Hanley's Timely Hit Gives Fish Win

Ramirez drives in go-ahead run just before skies open up

Hanley Ramirez and the Florida Marlins struck right before the weather ended the Washington Nationals’ night.

Ramirez homered and drove in four runs, and the Marlins erased a four-run deficit to beat Washington 7-5 Tuesday in a game that was called in the seventh inning because of rain.

Ramirez’s two-run single in the seventh put the Marlins ahead 6-5. Jorge Cantu followed with an RBI single moments before play was stopped, and Washington never got another chance to bat.

“Mother Nature is on our side, I guess,” Marlins outfielder Cody Ross said.

Florida took advantage of three errors by Ryan Zimmerman, normally a slick fielder at third base. Adam Dunn homered and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who dropped to 0-8 against Florida this year.

“It’s not a secret, you don’t need to be an expert on math to know that walks plus errors equals runs,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “We lead the world in walks and we are right there too in errors.”
The Marlins have won nine straight meetings dating to last season.

“We have played them better than what the record indicates,” Acta said. “But over the last two years they have flat out beat us.”

Ramirez set a franchise record by driving in at least one run for the ninth consecutive game. He has 21 RBIs during the stretch.

“I think I’ve been more patient and hitting the ball all over the place,” Ramirez said. “I’m taking whatever they give me.”

Florida trailed 5-4 heading into the pivotal seventh. Ross walked leading off the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Zimmerman’s third error allowed Ross Gload to reach. Chris Coghlan walked and, with two outs, Ramirez stepped to the plate with the bases loaded.

Facing left-hander Joe Beimel (0-4), Ramirez delivered a two-run single through the right side of the infield. Cantu’s single made it 7-5.

“(Ramirez) is just flat out good,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “He’s one of the best players in the game especially his offense, it is off the charts. He really is one of those guys you don’t want to see at the plate with the game on the line.”

Brett Carroll followed and the count was 2-2 when umpires signaled for the tarp. The game was called after a delay of 1 hour, 29 minutes.

“Perfect,” Dunn said. “(The rain delay) couldn’t happen the inning before. What else can go wrong? I’m beginning to think the baseball Gods really do hate us.”

Renyel Pinto (3-1) earned the win by pitching a scoreless inning in relief.

“Good timing,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We were able to get those three runs in the seventh with the rain coming. We were able to sneak out a victory.”

Dunn hit an RBI double off Sean West in the first but Florida tied it in the bottom half. Zimmerman bobbled a grounder by Ramirez and then overthrew first base, allowing Emilio Bonifacio to score from second. Zimmerman was charged with two errors on the play.

In the fourth, the Nationals loaded the bases with one out for pitcher Craig Stammen, who knocked in two runs with a single to center for a 3-1 edge.

Dunn hit a two-run drive to right in the fifth for his 20th homer of the season.

“Adam Dunn has done that to a lot of people,” Gonzalez said.

The Marlins answered in the sixth. Alejandro De Aza scored on a wild pitch and, with a runner on, Ramirez hit his 13th homer to cut it to 5-4.

“I threw a fastball that stayed down and he hit it pretty good, I was surprised he did what he did with it, but that’s why he’s a good hitter,” Stammen said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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