Resurgent Miami plates four in the 9th to upend Nationals

Jul. 29, 2014 @ 11:19 PM

MIAMI — The Miami Marlins mounted an improbable rally Monday against first-place Washington, and they're thinking they can come from behind in the NL East standings, too.

Jeff Baker hit a two-out RBI single to cap a four-run ninth inning for the Marlins, who extended their winning streak to five games by beating the Nationals 7-6.

Miami won after trailing 6-0 with two out in the seventh. Washington's Rafael Soriano (2-1), who earned his 200th career save Sunday, took the mound in the ninth with a 6-3 lead and blew a save for the fourth time this season.

The Marlins were coming off best seven-game trip in franchise history, a six-victory swing that put them back into the playoff picture. They now trail Washington by six games.

"At this stage, that's got to be the biggest game of the year — right? — with where we are in the standings, and where we've got to go," manager Mike Redmond said. "These guys understand that."

The one-run victory was the 25th for Miami, most in the majors.

Casey McGehee led off the ninth with a four-pitch walk, Garrett Jones doubled and Marcell Ozuna hit an RBI single. Jarrod Saltalamacchia's sacrifice fly made it 6-5, and Adeiny Hechavarria ended an 11-pitch at-bat with an RBI triple to tie the game.

Left-hander Jerry Blevins replaced Soriano, and after a strikeout, Baker lined a hit over left fielder Bryce Harper that struck the base of the fence. Baker applauded the group effort in the comeback.

"We're not going to be able to rely on just one or two guys all year, and we know that," Baker said. "Guys collectively are trying to pull their end of the rope. Tonight was a case where everyone contributed."

Baker drove in two runs after entering the game in the eighth inning and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Soriano's ERA rose from 1.10 to 1.96.

"Bad day for me," Soriano said. "Every pitch that I threw, I had no command. Everything that I tried to throw didn't work."

Jordan Zimmermann allowed two runs in seven innings and was in line for his first victory this month until the bullpen allowed five runs.

"No one's perfect," Zimmermann said. "These guys are going to have bad games. They've been picking me up all year. You're going to have a bad game from time to time."

Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi allowed six runs, five earned, in 5 1-3 innings. He watched from the dugout as the Marlins rallied to take him off the hook for a loss.

"An amazing win," Eovaldi said. "It was awesome — keeps the streak going."