Washington (AFP) – After watching Jesus Aguilar and Jesus Sanchez score late in-game runs to win the Miami Marlins’ games over the weekend, Brian de la Cruz was thrilled to have a similar opportunity on Monday.
I have benefited from it.
De la Cruz hit Homer two rounds away from the wrong pole in the 10th inning to maintain Miami’s dominance over the Washington Nationals with a 3-2 win.
“Just being able to do it in one fell swoop, just put your team up front, it feels great,” he said through an interpreter. “It feels great to be doing this for the whole team.”
The Marlins won the rare match at 11:05 a.m. by defeating the Nationals for the 12th time in 13 games this year, including seven in a row. They extended their winning streak to five and returned two games to 0.500 about halfway despite going 26-39 against everyone else.
“Looks like we scored with these guys,” said manager Don Mattingly. “It looks like we’ve had the successes we need and some big successes when we need to.”
De la Cruz became the last Miami player to achieve major success during this race, after Sanchez took the green light in his first run on Sunday the ninth and Aguilar doubled on Saturday. His fifth trip of the season came from Tanner Reni (1-3), who also gave up Sanchez’s shot to the right less than 24 hours ago.
It was the first time de la Cruz had sparkled in the ninth game or later in his major league career.
Miami Braxton Jarrett fought seven rounds on 61 shots before things slipped out in the eighth. His first and only walk proved costly when Iyer stole second place and scored a goal in Luis Garcia’s RBI song that sent Garrett to the bathrooms.
Garrett said, “I was efficient early on. I was 0-1 a lot. Also, our desk is a little taxed. Our guys went late in the game, I think it was three days in a row, and it was in the back of my mind trying to get some other rounds. For bulls only.”
With top loyalists Anthony Bass, Stephen Ockert and Tanner Scott unavailable after each show for three consecutive days, Mattingly amassed eight teams with Zach Pope, Jimmy Yakabones and Dylan Floro. Yacabonis (1-1) took the win after scoring ninth without goals, and Floro saved for the second time in as many days – his first two goals of the season.
Patrick Corbin of Washington has done fast with the Marlins in most of his seven innings, scattering eight hits and hitting four with one walk. The only half he gave up came in the third round, when Luke Williams arrived with a peek-a-boo, beat Billy Hamilton’s sacrifice and scored in a Jesus Aguilar song.
Corbin, one of baseball’s worst shooters earlier this season, has a 2.37 ERA and 22 strokes in 19 innings over his past three starts.
“He was attacking the hit zone,” said manager Dave Martinez. “He’s actually throwing the slider a little bit more aggressively, and it looks like the fastball is coming in, so it was very effective.”
While Garrett was up on the Fourth of July, Nelson Cruz of Washington celebrated the holiday in style with star cleats and red, white, and blue stripes.
The Nationals made three doubles, adding to their 80th Major League-leading total this season. One of those scored a 10th minute run, with 2nd base officer Joey Wendell flipping a backhand off his gauntlet to stop Miguel Rojas during a fall after arresting Garcia Garcia.
While Juan Soto was not in the Nationals squad, the defense superstar had a pinch in the eighth inning and pulled a walk a day after leaving the match with a tight left calf. He was immediately withdrawn due to a pinch runner.
“He felt good enough to hit, but he couldn’t run and we didn’t want him to run,” Martinez said. “He got a base for us, and we had to get him out of there.”
Soto said the MRI showed no damage, and he thinks he’ll take it day in and day out.
“Everything was fine,” Soto said. “They said it’s a little tight, so it will take a few days and see how it goes.”
Marlins: 1B Garrett Cooper wasn’t in the lineup after his slips during the game on Sunday. … Wendle, on the bi-weekly play schedule since returning Friday from a month-long absence with a strain in his right hamstring, hit him.
Citizens: While Soto’s MRI showed good news, a look at Jackson Tetro’s aching right shoulder showed a stress fracture. The team put him on the 15-day recovery list and called up RHP Jordan Weems.
MARLINS: RHP Sandy Alcantara (8-3, 1.95 ERA) made his first start in July after being named NL Player of the Month for June against RHP Noah Syndergaard (5-6, 3.86) and the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday in the opener of a two-game series in Miami.
Nationals: RHP Paolo Espino (0-1, 2.80) kicks off at LHP Christopher Sanchez and Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday at the start of a three-game series.
More from AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports