WASHINGTON – Ian Desmond hit a home run and had the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 3-2 win against the Florida Marlins on Saturday.
Wilson Ramos singled to lead off the 10th inning, took third on a throwing error and scored on Desmond's fly as the Nationals improved to 12-4, continuing their best start since moving to Washington from Montreal in 2005.
Florida's Logan Morrison hit a two-run homer off Brad Lidge in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at 2.
Morrison's homer kept Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg from his third win of the season. Strasburg allowed four hits, walked one and struck out six over six scoreless innings in his fourth start of the season.
Jayson Werth also homered for the Nationals. Tom Gorzelanny (1-0) pitched the 10th inning for the win.
Edward Mujica (0-1) came on in the ninth inning and gave up the winning run in the 10th. After Ramos singled to center. Pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche grounded to first, but Gaby Sanchez's throw to second was high, putting Ramos on third. Desmond's fly ball to centerfield was deep enough to score Ramos, ending the game.
The Nationals led 2-0 in the ninth inning when Lidge entered to close the game. He gave up a leadoff walk to Hanley Ramirez and then Morrison crushed a home run into the second deck of rightfield to tie the game. Lidge walked two other batters before getting out of the inning.
Strasburg extended a scoreless streak by Washington's starting pitchers to 16 innings and lowered his ERA to 1.08 in his second outing of the year without allowing a run.
Anibal Sanchez threw seven innings and for much of the game looked even stronger than Strasburg, holding the Nationals to two hits over the first five innings before giving up the two late home runs. The Marlins' righthander allowed five hits and struck out eight without walking a batter.
Strasburg was lifted after 94 pitches for pinch hitter Roger Bernadina in the sixth inning. One batter later, Desmond finally broke the scoreless tie with his solo home run to left field.
Werth gave the Nationals an insurance run with his own solo shot in the seventh. It was Werth's first homer of the year and broke a 0 for 11 slump.
The Marlins had runners in scoring position each inning from the fourth to sixth but were unable to push a run across on Strasburg.
The biggest threat came in the fourth. Jose Reyes led off with a double down the left field line and moved to third on Emilio Bonifacio's sacrifice, but was left stranded on Ramirez's sharp groundout to second and Morrison's short pop to left.
Reyes doubled again with one out in the sixth and Strasburg walked Ramirez with two outs before Morrison grounded out to end the inning.
NOTES: Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman was replaced by Mark DeRosa in the lineup just before the game because of mild right shoulder inflammation. The team said there was no structural damage and listed Zimmerman as day-to-day. ... Washington's Chad Tracy got his first start of the season in the cleanup spot as regular 1B Adam LaRoche was given a rest. ... It was Strasburg's 21st career start and fifth against the Marlins. He hasn't faced any other team more than twice. ... In 17 previous games against Washingotn, Sanchez was 7-0 with a 2.06 ERA. ...Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 2.04 ERA) will face Marlins RHP Josh Johnson (0-2, 5.94 ERA) in the final of the three-game series Sunday.