for this game

Nationals hold off Marlins for series sweep

May 14, 2007 - 12:04 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Nationals finally won their first series this season. They took it one step further on Sunday.

Cristian Guzman's two-run triple highlighted a five-run second inning as the Nationals went on to defeat the Florida Marlins, 6-4.

Rookie Jesus Flores also drove in a pair of runs for the Nationals, who completed their first series sweep since September 3 after securing their first series win of the season with Saturday's 7-3 triumph on Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.

"It's nice to get that monkey off our back and take the series and today get lucky enough to sweep them," Nationals' Robert Fick said.

Austin Kearns and Robert Fick reached on one-out singles in the decisive frame off Wes Obermueller (1-2). Kearns scored and Fick moved to second when Flores delivered the team's third consecutive single.

Ryan Langerhans walked to load the bases for pitcher Jason Simontacchi, who reached on an error when third baseman Miguel Cabrera could not handle a slow roller.

"I can't say enough about this kid," Nationals manager Manny Acta said of Flores. "I keep telling people how impressed I am with how he has handled himself up here as a rookie, not only on the field but in the clubhouse. He just really has that swagger about him. And if you ask him, he'll tell you that he's ready to play here."

After Flores scored on a groundout by Felipe Lopez, Guzman lined a two-run triple to right past diving outfielder Joe Borchard to provide a 5-0 cushion and enough for Simontacchi (1-1) to post his first win since August 22, 2004 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"It's a great feeling, no doubt about it," Simontacchi said. "Sitting here when (Jon Rauch) was on the mound, I started thinking about it's been a long time, and it's another blessing from God, and I appreciate it."

It was the second start of the season for Simontacchi, who had been out of the league since 2004 due to shoulder surgery. He missed the entire 2005 season and was a reliever in the Independent League during the 2006 campaign.

Simontacchi allowed four runs - three earned - and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. The 33-year-old righthander also walked two and struck out four.

Two relievers bridged the way to Jon Rauch, who pitched around a walk in the ninth to earn his first save of the year and third of his career.

Of the five runs Obermueller allowed in the game, only one was earned. He allowed five hits and a walk while striking out two in five innings.

"I was just trying to battle," Obermueller said. "I dug us a pretty nice hole in that second inning. I walked one guy and he scored, but I just kept trying to pitch and they found some holes with their bats. I just tried to stay aggressive the next innings and do what I needed to do to try to keep our team in it.

"Even when that five-run inning was going on, I just kept trying to stay on the attack to do my job. We're having our struggles right now but we're trying to battle and fight back. The tides will turn."

Slow starts have been common for the Marlins recently. In their last eight games, the team has not had a first-inning hit and has been outscored, 20-2, in the first four innings.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said the players have not lost its focus or become frustrated.

"I was looking for it a little bit in today's game, but they kept battling," he said. "We had a chance to tie the game and a chance to go ahead. I didn't see any of that."

The Marlins closed the gap in the sixth inning thanks to a pair of fielding miscues. Dan Uggla doubled - his fourth in two games - to open the inning when left fielder Ryan Church lost a routine fly ball in the sun. After Cabrera walked, Uggla scored the team's first run on a single by Jason Wood.

"(Uggla) swinging the bat well," Gonzalez said. "He's a gap guy and he got five doubles (in the series). Four because of the fly ball to Church lost in the sun. We need him to swing the bat."

Following a base hit by Josh Willingham that loaded the bases, Borchard delivered an RBI single to cut the deficit to 5-2. Wood came in with on a sacrifice fly by Alfredo Amezaga, the last batter Simontacchi faced.

Jesus Colome recorded the second out of the inning and appeared to be out of the frame when Aaron Boone popped up into foul ground, but Fick dropped the ball at first base.

Boone took advantage of the second chance with an RBI single to center. With the tying run on second base, Colome escaped the inning by getting Hanley Ramirez to ground out.

Washington got one of the runs back in their next at-bat with a two-out RBI single from Flores.

"That big two-out single today was huge," Acta said. "It actually brought the momentum back to our side."

After the game, the Marlins traded reliever Jorge Julio to the Colorado Rockies for pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim.

"We'll see how (Kim) fits," Marlins assistant general manager Michael Hill said of the righthander. "He can do both (start and work out of the bullpen). He's been starting of late.

"He threw six innings yesterday on rehab with Colorado Springs so we're going to evaluate the best fit for him on the club. We're still working out details, but hopefully he should be there by Tuesday."

Kim, who becomes a free agent at season's end, recently came off the disabled list after recovering from a contusion on his hand.

Julio (0-2, 12.54 ERA) gave up Zimmerman's grand slam on Saturday.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4 9 1
    WASHINGTON 0 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 x 6 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: FLA - WES OBERMUELLER, RANDY MESSENGER (6TH), LEE GARDNER (8TH) AND
    MATT TREANOR
    WAS - JASON SIMONTACCHI, JESUS COLOME (6TH), SAUL
    RIVERA (8TH), JON RAUCH (9TH) AN

    May 13 4:14 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED RYAN CHURCH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FLORES ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 4
    WASHINGTON 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R LANGERHANS (.123, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 3:30 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON BOONE SCORED JOSH WILLINGHAM.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, A BOONE ON FIRST, J BORCHARD ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 4
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: H RAMIREZ (.331, 0-FOR-3)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 3:22 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALFREDO AMEZAGA SCORED JASON WOOD.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J BORCHARD ON FIRST, J WILLINGHAM ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 3
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M TREANOR (.143, 1-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 3:12 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOE BORCHARD SCORED MIGUEL CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J BORCHARD ON FIRST, J WILLINGHAM ON SECOND,
    J WOOD ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 2
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A AMEZAGA (.224, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 3:12 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON WOOD SCORED DAN UGGLA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WOOD ON FIRST, M CABRERA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J WILLINGHAM (.291, 2-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 3:03 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY CRISTIAN GUZMAN SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS AND FELIPE
    LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, C GUZMAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.255, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 2:15 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED JESUS FLORES.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, F LOPEZ ON FIRST, R LANGERHANS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 2:12 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MIGUEL CABRERA ALLOWED ROBERT FICK TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J SIMONTACCHI ON FIRST, R LANGERHANS ON
    SECOND, J FLORES ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 2:11 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FLORES ON FIRST, R FICK ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R LANGERHANS (.125, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 13 2:06 PM