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Bonifacio extends hitting streak, Marlins down Nationals

Jul 28, 2011 - 5:15 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Javier Vazquez pitched seven solid frames, Emilio Bonifacio extended his MLB-leading hitting streak to 25 games, and Florida held off Washington, 7-5, in the middle contest of a three-game set.

Vazquez (7-9) pitched perhaps his best game of the season, scattering six hits and three walks while surrendering just one run. The veteran right-hander struck out four and received plenty of run support due in part to Mike Cameron's two home runs and John Buck's two-run single. The Marlins have won four straight games.

Washington continued to go in the opposite direction, losing its fourth straight behind another uninspiring offensive effort. One game after mustering just two runs, the Nationals managed only one on Laynce Nix's fourth-inning home run before a furious rally in the ninth frame.

Livan Hernandez (5-10) lost his third decision against his former team this season, giving up four runs on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks over four-plus laboring frames.

"A lot of guys are trying to do too much," surmised Washington manager Davey Johnson.

Florida got on the board behind Mike Stanton's brute strength in the second frame. He drove an outside pitch where it was thrown, muscling it well over the wall in right-center field.

Washington put its first two runners on base in the home half, but failed to score when Jerry Hairston Jr. popped out with runners on second and third with two outs.

The Marlins were patient with Hernandez in the fourth, working two one-out walks after a leadoff single to load the bases. Hernandez saw light at the end of the tunnel after striking out Cameron, but Buck hit a sharp grounder that found space between third base and shortstop, scoring two runs for a 3-0 lead.

Nix's long home run into the second deck tight to the right-field line cut the deficit to 3-1, but the Marlins got that run right back in the fifth. Bonifacio walked and Omar Infante singled to put runners at the corners with nobody out. After a strike out, Hanley Ramirez found a gap in right, scoring Bonifacio with a double. Washington got out of the inning without further damage, walking Logan Morrison to load the bases then coaxing a force out at home on Stanton's grounder to third before Cameron was called out on strikes.

Cameron atoned for the two previous strikeouts with a solo shot in the top of the eighth for a 5-1 advantage. He hit a two-run shot just an inning later for the six-run edge. In between, Bonifacio singled in the eighth inning.

"It's nice to see Cameron break loose," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "That's what we knew he could do. It was just a question of when."

It turns out Cameron's second home run proved pivotal.

Pinch-hitter Ian Desmond tripled to start the ninth, but it appeared he may end the game there after a grounder to the mound and a strikeout. However, Hairston singled him home and, after Alex Cora's walk, scored on Ryan Zimmerman's ground-rule double to right. Michael Morse knocked in both remaining runners for a 7-5 game. Nix stepped to the plate as the tying run and drove a tailing fastball off Leo Nunez to the middle of the warning track in right, falling into Stanton's glove for the final out.

Game Notes

Nationals catcher Jesus Flores threw out his first runner trying to steal this season...Florida improved to 7-4 against Washington this season and 46-18 overall since the start of the 2008 campaign...Hernandez fell to 13-13 lifetime against Florida...Nunez recorded his 29th save of the season..Two of Cameron's three home runs in the National League this season came in consecutive innings...Stanton launched his 23rd long ball of the season...Nix clubbed his 14th home run of the campaign...Washington designated Matt Stairs for assignment before the game, clearing room for Jonny Gomes, acquired Tuesday from Cincinnati...Morse pushed his hitting streak to 10 games...Florida has won 12-of-13 road games and improved to 17-8 in its last 25 games...Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez missed his second straight game with a tight left hamstring.

  • FLORIDA: 7

    Jul 27 10:34 PM

  • Michael Morse singled to right scoring Alex Cora and Ryan Zimmerman. Runner on first with two outs and Laynce Nix due up.

    Marlins 7, Nationals 5  Bot 9, 2 OutsJul 27 10:33 PM
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    Marlins 7, Nationals 5  Bot 9, 2 OutsJul 27 10:33 PM

  • Ryan Zimmerman's ground-rule double to right scored Jerry Hairston Jr.. On the play, Alex Cora advances to third. Runners on second and third with two outs and Michael Morse due up.

    Marlins 7, Nationals 3  Bot 9, 2 OutsJul 27 10:28 PM

  • Jerry Hairston Jr. singled to center scoring Ian Desmond. Runner on first with two outs and Alex Cora due up.

    Marlins 7, Nationals 2  Bot 9, 2 OutsJul 27 10:24 PM
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    Marlins 7, Nationals 2  Bot 9, 2 OutsJul 27 10:24 PM

  • Mike Cameron two-out, two-run Home Run 2 (3) to left scored Mike Stanton. John Buck is due up.

    Marlins 7, Nationals 1  Top 9, 2 OutsJul 27 10:15 PM

  • Mike Cameron lead-off Home Run (2) to right. John Buck is due up.

    Marlins 5, Nationals 1  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 27 9:44 PM

  • Logan Morrison walked. Bases loaded with one out and Mike Stanton due up.

    Marlins 4, Nationals 1  Top 5, 1 OutJul 27 8:49 PM

  • Laynce Nix lead-off Home Run (14) to right. Danny Espinosa is due up.

    Marlins 3, Nationals 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 27 8:22 PM

  • Javier Vazquez struck out swinging to end the inning.

    Marlins 3, Nationals 0  Mid 4Jul 27 8:17 PM
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    Marlins 1, Nationals 0  Top 4, 2 OutsJul 27 8:15 PM
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    Marlins 1, Nationals 0  Bot 3, 2 OutsJul 27 7:59 PM

  • Mike Stanton one-out, solo Home Run (23) to right-center. Mike Cameron is due up.

    Marlins 1, Nationals 0  Top 2, 1 OutJul 27 7:31 PM

  • FLORIDA: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jul 27 7:09 PM
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    Marlins vs. NationalsJul 27 8:01 AM
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    Marlins vs. NationalsApr 8 6:01 AM