for this game

Belliard's grand slam lifts Nationals past Marlins

Jul 2, 2008 - 3:25 AM By Christopher Stock PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Ronnie Belliard hit a grand slam and Collin Balester won his major-league debut as the Washington Nationals posted a 9-6 victory over the Florida Marlins on Tuesday.

Elijah Dukes had three hits including a solo homer and Felipe Lopez also had three hits for Washington, which defeated Florida for the second time in 11 games this season.

"We are playing well," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "I like the way we are playing the last five or six days. It's just tough against these guys."

The Nationals were able to hold off the Marlins, despite a career day by star Hanley Ramirez, who hit a three-run homer and recorded a career-high with five RBI.

"It doesn't matter, we lost the game," Ramirez said. "It happens, we are not going to win all the games. We have to forget about it and come back the next game."

Cristian Guzman, Dukes and Dmitri Young all singled off of Mark Hendrickson (7-7) to lead off the sixth inning before Belliard offered the crushing blow to deep left field. It was the second career grand slam for Belliard and his seventh homer of the season.

"A changeup came back a little bit over the middle of the plate," Hendrickson said. "It was frustrating."

Balester (1-0) gave up one hit and one run in five innings. He struck out three and walked three while throwing 54 of his 95 pitches for strikes.

"He was very impressive," Acta said. "We haven't seen an arm like this come to our system since Javier Vazquez. It's exciting. The kid threw the ball very well and pounded the strike zone until the last inning."

The 22-year-old righthander did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when Cody Ross singled to left. Robert Andino grounded into a fielder's choice before Matt Treanor and Hendrickson each walked. Ramirez came up with the bases loaded and one out, but hit a weak pop-up to short right field. Andino alertly came home on the sacrifice fly to pull within 2-1. Balester got out of the jam when Jorge Cantu popped up with the bases loaded.

"When I first went out there to warm up, I was a little nervous," Balester said. "I was looking at everything and it was amazing to make to to the big leagues. As the innings went on, I just got better. I ran into a little trouble in the fifth, but for the most part I couldn't have scripted it any better."

Ramirez pulled the Marlins within two at 6-4 with a three-run homer off of Steven Shell in the seventh inning. It was the third straight game Ramirez has hit a home run and now has 20 on the season.

The Nationals scored three runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by RBI singles by Felipe Lopez and Willie Harris.

Alfredo Amezaga and Ramirez drove in runs with RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth as the Marlins pulled within 9-6. Jon Rauch came to close the door as he pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his 17th save.

Hendrickson pitched six innings giving up six runs and 10 hits. He is 0-5 with a 9.79 ERA in his last seven starts.

"It's been a tough month," Hendrickson said. "The good news is we are still in the pennant race - and I haven't pitched like I did the first couple of months, so I am encouraged by that."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 1 1 4 0 3 0 9 15 2
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 2 0 6 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - COLLIN BALESTER, STEVEN SHELL (6TH), JOEL HANRAHAN (7TH),
    CHARLIE MANNING (8TH), LUIS AYALA (8TH), JON RAUCH (9TH) AND
    PAUL LO DUCA
    FLA - MARK HENDRICKSON, E

    Jul 1 10:22 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HANLEY RAMIREZ SCORED MATT TREANOR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, H RAMIREZ ON SECOND, A AMEZAGA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 9
    FLORIDA 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J HERMIDA (.268, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Nationals 9, Marlins 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 1 10:01 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALFREDO AMEZAGA SCORED WES HELMS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A AMEZAGA ON FIRST, M TREANOR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 9
    FLORIDA 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: H RAMIREZ (.296, 1-FOR-3, SF, HR, 4 RBI)

    Nationals 9, Marlins 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 1 9:59 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WILLIE HARRIS SCORED PAUL LO DUCA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, W HARRIS ON FIRST, F LOPEZ ON SECOND, K
    CASTO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 9
    FLORIDA 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BERNADINA (.143, 1-FOR-4)

    Nationals 9, Marlins 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 1 9:47 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F LOPEZ ON FIRST, K CASTO ON SECOND, P LO
    DUCA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 8
    FLORIDA 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: J HANRAHAN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals 8, Marlins 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 1 9:47 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY HANLEY RAMIREZ (20) TO LEFT WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF STEVEN SHELL SCORED MATT TREANOR AND ALFREDO
    AMEZAGA.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, FLORIDA 4
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J HERMIDA (.269, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 6, Marlins 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 1 9:18 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY RONNIE BELLIARD (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF MARK HENDRICKSON SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN, ELIJAH DUKES AND
    DMITRI YOUNG.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, FLORIDA 1
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: P LO DUCA (.216, 1-FOR-2)

    Nationals 6, Marlins 1  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 1 8:48 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY HANLEY RAMIREZ SCORED ROBERT ANDINO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M HENDRICKSON ON FIRST, M TREANOR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J HERMIDA (.269, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 2, Marlins 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 1 8:34 PM
  • 26
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 75 roots

    Nationals 2, Marlins 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 1 8:34 PM
  • 101
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 58 roots (No-hitter)

    Nationals 2, Marlins 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 1 8:23 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED PAUL LO DUCA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F LOPEZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C BALESTER (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 2, Marlins 0  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 1 8:18 PM
  • 43
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 43 roots (No-hitter)

    Nationals 1, Marlins 0  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 1 8:10 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ELIJAH DUKES (5) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF MARK HENDRICKSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1, FLORIDA 0
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: D YOUNG (.264, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Marlins 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 1 8:02 PM