Washington, DC – Josh Johnson tossed 8 2/3 outstanding innings on Friday, outdueling Gio Gonzalez in the process, as the Miami Marlins took down the Washington Nationals, 5-2, to earn a split of a doubleheader at Nationals Park.
Johnson (7-7) threw 76 of his 115 pitches for strikes, allowed two runs and scattered five hits to go with nine strikeouts and no walks. He also had two hits at the plate in the victory. Steve Cishek got the last out to record his sixth save of the season.
Carlos Lee knocked in three runs and Jose Reyes went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored to extend his career-best hitting streak to 22 games. Greg Dobbs added an RBI base hit for the Marlins, who snapped a two-game skid.
Ryan Zimmerman drove in a run for the division-leading Nationals, who took the opener, 7-4, on the strength of a three-hit game from Adam LaRoche and a strong performance on the mound from John Lannan.
Gonzalez (13-6) took the loss after allowing four runs on nine hits over eight innings. He fanned 10 and did not issue a walk.
"Gio threw great," said Zimmerman. "Just one of those games where he ran into a pitcher that threw a little bit better. Unfortunately we just couldn't get to their guy."
After being limited to just two hits through their first five trips to the plate, the Marlins broke through against Gonzalez for three runs in the sixth to take the lead. Johnson started the rally with one down when he got a high fastball from the Nats lefty and drove it off the wall in right for a single.
After Emilio Bonifacio lined out, Donovan Solano and Reyes ripped consecutive singles to load the bases with two outs before Lee singled up the middle to score Johnson and Solano. Dobbs capped the inning with a run-scoring single into left to put Miami up, 3-1.
Reyes ripped a one-out double in the Miami eighth and hustled all the way around to score on a routine groundout to shortstop by Lee, extending the lead to 4-1.
Gorkys Hernandez drew a one-out walk in the Marlins' ninth and Johnson ripped a single into right two batters later to put runners on the corners with two outs. Bonifacio then came through with a base hit up the middle to bring home Hernandez for a 5-1 cushion.
Bryce Harper singled leading off the Washington ninth and came around to score on a solid base hit up the middle by Michael Morse and a throwing error by Bonifacio. Cishek fanned Danny Espinosa to close it out.
"Even though we won today, it's a very bad day for us, for me," said Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen about the injury to Bonifacio in the ninth. "Losing Boni again put us in a very, very tough situation. I think this kid is the glue of the team."
Earlier, Washington took the lead in its first at-bat when Steve Lombardozzi launched a triple into the left-center field gap and easily trotted home on a sacrifice fly by Zimmerman.
Bonifacio was removed from the game in the ninth inning with an apparent injury to his wrist...Johnson improved to 9-1 in his career against Washington...Morse extended his hitting streak to 12 games...Johnson is the first Marlins starter to go eight-or-more innings since Carlos Zambrano on May 7 against Houston. It was also his longest outing since going eight innings against the Pirates on August 18, 2010...Washington went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left four on base.