|Washington (64-43) «||0||1||2||0||0||1||0||6||x||10||12||3|
Thanks to a drop of an easy toss to first by Miami reliever Mike Dunn, the Nationals rallied for six runs in the eighth and went on to beat the Marlins 10-7 on Saturday night.
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Washington stretched their lead in the NL East to three games over the Braves.
"It's a tight race," outfielder Bryce Harper said. "The Braves are playing well. We're playing well. When we win, they win. It's going to be tough to keep this going."
The Nationals overcame three errors -- two by Espinosa, who broke a 1-for-20 slump with two hits and his 10th home run of the season.
"It started out a very sloppy game on our end, really for the majority of that game," LaRoche said. "To turn it around like that, it says something about this club. Not that we should be surprised. We've been doing it all year.
"They took advantage of every mistake we made. They stole a bunch of runs. It wasn't looking good. That was a huge inning."
Washington trailed 6-4 heading into the eighth, but the Nationals tied it on run-scoring singles by Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore against Dunn (0-1). Dunn allowed six runs -- all unearned -- but his error caused the damage. He dropped Carlos Lee's toss on LaRoche's ground ball with one out.
Miami manager Ozzie Guillen delivered an expletive-laden tirade when asked about Dunn's error.
"There you go," he said. "There's the baseball game right there. He gives up a home run, that's fine. But we do the same [stuff] every day, day in and day out. That's the reason why we practice that."
Dunn also said that he regularly practices the play.
"Probably a million times. Every day," he said. "I'd like to know when the last time I dropped a ball like that. I don't know if I just took my concentration off for a split second and that was enough for me to drop it."
Two weeks ago, Espinosa moved to shortstop from second base when Ian Desmond when on the disabled list with an oblique strain. Espinosa has made five errors in 20 games at short after committing just four in 88 games at second base.
"I think the errors are pretty uncharacteristic of me. They're stupid errors," Espinosa said.
LaRoche homered twice off Marlins starter Mark Buehrle, giving LaRoche 23 this season.
Jordan Zimmermann started for Washington and allowed five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in five innings.
The Marlins broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth. Bryan Petersen led off with a single off Zimmermann, moved to second on Scott Cousins' sacrifice, and scored when Espinosa fielded Reyes' infield single and threw it away. Reyes stole second and scored on Lee's double.
Buehrle allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out two.
Miami scored an unearned run in the seventh when Reyes led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on an error by Lombardozzi and scored on a squeeze by Donovan Solano.
|Adam LaRoche connects for two home runs, both off Marlins starter Mark Buehrle, in the Nationals' victory. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Bryan Petersen, LF||5||1||3||0||0||0||0||.197|
|Scott Cousins, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.152|
|Jose Reyes, SS||4||4||3||0||1||0||0||.288|
|Carlos Lee, 1B||4||1||2||2||0||0||2||.292|
|Greg Dobbs, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.303|
|Donovan Solano, 2B||3||0||1||2||1||1||3||.284|
|Gorkys Hernandez, CF||4||1||0||0||1||0||2||.054|
|John Buck, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.174|
|Mark Buehrle, P||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.061|
|Heath Bell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Justin Ruggiano, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.350|
|Mike Dunn, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Carlos Zambrano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.176|
|a-struck out for Bell in the 8th|
|2B - Bryan Petersen (1, Mattheus), Jose Reyes (26, Zimmermann), Carlos Lee (18, Zimmermann), John Buck (11, Zimmermann)|
|SH - Scott Cousins (2), Donovan Solano (3)|
|RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (48), Donovan Solano 2 (8), John Buck (27)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (17), Donovan Solano (2), John Buck (6)|
|SB - Jose Reyes 2 (27, 2nd base off Zimmermann/Suzuki, 2nd base off Gonzalez/Suzuki)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Mike Dunn (1, Missed catch of throw)|
|Heath Bell (H,5)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||5.44|
|Mike Dunn (BS,2; L,0-1)||0.2||4||6||0||1||1||2||4.20|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 88-60, Heath Bell 10-7, Mike Dunn 29-17, Carlos Zambrano 5-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 10-6, Heath Bell 1-0, Mike Dunn 2-0, Carlos Zambrano 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 27, Heath Bell 3, Mike Dunn 8, Carlos Zambrano 2|
|Danny Espinosa, SS||5||1||2||3||0||2||0||.241|
|Bryce Harper, RF||5||2||1||1||0||0||1||.257|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||0||2||1||1||1||0||.279|
|Michael Morse, LF||5||0||1||1||0||0||2||.301|
|Tyler Clippard, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||3||2||2||0||0||2||.275|
|Jayson Werth, CF||3||1||2||0||1||0||0||.292|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.215|
|Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||0||2||.262|
|Jordan Zimmermann, P||1||1||0||0||1||0||1||.200|
|Tom Gorzelanny, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|a- Mark DeRosa, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.152|
|Mike Gonzalez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Mattheus, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Tyler Moore, PH-LF||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.295|
|a-struck out for Gorzelanny in the 6th|
|b-singled for Mattheus in the 8th|
|HR - Danny Espinosa (10, Dunn), Bryce Harper (10, Dunn), Adam LaRoche 2 (23, Buehrle, Buehrle)|
|SH - Kurt Suzuki (3)|
|RBI - Danny Espinosa 3 (36), Bryce Harper (30), Ryan Zimmerman (57), Michael Morse (33), Adam LaRoche 2 (69), Stephen Lombardozzi (21), Tyler Moore (18)|
|2-OUT RBI - Danny Espinosa 3 (19), Bryce Harper (8), Ryan Zimmerman (23), Michael Morse (14), Stephen Lombardozzi (14), Tyler Moore (4)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Zimmerman-Lombardozzi-LaRoche|
|E - Danny Espinosa 2 (9, Throwing), Stephen Lombardozzi (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Ryan Mattheus (W,4-1)||1.2||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.93|
|HBP - Lee (by Jordan Zimmermann)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 96-66, Tom Gorzelanny 21-10, Mike Gonzalez 13-7, Ryan Mattheus 19-12, Tyler Clippard 17-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 7-5, Tom Gorzelanny 2-0, Mike Gonzalez 1-1, Ryan Mattheus 4-0, Tyler Clippard 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 24, Tom Gorzelanny 5, Mike Gonzalez 3, Ryan Mattheus 6, Tyler Clippard 5|
|Attendance - 33449|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 90|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Adrian Johnson|