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Zimmerman double shy of cycle, red-hot Nats sweep Fish

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are starting to make come-from-behind victories a habit.

Ryan Zimmerman finished a double short of the cycle, and Ronnie Belliard's tiebreaking single in the eighth inning helped Washington rally from a six-run deficit and beat the Florida Marlins 12-8 on Thursday.

The Nationals broke an 8-all tie with four runs in the eighth, completing a series sweep and winning their season-best fifth consecutive game. Jorge Sosa (1-0) escaped an eighth-inning jam and pitched the ninth to earn the win.

Washington also scored six runs in the eighth inning for a 6-4 victory on Tuesday, and have come from behind for 20 of its major league low 37 wins.

"Nobody in that room has any doubts they can come back," said interim manager Jim Riggleman. "The feeling is that it's six runs, but it's early, and if we just get a couple and now, all of a sudden, maybe get that other club thinking 'Well, here they come again.'"

Zimmerman continued his recent hot streak with two singles, a triple, a homer and three RBI. He also walked to reach base in all five plate appearances, and is hitting .449 in his last 13 games.

"We've been playing good baseball," Zimmerman said. "We don't ever think we're out of it, and we want to do that for the rest of the season."

They did it after Florida took early leads of 6-0 and 8-3, which the Marlins built on three hits in the first five innings by Hanley Ramirez and John Baker's two-run homer.

Alberto Gonzalez sparked Washington with a two-run double in the fourth, and Zimmerman added a two-run shot in the fifth as the Nationals cut the lead to 8-7. Elijah Dukes, who had three hits and drove in four runs, then tied it with a solo homer in the seventh off Brian Sanches.

Cristian Guzman started the go-ahead rally with a leadoff walk, and Nyjer Morgan sacrificed him to second before Belliard singled to center off Luis Ayala (1-4) for a 9-8 lead. Zimmerman added an RBI triple to give Washington a 10-8 edge. Dukes hit an RBI single, and the Nationals scored another run on Brendan Donnelly's balk.

"We just keep coming back and winning some games," Belliard said. "Winning five in a row -- it feels good."

Belliard had a pair of hits and scored twice for the Nationals. Josh Bard also drove in a run.

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Washington starter Craig Stammen lasted just 1 2/3 innings, and Riggleman used seven pitchers. Riggleman had said before the game that he wouldn't use Mike MacDougal as the closer after he pitched four consecutive days.

Stammen's early exit forced Riggleman to go to the bullpen often, and the six relievers combined to give up just two runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings.

The Nationals also came up with the timely hits that the Marlins couldn't. Washington went 7 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

"They did a great job of swinging. They're playing really well right now," Florida starter Chris Volstad said. "We've got to put this series behind us. That's really all you can do."

Notes

  • Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
  • This was just the second time since the Nationals came to Washington that they overcame a six-run deficit to win. The other time came on June 17, 2006 against the Yankees.
  • Baker's homer was his first since July 3.
  • Marlins starter Josh Johnson made his first career pinch-hitting appearance, drawing a walk in the sixth. Johnson homered in Tuesday's 6-4 loss to Washington.
 
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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The Nationals walk off the field with a sweep and a season-best five-game winning streak.  (Getty Images)
The Nationals walk off the field with a sweep and a season-best five-game winning streak. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 4
R 3
H 4
HR 1
RBI 3
Florida

H. Ramirez
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan, LF5221001 .270
Nick Johnson, 1B3011111 .297
Hanley Ramirez, SS5231004 .344
Jorge Cantu, 3B4001007 .282
Dan Uggla, 2B4020111 .235
John Baker, C5112003 .269
Cody Ross, CF-RF4100103 .257
Jeremy Hermida, RF4110012 .253
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Brendan Donnelly, P0000000 .000
   a- Ross Gload, PH1000001 .281
Chris Volstad, P2110010 .125
    Tim Wood, P0000000 .000
   b- Josh Johnson, PH0000100 .159
    Brian Sanches, P0000000 .000
    Emilio Bonifacio, CF0000100 .246
Totals37811654  
a-popped out for Donnelly in the 9th
b-walked for Wood in the 6th
Batting
2B - Chris Coghlan (14, Stammen), Hanley Ramirez (30, Stammen), Dan Uggla 2 (17, Kensing, Sosa)
HR - John Baker (8, Kensing)
SF - Nick Johnson (3), Jorge Cantu (2)
RBI - Chris Coghlan (22), Nick Johnson (47), Hanley Ramirez (70), Jorge Cantu (60), John Baker 2 (32)
2-OUT RBI - Hanley Ramirez (33), John Baker 2 (13)
SB - Hanley Ramirez 2 (18, 3rd base off Stammen/Bard, 2nd base off Kensing/Bard)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - H. Ramirez-Uggla-N. Johnson, Cantu-Uggla-N. Johnson
E - Jorge Cantu (8, Misplayed grounder)
Florida Marlins
Chris Volstad 4.1974231 4.48
Tim Wood 0.2100000 0.00
Brian Sanches (BS,2) 1.1111321 1.17
Luis Ayala (L,1-4) 1244210 4.99
Brendan Donnelly 0.2100000 0.75
IBB - Dunn by Luis Ayala
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 87-52, Tim Wood 7-3, Brian Sanches 37-19, Luis Ayala 21-11, Brendan Donnelly 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 6-3, Tim Wood 1-1, Luis Ayala 1-0, Brendan Donnelly 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 23, Tim Wood 3, Brian Sanches 8, Luis Ayala 6, Brendan Donnelly 3
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF4010010 .304
Ronnie Belliard, 2B-1B4221101 .214
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4343100 .300
Adam Dunn, 1B3110213 .281
    Willie Harris, PR-2B0100000 .232
Josh Willingham, LF4210102 .303
Elijah Dukes, RF4234010 .247
Josh Bard, C4011123 .247
Alberto Gonzalez, SS4012011 .269
    Jorge Sosa, P0000000 .000
Craig Stammen, P0000000 .217
    Logan Kensing, P2000001 .000
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .000
   a- Jorge Padilla, PH1000000 .000
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Cristian Guzman, SS0100100 .314
Totals3412141176  
a-fouled out for Bergmann in the 6th
Batting
2B - Josh Willingham (23, Volstad), Alberto Gonzalez (10, Volstad)
3B - Ryan Zimmerman (1, Ayala)
HR - Ryan Zimmerman (23, Volstad), Elijah Dukes (7, Sanches)
SF - Elijah Dukes (2)
SH - Nyjer Morgan (7)
RBI - Ronnie Belliard (13), Ryan Zimmerman 3 (74), Elijah Dukes 4 (36), Josh Bard (21), Alberto Gonzalez 2 (22)
2-OUT RBI - Elijah Dukes (14), Josh Bard (8), Alberto Gonzalez 2 (6)
SB - Ronnie Belliard (2, 2nd base off Ayala/Baker)
CS - Josh Bard (1, 2nd base by Ayala/Baker)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Josh Bard (5, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Craig Stammen 1.2665120 5.40
Logan Kensing 3.1322011 9.85
Ron Villone 0.1000210 3.78
Jason Bergmann 0.2000000 4.88
Tyler Clippard 1000200 2.42
Sean Burnett 0.1100000 2.78
Jorge Sosa (W,1-0) 1.2100000 1.69
WP - Logan Kensing (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Craig Stammen 45-26, Logan Kensing 32-23, Ron Villone 17-7, Jason Bergmann 9-6, Tyler Clippard 21-7, Sean Burnett 6-4, Jorge Sosa 31-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Logan Kensing 4-5, Ron Villone 1-0, Jorge Sosa 1-4
Batters Faced - Craig Stammen 12, Logan Kensing 13, Ron Villone 4, Jason Bergmann 2, Tyler Clippard 5, Sean Burnett 2, Jorge Sosa 6
Game Information
Attendance - 23691
Game Time - 3:29
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Field Culbreth