for this game

Nationals rally late to defeat Marlins, win fourth straight

Sep 5, 2007 - 4:44 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Rookie Jesus Flores roped a walk-off, two-run double down the left field line with two outs in the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals rallied for a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Florida Marlins on Tuesday.

Florida closer Kevin Gregg (0-5), who had blown just two saves entering this contest, opened up the pivotal frame by walking Dmitri Young, who left for pinch runner Ryan Langerhans. The righthander struck out Austin Kearns before allowing a two-strike single to Wily Mo Pena.

"A big guy like that hitting a ground ball through the four-hole (gap between first and second base), I kind of see that as 'I won'," Gregg said. "That was lucky on his part to hit one through the four-hole. That ball's three feet to the left, it's a double play, so that's just the way the ball bounced tonight and I'm not too worried."

After a failed Ronnie Belliard bunt attempt in which he popped out to Marlins first baseman Jason Wood, Flores sealed the Nationals fourth straight win when he sent a sinking liner into the left field corner that allowed Langerhans to score the tying run easily and Pena enough time to beat the tag at home for the game-winning run.

"I thought it was going to be a double," Flores said. "Wily Mo is not that fast of a guy. When the left fielder was waiting for the ball (to carom off the wall), I saw a chance for the guy to score. It was an amazing moment.

"It felt so great. This was the first time in my career that I hit the ball for a walk-off hit."

Flores' clutch hit atoned for two errors he committed earlier by dropping routine foul popups behind the plate.

"I was so mad," he said. "This is the first time I missed two popups. It happened - and I just concentrated on my offense. I feel better, but I still have to work on pop-ups."

Chris Schroder (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win. With one more victory, Washington can avoid losing 100 games, which is a number some experts thought was all but unavoidable before the season began.

The win also gave the Nationals a two-game lead over the Marlins for fourth place in the National League East.

The late-inning heroics ended what was a historic night for the Marlins' Miguel Cabrera, who became the third-youngest major league player to reach the 500 RBI plateau, trailing only Mel Ott (23 years, 74 days) and Ted Williams (24 years, 4 days) in the elite category.

The four-time All-Star reached the milestone at the age of 24 years, 139 days - in just his fifth major-league season.

"There's going to be a lot of milestones ahead in his career," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Cabrera needs four more RBI to reach the 100-mark for the season, which would make him the third-youngest player - also behind Ott and Williams - to record four consecutive 100-RBI seasons.

Washington's comeback also spoiled an opportunity for Marlins lefthander Dontrelle Willis to earn only his third win in his last 18 starts. He allowed two runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.

"Train (Willis) pitched outstanding," Gonzalez said. "That's a real nice positive to take out of that game."

"This is just how it goes down," Willis said. "I never hold my head down regardless of what the game's outcome is because I know that I've prepared myself well enough to go out there and win. It's all a learning experience. In the end, I think it will even out."

Gregg, who had difficulty remembering his last blown save, felt even worse for Willis.

"Dontrelle's had some tough luck but he pitched a great game," Gregg said. "Actually, you talk about the last save that I blew: it was his start in San Francisco (on July 28) and I blew that one, too. So there you go - that's two wins that I've blown for Dontrelle and the team. It just so happens to be my last two."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 3 11 0
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 10 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: FLA - DONTRELLE WILLIS, LEE GARDNER (8TH), KEVIN GREGG (9TH) AND
    MIGUEL OLIVO
    WAS - SHAWN HILL, ARNIE MUNOZ (7TH), WINSTON ABREU
    (7TH), LUIS AYALA (8TH), CHRIS SCH

    Sep 4 9:55 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS AND WILY MO
    PENA.
    FINAL SCORE: WASHINGTON 4, FLORIDA 3

    Marlins vs. NationalsSep 4 9:55 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Marlins vs. NationalsSep 4 9:32 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIGUEL CABRERA SCORED HANLEY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CABRERA ON FIRST, A AMEZAGA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 3
    WASHINGTON 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J WILLINGHAM (.272, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Marlins vs. NationalsSep 4 8:21 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE JACOBS SCORED JOSH WILLINGHAM.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M JACOBS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 2
    WASHINGTON 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: C ROSS (.333, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. NationalsSep 4 7:58 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH WILLINGHAM SCORED JEREMY HERMIDA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WILLINGHAM ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1
    WASHINGTON 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.269, 1-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. NationalsSep 4 7:55 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED NOOK LOGAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: D YOUNG (.332, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. NationalsSep 4 7:47 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KEARNS ON FIRST, D YOUNG ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W PENA (.245, 5 HR, 9 RBI)

    Marlins vs. NationalsSep 4 7:18 PM
  • 5
    roots
    elgeckoverde Added 5 roots

    Marlins vs. NationalsSep 4 10:37 AM