for this game

Willingham leads Marlins to fifth straight win

Sep 14, 2008 - 9:11 PM By Christopher Stock PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Josh Willingham delivered a go-ahead single in the bottom of the eighth as the Florida Marlins scored seven times in the inning and held on for an 8-7 victory over the Washington Nationals to win their fifth straight game.

The Marlins trailed 6-1 in the eighth after Ryan Langerhans hit a three-run homer in the top of the inning. Jorge Cantu started the comeback with a two-run double. Two batters later, Dan Uggla hit a two-run single up the middle to pull the Marlins within 6-5.

After a pop out by Cody Ross, Alfredo Amezaga laid down a successful squeeze bunt as Uggla came home to score the tying run. Pitcher Joel Hanrahan fielded the bunt, but did not have a play at home. Instead, without looking, he threw the ball to first base, which was uncovered, allowing Jeremy Hermida to advance to third.

"Not pretty," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "We scored enough runs and kept them in the ballpark, but our three best (relievers) go out there and just big-time melt down."

Willingham followed with a single to drive home Hermida to give the Marlins a 7-6 lead. A fielding error by Kory Casto gave the Marlins another run.

"It was a wild finish, that's how crazy this game is," Uggla said. "You never know what is going to happen. If you put yourself in a situation and the guy behind you keeps picking everyone up, you never know. You can't explain it."

The inning ended on what appeared to be a sacrifice fly, but third base umpire Greg Gibson ruled Willingham left base early.

"I did not leave early," Willingham said. "I didn't think I left early at the time and I went and watched the replay and it confirmed I did not leave early. I think he missed a call."

Joe Nelson got the first two outs of the ninth inning, before suffering a leg cramp prompting manager Fredi Gonzalez to turn towards Kevin Gregg to try to get the final out.

"It was gone three minutes later, but Fredi said 'we are not going to risk it'," Nelson said. "I'm fine. I can throw now. We don't play now do we?"

However, Gregg allowed an RBI double to Lastings Milledge and was immediately pulled in favor of Arthur Rhodes, who struck out Elijah Dukes to end the game while registering his first save.

Andrew Miller (6-9) picked up the win in relief while Steven Shell (2-2) took the loss.



Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez pitched seven innings and allowed three runs - two earned - four hits and three walks. He struck out seven.

"I don't think too much about what kind of team they are. I just try to attack the zone and be ahead all of the time," Sanchez said.

Nationals starter Collin Balester held the Marlins without a hit through 5 2/3 innings until Cantu singled to left field to break up the no-hitter. The 22-year old righthander allowed one run and four hits while striking out five and walking three.

"For the most part, I didn't think I had my best stuff," Balester said. "I was just able to get outs when I needed to."






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    Nationals 7, Marlins 8  FinalSep 14 11:08 PM


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

    BATTERIES: WAS - COLLIN BALESTER, MIKE HINCKLEY (7TH), SAUL RIVERA (8TH),
    CHARLIE MANNING (8TH), STEVEN SHELL (8TH), JOEL HANRAHAN (8TH)
    AND LUKE MONTZ
    FLA - ANIBAL SANCHEZ,

    Sep 14 4:12 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LASTINGS MILLEDGE SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L MILLEDGE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7
    FLORIDA 8 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R LANGERHANS (.233, 1-FOR-3, BB, HR, 3 RBI)

    Nationals 7, Marlins 8  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 14 4:11 PM
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    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
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    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    FLORIDA 8 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J CANTU (.275, 2-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Nationals 6, Marlins 8  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 14 3:51 PM
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    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
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    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, A AMEZAGA ON FIRST, J HERMIDA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    FLORIDA 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A MILLER (.067, 0 HR, 3 RBI)

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    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
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    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    FLORIDA 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.243, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 6, Marlins 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 14 3:25 PM


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    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN LANGERHANS (3) TO RIGHT CENTER
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    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, FLORIDA 1
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    Nationals 6, Marlins 1  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 14 3:10 PM


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    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    FLORIDA 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A SANCHEZ (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 3, Marlins 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 14 2:57 PM
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    Nationals 2, Marlins 0  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 14 2:28 PM
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