WASHINGTON (AP) - Six innings after Roger Bernadina made a sensational runs-saving catch, the Washington Nationals were outfoxed by a clever slide.
Bernadina robbed Florida's Mike Stanton of an extra-base hit that would have given the Marlins a two-run lead in the fifth inning. In the 11th inning, Omar Infante slid over and around Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos for the go-ahead run in Florida's 6-5 win on Friday night.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Stanton hit a ball to deep center. Bernadina ran toward the fence, extended his glove, leaped and snared the ball, falling over backward and staying on the ground for a few moments. The astounding grab kept the game tied at 4.
Bernadina also had a two-run double among his three hits.
``I couldn't believe he caught it,' Washington manager Jim Riggleman said.
``When the ball kept carrying, I went after it. I dove. It was the only play' I could make, Bernadina said.
Bernadina thought his catch would inspire a Nationals win. It nearly did. Only Infante's tricky slide on Greg Dobbs' 11th inning double off Brian Broderick (0-1) gave the Marlins the victory instead.
``When I make a catch, you feel like as a team, you're going to do it now,' Bernadina said.
Edward Mujica (4-1), the sixth Florida pitcher, threw a scoreless 10th for the win. Leo Nunez pitched the 11th for his 13th save.
Bernadina's circus catch sparked lots of talk in the winning Marlins clubhouse.
``I wish I had an ounce of his athleticism because he's special,' Dobbs said. ``It was an amazing catch.'
Manager Edwin Rodriguez had a good view of Infante's game-winning slide, and watched Bernadina's catch with amazement.
``Tonight was his night. He was swinging, he was running, he was making all kinds of catches. That would have been the game right there,' Rodriguez said.
The Marlins hit four home runs. Gaby Sanchez and John Buck hit back-to-back homers in the first and Stanton connected in the sixth. Logan Morrison homered in the eighth.
Hanley Ramirez singled with two outs in the first. Sanchez then hit his seventh homer of the year to center and Buck followed with a home run off Tom Gorzelanny into Washington's bullpen in left-center. It was Buck's fifth home run of the year, and the first time Florida hit back-to-back homers this season.
Ian Desmond had an RBI single off Chris Volstad in the third for Washington.
Stanton hit his sixth home run with one out in the fourth to make it 4-1.
Washington tied the score at 4 in the fourth on Laynce Nix's fifth home run and Bernadina's double.
Morrison, in his first game since missing three weeks with a strained arch in his left foot, then gave Florida a 5-4 lead in the eighth.
Washington tied it in the bottom half on Nix's RBI single.
Volstad allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking one.
Gorzelanny pitched 4 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. He struck out six and walked one.
NOTES: The Marlins reinstated RHP Javier Vazquez from the bereavement list. Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez expects Vazquez to pitch on Sunday against the Nationals. ... Washington 3B Ryan Zimmerman, who had surgery to repair a tear in his abdominal muscle, on May 3, jogged on Friday for the first time since the procedure. He's expected to miss six weeks. ... Mujica, carted off the field Monday with a strained left knee, pitched for the first time since then. ... Nationals OF Rick Ankiel, who's been on the disabled list with a right wrist injury since May 3, has been recovering slowly, Riggleman said. ... The four home runs allowed by the Nationals were a season high. They hadn't given up more than two in any other game.
The Associated Press News Service
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