|Washington (33-51) «||0||0||0||1||1||4||0||3||0||9||15||2|
MIAMI -- Ronnie Belliard helped Collin Balester's big league debut go just about as well as it could.
"When I first went out there warming up I was real nervous," Balester said. "I was sitting out there just looking at everything. It was amazing, you're finally in the big leagues."
Balester gave up one hit and struck out three in five innings to become the first franchise starter to win his debut since Dan Smith on June 8, 1999, when the club was still in Montreal.
"Those last four innings seem like it took four hours," Balester said.
Belliard's second career grand slam in the sixth put the Nationals ahead 6-1, improving Washington's record to 2-9 this season against Florida. He also hit a grand slam Aug. 25, 2005.
Jon Rauch allowed the tying run to come to the plate in the ninth before getting Luis Gonzalez to fly out for his 17th save in 22 chances.
But it was Balester's performance that had the Nationals giddy.
"He has a lot of heart," Washington's Dmitri Young said. "I was going to say something else, but that might not make it to print."
Hanley Ramirez tried to spark another late Marlins' rally, hitting a three-run homer in the seventh to cut Washington's lead to 6-4. His 20th of the season was his third home run in three days after hitting tying homers in the ninth in consecutive Florida comebacks.
"It didn't matter, we lost the game," Ramirez said. "We've got to come back tomorrow and win the series."
Ramirez's career-high five-RBI game was lost in another shaky Marlins pitching performance.
Mark Hendrickson (7-7) allowed six runs and 10 hits in six innings for the Marlins. Florida's opening-day starter is 0-5 in seven starts since beating San Francisco on May 25.
"I was trying to nitpick and all of a sudden, I give up a couple of hits here and there," Hendrickson said. "I was aggressive and I even stayed aggressive after the grand slam. Right now I'm getting hurt by mistakes and they're making us pay."
After Washington took a 9-4 lead in the eighth, Ramirez and Alfredo Amezaga hit RBI singles in the bottom half to make it 9-6.
Elijah Dukes homered for the second day in a row, a solo shot in the fourth that gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
Marlins 2B Dan Uggla was out of the lineup a third straight game after he sprained his left ankle Saturday. He was scheduled to have an MRI on Tuesday. Uggla reiterated that he is hoping to return sometime during the team's four-game series at Colorado, which begins Thursday. ... The Marlins and Nationals will play a rare weekday afternoon game in Miami at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday in the final game of the series.
|Players of the Game|
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|Roger Bernadina, CF||5||0||1||0||0||2||4||.133|
|Cristian Guzman, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||3||.315|
|Elijah Dukes, RF||5||3||3||1||0||0||1||.261|
|Dmitri Young, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.266|
|Aaron Boone, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.256|
|Ronnie Belliard, 3B||4||2||2||4||1||0||0||.222|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||.224|
|Wily Mo Pena, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.215|
|a- Kory Casto, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.180|
|Charlie Manning, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Luis Ayala, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jesus Flores, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.282|
|Jon Rauch, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Felipe Lopez, 2B||4||0||3||2||0||0||0||.250|
|Collin Balester, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Steven Shell, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joel Hanrahan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Willie Harris, PH-LF||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.218|
|a-hit into fielder's choice for Pena in the 8th|
|b-struck out for Ayala in the 9th|
|c-singled for Hanrahan in the 8th|
|2B - Ronnie Belliard (9, Kensing), Paul Lo Duca (5, Hendrickson)|
|HR - Elijah Dukes (5, Hendrickson), Ronnie Belliard (7, Hendrickson)|
|SH - Collin Balester (1)|
|RBI - Elijah Dukes (18), Ronnie Belliard 4 (24), Felipe Lopez 2 (22), Willie Harris (11)|
|SB - Elijah Dukes (9, 2nd base off de la Cruz/Treanor)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Elijah Dukes (3, Throwing), Cristian Guzman (8, Misplayed grounder)|
|Collin Balester (W,1-0)||5||1||1||1||3||3||0||1.80|
|Joel Hanrahan (H,3)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.18|
|Jon Rauch (S,17)||1||2||0||0||0||1||0||2.49|
|HBP - Willingham (by Collin Balester), Amezaga (by Steven Shell)|
|WP - Collin Balester (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Collin Balester 95-54, Steven Shell 33-19, Joel Hanrahan 13-8, Charlie Manning 23-10, Luis Ayala 13-7, Jon Rauch 17-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Collin Balester 7-6, Joel Hanrahan 1-2, Jon Rauch 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Collin Balester 21, Steven Shell 7, Joel Hanrahan 3, Charlie Manning 4, Luis Ayala 3, Jon Rauch 5|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||1||2||5||0||0||0||.298|
|Jeremy Hermida, RF||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.267|
|Jorge Cantu, 3B||5||0||0||0||0||0||4||.270|
|Josh Willingham, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.302|
|Mike Jacobs, 1B||5||0||1||0||0||1||2||.233|
|Cody Ross, CF||4||0||2||0||1||2||0||.232|
|Robert Andino, 2B||3||1||0||0||0||2||2||.200|
|Eulogio de la Cruz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Nelson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Wes Helms, PH||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.243|
|Logan Kensing, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Luis Gonzalez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.269|
|Matt Treanor, C||2||2||1||0||2||0||0||.244|
|Mark Hendrickson, P||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.267|
|Alfredo Amezaga, 2B||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.250|
|a-walked for Nelson in the 8th|
|b-flied out for Kensing in the 9th|
|HR - Hanley Ramirez (20, Shell)|
|SF - Hanley Ramirez (3)|
|RBI - Hanley Ramirez 5 (41), Alfredo Amezaga (9)|
|2-OUT RBI - Hanley Ramirez (14), Alfredo Amezaga (6)|
|SB - Jeremy Hermida (3, 2nd base off Balester/Lo Duca)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Outfield Assists - Josh Willingham 2|
|E - Mike Jacobs (6, Throwing)|
|Mark Hendrickson (L,7-7)||6||10||6||6||0||3||2||6.12|
|Eulogio de la Cruz||1.1||1||2||1||1||1||0||16.62|
|HBP - Lo Duca (by Logan Kensing)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Hendrickson 100-60, Eulogio de la Cruz 23-12, Joe Nelson 16-12, Logan Kensing 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Hendrickson 5-8, Eulogio de la Cruz 2-1, Joe Nelson 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Mark Hendrickson 26, Eulogio de la Cruz 6, Joe Nelson 6, Logan Kensing 5|
|Attendance - 12166|
|Game Time - 3:10|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Paul Schrieber|