Harper's homer keys Nationals' win over Marlins
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Bryce Harper hammered a three-run homer in the first inning to account for all of Washington's offense, and the Nationals held on for a 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday in the opener of a four-game set at Nationals Park.
Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each finished with three hits, while Gio Gonzalez (11-7) gave the Nats six strong innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits and two walks to pick up the win and help Washington move within five games of the idle Cincinnati Reds for the final NL wild card spot.
Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard each spun a scoreless inning in relief before Rafael Soriano worked around a pair of walks in the ninth to secure his 42nd save of the season.
Washington center fielder Denard Span went 0-for-4 to have his 29-game hit streak snapped, falling one shy of the Nationals' franchise record set by Zimmerman from Apr. 8-May 12, 2009.
Ed Lucas collected three hits and an RBI for the Marlins, who have lost five of their last six games.
Henderson Alvarez (4-5) pitched effectively after Harper's homer, but was charged with three runs on seven hits over five-plus frames to absorb the loss.
09/19 22:10:53 ET