5 - 3 Final/11
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LaRoche's 11th-inning HR gets Nats past Marlins

Apr 8, 2011 - 5:02 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Adam LaRoche hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the 11th inning, lifting the Washington Nationals to a 5-3 victory over the Florida Marlins in the finale of a three-game series at Sun Life Stadium.

Jayson Werth added his first homer for the Nationals, who had dropped the first two games of the set. But they avoided the sweep after scoring three runs -- one earned -- off Marlins ace Josh Johnson and getting a stellar showing from their bullpen.

After Nationals starter John Lannan gave up three runs in five innings, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen both threw two scoreless frames. Todd Coffey (1-0) pitched the 10th to get the victory, while Sean Burnett got his second save.

Hanley Ramirez and Wes Helms both had two hits, including a double, for the Marlins, who were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Washington had a chance to move in front in the 10th, when it had runners on first and second with one out. But after Danny Espinosa was caught stealing third, Ian Desmond flied out.

Coffey set the Marlins down in order in the bottom half, and Edward Mujica (1-1) took the mound for Florida in the 11th. He gave up a one-out single to Ryan Zimmerman before LaRoche came up.

Mujica delivered a belt-high pitch and LaRoche turned on it, sending the ball over the right field fence for the 5-3 lead.

"I faced him a few times," LaRoche said. "He mixes it up, great pitches. He's got a really good split, and that's what it was."

Burnett worked around Helms' two-out base hit to end the game.

Lannan struggled early, walking Chris Coghlan to start the first inning before Omar Infante singled. Ramirez then doubled to the right field corner to bring in Coghlan, and Infante scored on Gaby Sanchez's groundout to make it a 2-0 game.

The Nationals left-hander began the second inning with another walk, but managed to keep the Marlins off the board.

Johnson, meanwhile, retired the first 10 batters he faced before Werth put Washington on the board with one swing. Johnson's knee-high fastball was over the outer half of the plate, but not outside enough to keep Werth from blasting it the opposite way.

The ball hit the padding on the top of the right field wall and bounced back into play. But it was ruled a homer after a brief review.

In the fifth, Washington's Wilson Ramos reached on an error by Ramirez and eventually scored on Espinosa's groundout.

The Nationals moved ahead in the sixth thanks to another error.

After Desmond began the inning with a single, he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher John Buck. Zimmerman's single got Desmond home and gave Washington a 3-2 edge.

"Get that lead, you need to bear down, get the outs," Johnson said. "Made some good pitches, they just put some good swings on balls. So, yeah, give them credit."

Emilio Bonifacio's RBI groundout in the bottom half tied the game.

Game Notes

Johnson allowed only four hits and struck out six...Lannan gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out four...Entering Thursday's game, Washington had lost seven in a row and 12 of its last 13 against Florida...Bryce Harper, the first overall selection by Washington in the 2010 draft, made his pro debut Thursday with Single-A Hagerstown. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

    FLORIDA: 3

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    Nationals 5, Marlins 3  Top 11, 2 OutsApr 7 10:25 PM

  • Adam LaRoche one-out, two-run Home Run (1) to right scored Ryan Zimmerman. Wilson Ramos due up.

    Nationals 5, Marlins 3  Top 11, 1 OutApr 7 10:24 PM
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  • Emilio Bonifacio ground out short to first scored John Buck. Runner on second with one out and Josh Johnson due up.

    Nationals 3, Marlins 3  Bot 6, 1 OutApr 7 9:01 PM

  • Ryan Zimmerman singled to right scored Ian Desmond. Runner on first with one out and Adam LaRoche due up.

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  • Danny Espinosa ground out first to pitcher scored Wilson Ramos. Runner on second with one out and Laynce Nix due up.

    Nationals 2, Marlins 2  Top 5, 1 OutApr 7 8:26 PM

  • Jayson Werth one-out, solo Home Run (1) to right. Ryan Zimmerman due up.

    Nationals 1, Marlins 2  Top 4, 1 OutApr 7 8:08 PM

  • Gaby Sanchez ground out third to first scored Omar Infante. Runner on third with one out and Logan Morrison due up.

    Nationals 0, Marlins 2  Bot 1, 1 OutApr 7 7:25 PM

  • Hanley Ramirez doubled to right scored Chris Coghlan. Runners on second and third with none out and Gaby Sanchez due up.

    Nationals 0, Marlins 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 7 7:22 PM

  • Ian Desmond flied out to center. None on with one out and Jayson Werth due up.

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