WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington Nationals Manager Davey Johnson has been back in the dugout for only a month, but he's ready for things to change.
The Nationals continued their post-All-Star break slump Tuesday night with a 11-2 loss to the Florida Marlins in the opener of a three-game series.
Washington, which fell into last place in the National League East, one-half game behind the Marlins, has lost three in a row and five of its last six. Since Johnson took over as manager on June 26, the Nationals are 9-15.
``I see us as too good to stay in a losing streak so I keep waiting for everything to gel,' Johnson said. ``It's not sitting well with me. I have a high boiling point, and I'm getting closer to it.'
Florida's Greg Dobbs, filling in for the injured Gaby Sanchez, drove in a career-high five runs, including a solo homer, and Logan Morrison and John Buck each homered.
Jordan Zimmermann (6-9) gave up six runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. It was the second straight loss for Zimmermann, who also allowed six runs at Houston in five innings July 19. He had given up fewer than six runs in each of his first 18 starts this season.
``I felt strong, I just made a couple of bad pitches,' Zimmerman said. ``It's one of those games where I have to put it behind me. The last two innings I really picked up the tempo and they were a lot better, so I think I just have to pick up the tempo from the start and I'll do a lot better.'
Ricky Nolasco (7-7) rebounded from his worst performance of the season and pitched into the sixth inning, allowing two runs on three hits, as Florida won its third straight.
After mustering just two first-inning singles in 3-1 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday, the Nationals opened up a nine-game homestand Tuesday by going hitless for the first four innings against Nolasco.
Laynce Nix homered for Washington to lead off the fifth and Michael Morse doubled in a run in the sixth. The Nationals were held hitless the rest of the way.
``We've had good stretches where we played really well and that wasn't a fluke,' Nix said. ``We're going to do that again. We could easily get on another 10-12 game winning streak. The make-up of this club is such that it can happen. We've got a lot of good players and we believe in ourselves.'
Dobbs drove in Florida's first run in the first on a groundout, scoring Omar Infante who had tripled. He added another run-scoring single in the seventh and two more on a single during Florida's five-run ninth inning.
It was the second time this year the Marlins have scored at least 10 runs. Florida beat the Cubs 13-3 on July 16.
Florida's Emilio Bonifacio led off the third inning with a double to extend his hitting streak to 24 games. After Infante's single, Bonifacio scored when Dobbs grounded into a double play.
Nationals reliever Henry Rodriguez came on to pitch the ninth, but didn't finish the inning. Buck homered to lead off the inning, the first of 10 batters Florida sent to the plate. Florida loaded the bases for Dobbs' single. Mike Cameron also had a run-scoring single, and Hanley Ramirez drove in a run with a groundout.
``I know we're a better ballclub than we've shown at times,' Johnson said. ``When one of your pitchers doesn't do what he's capable of doing, when one of your relievers doesn't do what he's capable of doing, it gets ugly, and it's painful for everybody in this clubhouse.``'
NOTES: Florida 1B Sanchez was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season after he was scratched due to a tight left hamstring. Sanchez is day to day. ... The Nationals announced they had traded for Reds OF Jonny Gomes just before first pitch. The team sent two minor leaguers to Cincinnati in return for Gomes and cash considerations. ... Washington RHP Chien-Ming Wang is expected to start Friday, his first major league start since July 4, 2009. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Wang, who has been recovering from his 2009 shoulder surgery, will be activated from the disabled list Friday. ... The combined age of Marlins manager Jack McKeon (80 years old) and Johnson (68) is 149 years and 57 days. That's the oldest for any managing pair since 1950, according to information provided from the Nationals from the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Associated Press News Service
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