rauch (4-2) was his second of the game.

Ramirez hit his 19th off Rauch in the ninth. The Marlins shortstop also hit a tying homer in the ninth a day earlier.

"To do something like that feels great, you can't do that everyday," Ramirez said, chuckling as he realized he had just done so a day earlier.

The Marlins have eight wins in their last at-bat this season, tying them with the Nationals for best in the majors. It was the fifth blown save in 21 chances for Rauch.

"If I make those pitches where they needed to be, then obviously we're not in this situation," Rauch said. "That's one of the things about my job is that when I make mistakes, they generally cost us ballgames -- that's what happened tonight."

Kevin Gregg (6-2) allowed a single and walk in the 10th before striking out Wil Nieves as the Marlins improved to 9-1 against Washington this season.

Renyel Pinto's wild pitch in the eighth scored Ronnie Belliard, giving the Nationals a 5-4 lead.

Tim Redding was replaced after he gave up two hits to start the sixth. Jesus Colome came in and allowed Matt Treanor's sacrifice fly that tied it at 4.

Redding stuck out six in five-plus innings, giving up four runs on eight hits for the Nationals. The outing was his eighth straight no-decision.

Dmitri Young and Elijah Dukes hit solo homers in the fifth to put Washington ahead 4-3.

Ryan Tucker got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, allowing only one run in the inning to keep the Marlins ahead 3-2. Tucker gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.

Willingham's two-run homer over the left-field wall in the third put Florida ahead 3-1. The homers were his first since returning to the lineup June 24. He hadn't homered since April 24 at Atlanta.

"We never quit and just believe in each other," Willingham said. "Somebody seems to come through a lot of the times in the late inning."

And the home runs have given the Nationals fits.

"We've been unable to keep them in the ballpark - that's been the story for two years," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "They just seem to bomb away. They seem to do it against us constantly."

Notes

  • The Nationals optioned INF Pete Orr to Triple-A Columbus after the game to make room for Tuesday's starting pitcher Collin Balester, who'll be making his major league debut.
  • Marlins 2B Dan Uggla was out of the lineup a second straight game after he sprained his left ankle Saturday. Manager Fredi Gonzalez reiterated Monday that Uggla is still not expected to play until Florida begins a four-game series at Colorado on Thursday.
  • Marlins P Josh Johnson threw 104 pitches in 5 2/3 innings Sunday in a rehab start at Double-A Carolina. The team said Johnson, who has been recovering from reconstructive elbow ligament surgery, will pitch one more rehab start Friday and likely join the team after that.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Josh Willingham is mobbed at home plate after clubbing a solo shot in the bottom of the 10th.  (AP)
Josh Willingham is mobbed at home plate after clubbing a solo shot in the bottom of the 10th. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

J. Willingham
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Florida

H. Ramirez
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Washington Nationals
Roger Bernadina, CF5000035 .100
Cristian Guzman, SS5021000 .314
Elijah Dukes, RF4111102 .250
Jesus Flores, C4000021 .284
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
   a- Kory Casto, PH1000001 .184
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
Dmitri Young, 1B4111010 .266
    Aaron Boone, 1B1000000 .258
Ronnie Belliard, 3B3210210 .213
Paul Lo Duca, LF4020010 .208
    Felipe Lopez, PR-2B1000001 .242
Willie Harris, 2B-LF3121100 .211
Tim Redding, P1010100 .148
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
    Wil Nieves, C2000024 .253
Totals385104510  
a-popped out for Rivera in the 9th
Batting
HR - Elijah Dukes (4, Tucker), Dmitri Young (4, Tucker)
SH - Tim Redding (9)
RBI - Cristian Guzman (27), Elijah Dukes (17), Dmitri Young (9), Willie Harris (10)
2-OUT RBI - Cristian Guzman (12), Dmitri Young (6), Willie Harris (3)
CS - Felipe Lopez (4, 3rd base by Pinto/Treanor)
Team LOB - 10
Washington Nationals
Tim Redding 5844261 4.21
Jesus Colome 1000000 5.85
Saul Rivera 2100030 3.60
Jon Rauch (BS,5; L,4-2) 1222032 2.55
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Redding 111-66, Jesus Colome 7-4, Saul Rivera 27-18, Jon Rauch 20-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Redding 2-7, Jesus Colome 1-2, Saul Rivera 1-2
Batters Faced - Tim Redding 25, Jesus Colome 3, Saul Rivera 7, Jon Rauch 5
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS5121021 .296
Jeremy Hermida, RF4110120 .271
Jorge Cantu, 3B-1B5000013 .274
Josh Willingham, LF4323102 .313
Mike Jacobs, 1B4020012 .234
    Alfredo Amezaga, PR-3B0000000 .245
Cody Ross, CF4110023 .226
Robert Andino, 2B4021001 .216
Matt Treanor, C3011023 .241
Ryan Tucker, P2000013 .000
    Doug Waechter, P0000000 .167
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
    Justin Miller, P0000000 .000
   a- Wes Helms, PH1000010 .243
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
Totals366116212  
a-struck out for Miller in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jeremy Hermida (17, Redding), Matt Treanor (7, Redding)
HR - Hanley Ramirez (19, Rauch), Josh Willingham 2 (8, Redding, Rauch)
SF - Matt Treanor (2)
SH - Doug Waechter (1)
RBI - Hanley Ramirez (36), Josh Willingham 3 (20), Robert Andino (5), Matt Treanor (14)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Willingham 2 (8)
SB - Alfredo Amezaga (4, 2nd base off Rivera/Nieves)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Treanor-Cantu
Florida Marlins
Ryan Tucker 5644262 6.84
Doug Waechter 2.1211110 2.82
Renyel Pinto 1100120 2.96
Justin Miller 0.2000000 4.23
Kevin Gregg (W,6-2) 1100110 2.33
HBP - Harris (by Ryan Tucker)
WP - Renyel Pinto (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Tucker 101-61, Doug Waechter 36-24, Renyel Pinto 11-7, Justin Miller 5-3, Kevin Gregg 21-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Tucker 6-3, Doug Waechter 1-5
Batters Faced - Ryan Tucker 24, Doug Waechter 10, Renyel Pinto 4, Justin Miller 2, Kevin Gregg 5
Game Information
Attendance - 10888
Game Time - 3:24
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Wally Bell