WASHINGTON (AP) - By crashing into the wall moments after making a catch in foul territory to end the ninth inning, Logan Morrison actually set up the game-winning run three innings later.
Donnie Murphy, who entered the game in the bottom of the 10th inning as part of a double switch that replaced the injured Morrison, hit his first home run of the season in the 13th inning to help the Florida Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 Saturday night, spoiling Stephen Strasburg's third start of the season.
``I don't want to thank Lo Mo,' Murphy said, ``but it did help us out, I guess.'
Morrison hurt his right knee ``trying to knock down that wall,' as Marlins manager Jack McKeon put it, after making a sliding catch of Danny Espinosa's foul ball. Morrison writhed around in pain for a few moments, then jogged to the Marlins dugout. He left the game before the bottom of the 10th inning, when Murphy came in to play shortstop and Emilio Bonifacio moved from short to left field.
McKeon said he doubts Morrison will be healthy enough to start Sunday, but the manager doesn't plan to take a chance.
``I'm not going to play him tomorrow,' McKeon said. ``Give him the day off. He's a warrior, and he'll play. But sooner or later, he's got to take it easy on that leg.'
John Buck led off the 13th with a single and Murphy hit a 1-1 pitch from Colin Balester (1-4) into the visitors' bullpen in left-center field for his first homer this year.
``Last year, it seemed like every time I came up in that situation, something good happened,' Murphy said. ``And this year, there's been a couple times where I haven't. But it's just nice to get that first one.'
The Marlins added a run when Mike Stanton doubled in Omar Infante.
Clay Hensley (5-6) struck out the side in the 12th inning for the win. Leo Nunez pitched the 13th for his 36th save.
The Marlins' offensive outburst came too late to snap Florida starter Chris Volstad's nine-game winless streak. Volstad allowed one run on six hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out three. It was Volstad's longest outing since June 30, when he allowed an unearned run in seven innings.
Volstad and Strasburg were in a pitching duel for much of the game, although neither came out with a decision.
Strasburg allowed one run and four hits over six innings in his third start after Tommy John surgery and was much more efficient than his last start Sept. 11, when he threw 57 pitches in three innings. Against the Marlins, he needed just 61 pitches for an outing twice as long.
``I don't think he was at his best, but he still did a heck of a good job,' McKeon said. ``And he's going to get better.'
Strasburg's control has been even more impressive than his power after returning from the surgery. Strasburg has yet to walk a batter in 14 innings this year.
Before the game, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he'd likely let Strasburg throw around 70 pitches. However, when the seventh inning started, Johnson sent out reliever Henry Rodriguez rather than let Strasburg continue.
Volstad got the biggest hit of the night off Strasburg, a leadoff double in the third. Volstad later scored on Infante's sacrifice fly.
Wilson Ramos hit his 13th homer in the fifth inning for the Nationals, who have lost the first two games of the three-game series.
Both teams left runners stranded on third in extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, Gaby Sanchez led off with a bloop single and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and groundout, but Greg Dobbs grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Ian Desmond led off the 11th for Washington and reached second on a throwing error by pitcher Steve Cishek. Desmond moved to third on Roger Bernadina's sacrifice bunt. Chishek intentionally walked Ryan Zimmerman and got Michael Morse to ground into a double play.
Notes: Strasburg is scheduled to make his next start Friday against the Atlanta Braves. Johnson said it was possible Strasburg could also pitch in the Nationals' final game, Sept. 28 at Florida. ... Washington RHP Brad Peacock (1-0) will make his second major league start Wednesday. ... The Marlins are 7-1 this season and 26-8 all time at Nationals Park. ... Nationals RHP Chien-Ming Wang (2-3) will start Sunday against Marlins LHP Brad Hand (1-7).
The Associated Press News Service
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