for this game

Nationals use big eighth inning to beat Marlins

Aug 5, 2012 - 6:18 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Danny Espinosa smoked a three-run home run and Bryce Harper roped a solo shot as part of a six-run eighth inning, as the Washington Nationals rallied for a 10-7 win over the Miami Marlins in the third installment of a four-game series on Saturday.

Adam LaRoche continued his offensive hot streak with two solo home runs, while Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse contributed an RBI single each for the Nationals, who have won three of their last four games.

Ryan Mattheus (4-1) got the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Jordan Zimmermann, who allowed five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and a walk over five innings.

"We didn't play very well, but we persevered," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "It was fun, really fun."

Carlos Lee drove in a pair of runs and Jose Reyes went 3-for-4 with four runs scored to extend his career-best hitting streak to 23 games for the Marlins, who have dropped three of their last four games. Donovan Solano also knocked in two runs in the setback.

Mike Dunn (0-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing six unearned runs on four hits in the decisive eighth inning.

Trailing, 6-4, after seven innings, the Nationals exploded for six runs in the eighth to take control of the game.

Dunn got Morse to ground out weakly to second to begin the inning, but fumbled an easy underhand flip at first which allowed LaRoche to reach base and set the stage for the huge rally.

"Dunn was making some good pitches, but had that mental mistake and dropped that ball," Marlins starter Mark Buehrle said. "That's what you do in spring training. Do it nine out of 10 times or 10 out of 10 times and he's going to make that play. Unfortunately, he didn't and that's pretty much what cost us that game."

After the error to Dunn, Jayson Werth took a walk and Lombardozzi ripped one back up the middle to score LaRoche and make it a one-run game. Moore then entered the game as a pinch-hitter and lined a base hit into right which scored Werth to tie things at six.

Espinosa and crushed a 2-2 hanging slider from Dunn over the wall in left to give the Nats the lead for good. Harper followed and tattooed a high fastball into the second deck in right, extending the lead to 10-7 and sending Dunn to the clubhouse.

Solano plated Reyes with a single in the top of the ninth to cap the scoring.

Earlier, the Marlins jumped on top early with a pair of runs in the second inning. Lee was plunked and Solano walked to start the inning before Gorkys Hernandez grounded into a fielder's choice, which allowed Lee to score on a throwing gaffe by Espinosa. John Buck then ripped a double into right which scored Hernandez for the 2-0 lead.

Washington quickly got a run back in the home portion of the inning when LaRoche got a fastball up and drove it into the seats in right for his 22nd home run of the season.

Reyes laced a two-out double and came around to score on a base hit by Lee in the third to widen the lead to 3-1, but Washington came right back with two runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at three.

Zimmermann coaxed a one-out walk from Buehrle and Espinosa followed with a single. Zimmermann moved to third on a groundout by Harper and Ryan Zimmerman cane through with a base hit up the middle to score the Nats' righty. Morse then singled home Zimmerman to knot the game.

The Marlins went ahead with a pair of runs in the fifth to make it 5-3. Bryan Petersen started the frame with a base hit and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Cousins. Reyes then reached with an infield single and Petersen scored when Espinosa threw the ball away. The Marlins' speedy shortstop then stole second and scored on a double to deep center by Lee.

LaRoche went deep again leading off the Washington sixth, but the Marlins got the run right back in the seventh when Reyes raced home on a well-placed sacrifice bunt up the first-base line, making it a 6-4 contest.

Game Notes

Prior to Saturday's game, the Marlins placed outfielder Emilio Bonifacio on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb and recalled infielder Nick Green from Triple-A New Orleans...Washington improved to 6-6 against the Marlins in 2012...LaRoche has 14 RBI in his last 11 contests...Morse (1-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 13 games...The Nationals committed three errors...Buehrle allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings.