MIAMI (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman had two hits, including an RBI triple, in his return to the lineup and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 Saturday night.
Zimmerman, who missed 55 games because of a hamstring injury, had his run-scoring triple to key Washington's three-run seventh inning. Asdrubal Cabera's RBI triple tied the score at 2-2 and chased Miami starter Jarred Cosart, and Denard Span's single off reliever Mike Dunn put the Nationals ahead.
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann (13-5) gave up two runs and five hits over six innings. He struck out four and stayed in the game and finished the inning despite getting hit by a line drive from Casey McGehee to start the sixth. Second baseman Cabrera retrieved the ball and threw McGehee out.
Manager Matt Williams and Nationals assistant trainer Steve Gober immediately raced to the mound to check on Zimmermann.
Aaron Barrett and Tyler Clippard pitched perfect innings in the seventh and eighth, and Drew Storen gave up one-out singles to Marcel Ozuna and Justin Bour in the ninth before he retired pinch hitter Garrett Jones on a game-ending double play for his ninth save in 12 opportunities.
Cosart (4-3) was charged with all three runs and gave up nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.
NL East champion Washington moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for best record in the league. The loss eliminated Miami wild-card contention.
Miami avoided a bigger inning in the seventh when Zimmerman was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice. The Nationals appealed call but the video review upheld the call that catcher Jeff Mathis tagged Zimmerman's left leg before it crossed home plate.
Bour's RBI single in the first put the Marlins on the scoreboard, and they doubled their lead in the fourth when Reed Johnson doubled to center and scored on two throwing errors on the play.
Zimmerman started in left field as Williams gave Bryce Harper the night off.
With Zimmerman expected to play many of the Nationals' remaining games in left field, Williams plans on utilizing Harper in the other outfield positions.
"Harp's got the ability to play all three," Williams said. "He may move around a little bit the next two, three games in the outfield to give Zim a chance."
Stephen Strasburg (12-11, 3.34) will start for the Nationals in the series finale on Sunday. The Marlins will go with struggling Nathan Eovaldi (6-12, 4.48).
There was speculation that Miami was going to shut down Eovaldi for the remainder of the season. Eovaldi, 24, has lost his last six decisions and has surrendered 26 earned runs in 35 innings during his winless stretch.
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