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Nationals avoid sweep, top Marlins in 10

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MIAMI (AP) - Denard Span had three hits, including a tiebreaking two-out RBI double in the 10th inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 5-2 Sunday.

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Span was dropped from the top spot in the order for the first time this season, and he responded with three hits in the No. 7 position. He snapped a 1-for-20 slump with a two-out RBI double in the second inning, and singled in the fourth.

The defending NL East-champion Nationals averted a series sweep and snapped a three-game losing streak. They went 2-4 on their trip and head into the All-Star break 48-47. On Friday, they begin their longest homestand of the season - 11 games.

The Nationals won despite going 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position and hit .087 (4 for 46) in those situations during their trip. They had four hits without scoring in the fourth inning, when right fielder Giancarlo Stanton threw out two baserunners.

Bryce Harper replaced Span in the leadoff spot, batting there for the first time in his career, and went 1 for 5 with a double and a walk. Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon each had two of Washington's 14 hits.

With the score 2-all, Werth hit a one-out single in the 10th off Steve Cishek (3-5), and Span hit a double that landed on the warning track in center field to give the Nationals the lead. Wilson Ramos added an RBI single, and pinch-hitter Chad Tracy doubled home another run.

Washington rookie Taylor Jordan remained winless in four career starts despite an ERA of 3.32. The Florida native allowed two runs in six innings before departing for a pinch-hitter.

Craig Stammen (5-4) pitched a perfect ninth. Rafael Soriano followed with a scoreless 10th for his 25th save.

Miami's Henderson Alvarez gave up only two runs in 6 2-3 innings despite allowing nine hits and two walks. Marlins starters have allowed less than four runs in 23 of past 26 games.

Miami snapped the Nationals' franchise-record streak of hitting a home run in 86 consecutive series. Derek Dietrich hit a two-run homer for the Marlins, his ninth, but they squandered several scoring chances.

A baserunning blunder by Placido Polanco drew jeers from the crowd of 19,766 when it ended a Miami scoring threat in the third inning. He was at first base and Jeff Mathis was at second when Stanton hit a two-out single. Mathis stopped at third but Polanco kept running, giving the Nationals an easy putout.

A line drive by Dietrich along the right-field line was initially ruled fair, putting runners at second and third with none out in the second inning. But the umpires reversed the call, Dietrich struck out and the Marlins didn't score. TV replays were inconclusive.

In the fourth, Stanton earned his first assist by throwing a one-hop strike from his knees to second base. He took a tumble trying to catch a flyball by Werth, who was out trying to stretch the hit into a double.

Singles by Desmond and Span put runners at first and second, and with two out Jordan also singled. Stanton charged the ball and threw, and a sliding Desmond was out trying to score.

Notes: Washington RHP Tyler Clippard struck out the side in the ninth. In his past nine innings he has allowed one hit with 11 strikeouts. ... Miami SS Adeiny Hechavarria had two hits and is batting .412 (21 for 51) this month. ... Marlins C Jeff Mathis has thrown out 13 of 18 runners on steal attempts.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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