Washington, DC – The Nationals' 2-5 hitters combined for 10 hits -- which included homers from Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond -- while Gio Gonzalez fired seven shutout innings as Washington finished off a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins with a 9-0 win on Thursday.
Harper scored three times while Werth and Desmond each clubbed three-run homers. Werth also had three hits, as did Ryan Zimmerman, as the Nationals captured their eighth win in nine games to move 6 1/2 back of idle Cincinnati for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
"We're a scary team when we're going good, I think everyone knows that. Our pitching is coming on strong, our bullpen has been really good. I think it is going to be a lot of fun this last month," Harper said.
Gonzalez (8-6) had no problem dicing through the majors' worst offense, as the Marlins managed just three hits and three walks against the lefty while striking out eight times.
Tom Koehler (3-9) took the brunt of Washington's offense production, tagged for six runs on seven hits and four walks over five-plus innings. Miami, losers in eight of nine, has produced just 17 runs over its most recent slump.
"You could probably print the same stuff I've been saying all year," said Miami manager Mike Redmond. "We didn't pitch well tonight, we didn't hit, we got beat."
After working through a bases-loaded jam in the second, Gonzalez settled down to retire 16 of the last 17 batters he faced, scattering just a single over the stretch.
The offense would come in bunches for Washington, with Harper opening a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Zimmerman walked to begin the frame and Harper followed with an opposite-field blast over the left center field wall.
Zimmerman and Harper both reached again their next turn at the plate with a single and a walk, respectively. Werth then demolished a breaking pitch from Koehler deep into the left field seats for a 5-0 Washington lead.
Koehler never recorded an out in the inning, with Sam Dyson taking over with runners on first and second. Anthony Rendon made it a six-run spread with a one-out, run-scoring single into left.
Zimmerman and Harper sparked another rally in the seventh with singles, and while Zimmerman would get thrown at the plate on a base hit from Werth, the Nationals still tacked on three runs on Desmond's homer to make it 9-0.
Washington's Denard Span went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, while Harper's two-hit effort pushed his streak to 11 games ... The Nationals are 6-0 against the Marlins at Nationals Park this season ... Miami recalled Dyson from Triple-A New Orleans prior to the game and optioned pitcher Arquimedes Caminero to the minor league affiliate.