The Miami Marlins continued their streaky play on Tuesday, clinching their series against the Washington Nationals with a 3-1 victory. The Fish will head into the series finale on Wednesday just 1.5 games behind the Nats and looking for a sweep. Miami took advantage of some Washington errors, and Anibal Sanchez cruised through the first four innings not allowing hit. Sanchez has owned the Nats during his MLB career, and Tuesday night was no different. He allowed just one run, which was manufactured by Ian Desmond in the fifth inning.
It was once again the Marlins heavy hitters who did the damage, as Giancarlo Stanton and Hanley Ramirez continued to rake. Edwin Jackson matched Sanchez for Washington, but the Fish took advantage of a couple errors. Stanton ripped a double to bring home Omar Infante and even things up at 1-1 in the sixth. Then they took their first lead in the seventh when Greg Dobbs knocked in Chris Coghlan with a sac fly. Coghlan had moved to third after Jackson attempted to pick him off first but threw wide of the bag, setting up the sac fly opportunity.
With Sanchez out of the game in the eighth, Washington had a golden chance to at least tie things at 2-2. But with one out and the bases loaded, Steve Cishek struck out Bryce Harper and got Ryan Zimmerman to ground out to end the inning. It was a huge turn of events and in the bottom of the inning, Hanley smoked a Craig Stammen pitch into the left field bleachers. It was an absolute rope that lined right into the seats for the 3-1 lead.
The Fish will now look to sweep on Wednesday and pull within a half game of the Nats. Josh Johnson will toe the rubber for Miami, while Chien-Ming Wang will make his first start for Washington.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Marlins, visit Fish Stripes. For all things Washington Nationals baseball, please check out Federal Baseball. And as always, please check out the SB Nation MLB Baseball hub page for more on this and every Major League series.