Bryce Harper's sac fly, 41st HR help Nats beat Marlins 5-2

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WASHINGTON (AP) Bryce Harper tied the game with a sacrifice fly, then added insurance with his 41st homer - a two-run shot into the second deck in right field that earned ''M-V-P!'' chants - and the Washington Nationals came back to beat the Miami Marlins 5-2 on Saturday.

Harper entered the day leading the NL in homers, batting average and runs. His three RBIs raised his total to 95, putting him 17 behind Colorado's Nolan Arenado.

Coupled with the NL East-leading Mets' 5-0 loss to the Yankees, Washington's win moved it seven games out with 14 to play, giving it still only the faintest of hopes of making the playoffs.

Jordan Zimmermann (13-8) allowed two runs in the first inning and none the rest of the way. He went six innings, with six hits and seven strikeouts.

Brad Hand (4-7) gave up three runs, four hits and six walks in 4 2-3 innings. He is now 0-8 in 12 appearances - 10 starts - against the Nationals.

Run-scoring hits by Christian Yelich and Justin Bour put Miami up 2-0 in the first.

The score remained that way until the bottom of the fifth, when Hand fell apart.

First, he gave up Tyler Moore's homer with one out, on a drive just to the left of straightaway center. Then, after allowing a single to Zimmermann, Hand lost any semblance of control, walking two batters to load the bases for Harper, whose deep sinking liner closed a 10-pitch at-bat and made it 2-all.

Two more walks, to Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond, forced in the go-ahead run.

In the seventh, Harper made it 5-2 with a no-doubt-about-it shot off Kyle Barraclough.

Four relievers followed Zimmermann for Washington, with Jonathan Papelbon working around two singles in the ninth to earn his 24th save.


Marlins: RF Giancarlo Stanton, on the DL since June with a broken bone in his left wrist, could return to play during the team's next homestand, which begins Tuesday against Philadelphia, manager Dan Jennings said. ... 3B Martin Prado had a black brace on his left wrist and sat out a second consecutive game. ''That's just going to be a couple-of-day thing,'' Jennings said, noting that Prado has ''morphed into the captain of this ballclub.'' ... SS Adeiny Hechavarria (left hamstring), out since Sept. 2, is getting closer to returning. ''Now it's just a matter of that burst of speed and him proving to himself that it's OK,'' Jennings said.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman missed his 11th game in a row with a side muscle injury. Moore started at first base.


In Sunday's series finale, the Nationals send RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-7, 3.98 ERA) - coming off a 14-strikeout game - to the mound against Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino (3-3, 3.81). It's Nicolino's 10th career start.


Werth has reached base in a career-best 28 consecutive games. ... Nationals 3B Yunel Escobar's single in the first inning gave him 159 hits this season, a personal best.


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