Florida at Washington

Florida (11-1) «001001014791
Washington (1-10)200010010492

Marlins rally past Nationals again, claim seventh consecutive win

CBSSports.com wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Three consecutive bullpen blowups by the majors' losingest team pushed perennially positive Manny Acta to the breaking point.

After watching the Florida Marlins again shred his relievers in a 7-4 victory Sunday, the Washington Nationals manager promised -- and then swiftly delivered -- an in-season overhaul.

"I think it's embarrassing. I think it's unacceptable. I think our fans have every right to be mad like we are right now," Acta said. "We're going to have a brand-new bullpen tomorrow, and if those guys who come in don't get it done, we're going to continue getting guys out of here."

 Nats, Zimmerman agree on new contract

The Nationals made a flurry of postgame moves, reconstructing their ineffective relief corps -- which had a 6.48 ERA in 41 2/3 innings -- and getting ready for top pitching prospect Jordan Zimmermann to make his first big league start Monday against Atlanta.

Right-hander Steven Shell and left-hander Wil Ledezma were designated for assignment, and right-hander Saul Rivera and catcher Josh Bard optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. The team plans to purchase the contract of right-hander Kip Wells and recall right-handers Jason Bergmann and Garrett Mock.

"It's unacceptable to perform the way the bullpen's performed. It shows the incredible strain it's put on the whole ballclub," said Nationals vice president Mike Rizzo.

The loss followed a familiar pattern, with the Marlins' Cody Ross hitting the tying homer in the eighth inning and adding a three-run double in the ninth.

Emilio Bonifacio led off the deciding inning by drawing a walk off Rivera (0-3), and John Baker followed with a double into the gap in left-center. After Hanley Ramirez struck out, Ross Gload was walked intentionally Dan Uggla struck out and Jeremy Hermida walked on a 3-2 pitch.

Ross ripped a double to right-center, clearing the bases and giving him five RBI while sending Florida to 6-0 on the road with its fourth comeback victory.

"When we're down, nobody panics," Ross said. "We have a feeling we're going to win. It's just a matter of time. That's the way we've approached it the last week or so and it's kind of paid off for us."

Rivera was pressed into service as Sunday's closer because Joel Hanrahan, who had blown saves in two straight weekend outings, and Joe Beimel had pitched three straight days.

Baker had two RBI for the Marlins, who are 11-1 and own the best record in the majors. At 1-10, Washington has the worst mark.

"It's not just one guy getting the job done. Multiple people are capable of getting the job done," Uggla said. "Whether it's Wes Helms coming off the bench getting a pinch hit, Cody Ross, Hermida, whomever. It's not always going to be the guys you think its going to be."

Leo Nunez (2-0) worked the eighth and Matt Lindstrom pitched the ninth for his third save.

Washington loaded the bases in the first but could only grab a 2-0 lead on singles by Elijah Dukes and Austin Kearns, and Baker's two-out RBI double cut the lead in half in the third.

The Nationals knocked Chris Volstad from the game in the fifth when Adam Dunn drew a leadoff walk, went to third on a one-out single by Kearns, and eventually scored on Jesus Flores' single off reliever Hayden Penn.

Nationals starter Daniel Cabrera departed after giving up a leadoff double to Ramirez and walking Gload in the sixth. Shell relieved, loaded the bases by walking Hermida with one out, then allowed Ross' RBI single that made it 3-2.

Cabrera allowed two runs on three hits and four walks.

The Marlins missed a chance to go ahead after Ross' homer in the eighth. Right fielder Kearns misplayed pinch hitter Helms' sinking liner into a double. Alfredo Amezaga, who had reached on an infield single, tried to score but was cut down at the plate -- after missing home on his slide and being tagged out by Flores while trying to dance his way back.

Ryan Zimmerman tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on a run-scoring fielder's choice.


  • Cabrera grounded out unassisted to the first baseman in the fourth. Until then, he had been 0-for-18 with 18 strikeouts and two sacrifice hits for his career. In the fifth, Cabrera worked Penn, his former teammate with the Orioles, for a four-pitch walk.
  • Zimmerman's RBI grounder snapped a scoreless streak of 24 2/3 scoreless innings by the Marlins bullpen on the current road trip.
  • Dunn has reached base in each of Washington's 11 games, and has drawn 17 walks.
Copyright 2015 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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Nick Johnson and the Nationals just can't buy a win and are now 1-10 this season.  (AP)
Nick Johnson and the Nationals just can't buy a win and are now 1-10 this season. (AP)

Players of the Game

C. Ross
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

J. Baker
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Florida Marlins
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B4100101 .321
John Baker, C5022000 .333
    Cameron Maybin, PR-CF0100000 .206
Hanley Ramirez, SS4110112 .245
Ross Gload, 1B2100302 .308
Dan Uggla, 2B4000115 .244
Jeremy Hermida, LF2100302 .300
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
Cody Ross, RF4135101 .256
Alfredo Amezaga, CF-LF5010006 .294
Chris Volstad, P2110000 .167
    Hayden Penn, P0000000 .000
   a- Jorge Cantu, PH1000013 .368
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
    Kiko Calero, P0000000 .000
   b- Wes Helms, PH1010001 .308
    Leo Nunez, P0000000 .000
    Ronny Paulino, C0000000 .333
a-struck out for Penn in the 6th
b-doubled for Calero in the 8th
2B - John Baker 2 (4, Cabrera, Rivera), Hanley Ramirez (3, Cabrera), Cody Ross (2, Rivera), Wes Helms (1, Hinckley)
HR - Cody Ross (3, Hinckley)
RBI - John Baker 2 (9), Cody Ross 5 (11)
2-OUT RBI - John Baker (4), Cody Ross 4 (4)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Baker-Uggla
E - Dan Uggla (2, Throwing)
Florida Marlins
Chris Volstad 4.1633550 2.76
Hayden Penn 0.2100100 0.00
Renyel Pinto 1100110 1.80
Kiko Calero 1000000 1.35
Leo Nunez (W,2-0) 1111200 3.86
Matt Lindstrom (S,3) 1000010 1.50
IBB - Dunn by Leo Nunez
WP - Chris Volstad 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 98-56, Hayden Penn 18-9, Renyel Pinto 18-10, Kiko Calero 7-5, Leo Nunez 18-9, Matt Lindstrom 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 7-1, Hayden Penn 1-1, Leo Nunez 1-2, Matt Lindstrom 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 24, Hayden Penn 4, Renyel Pinto 4, Kiko Calero 3, Leo Nunez 6, Matt Lindstrom 3
Washington Nationals
Anderson Hernandez, 2B4100103 .238
Nick Johnson, 1B4120100 .385
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4111111 .275
Adam Dunn, LF2120300 .324
Elijah Dukes, CF3011123 .324
    Michael Hinckley, P0000000 .000
   a- Alex Cintron, PH1000002 .000
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
Austin Kearns, RF4021110 .219
Jesus Flores, C5011026 .242
Alberto Gonzalez, SS5000008 .273
Daniel Cabrera, P2000110 .000
    Steven Shell, P0000000 .000
    Justin Maxwell, CF1000000 .000
a-flied out for Hinckley in the 8th
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (10), Elijah Dukes (7), Austin Kearns (9), Jesus Flores (2)
CS - Adam Dunn (1, 2nd base by Pinto/Baker)
Team LOB - 13
Outfield Assists - Austin Kearns 1
DP - Zimmerman-A. Hernandez-N. Johnson, N. Johnson-Gonzalez
E - Alberto Gonzalez 2 (4, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
Daniel Cabrera 5322400 4.50
Steven Shell (H,1) 1100110 5.40
Michael Hinckley (BS,1) 2311201 3.38
Saul Rivera (BS,1; L,0-3) 1244320 12.27
IBB - Gload by Saul Rivera
WP - Daniel Cabrera (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Cabrera 92-49, Steven Shell 22-10, Michael Hinckley 39-22, Saul Rivera 44-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Cabrera 6-9, Michael Hinckley 3-1
Batters Faced - Daniel Cabrera 22, Steven Shell 5, Michael Hinckley 9, Saul Rivera 8
Game Information
Attendance - 16974
Game Time - 3:33
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Rob Drake