Sanchez pitches Marlins past Nationals 3-1
By STEVEN WINE
MIAMI (AP) Plagued by poor run support this season, Anibal Sanchez turned really stingy Tuesday.
The right-hander allowed only an unearned run in seven innings to remain unbeaten in 19 starts against Washington, and the Miami Marlins beat the Nationals 3-1 to break the franchise record for victories in a month.
The Marlins are 20-8 since May 1, best in the majors.
"I want 20 wins every month," manager Ozzie Guillen said. The Marlins climbed six games above .500 for the first time since last June 4.
The Marlins made the most of seven hits, and Sanchez (3-3) snapped a streak of losses in three consecutive starts.
"I felt good today," he said. "I was waiting for the run support."
Sanchez allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out five. He improved to 8-0 against Washington with a 1.97 ERA.
"I know the records," he said. "I know I throw good against them."
This season he has thrown well against nearly everyone. His ERA is 2.56, and he ranks among the NL leaders with 67 strikeouts.
"He throws strikes and changes speeds," Guillen said. "That's all you have to do."
"We had them in the spot where we should score a run," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "We had the right guys up. It just didn't happen. It's frustrating, but that's baseball."
The Nationals went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and are 1 for 12 in the series. Their only run scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Corey Brown, starting for the first time this season after joining the Nationals from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday.
Pinch-hitter Jhonatan Solano, making his major league debut, doubled with two out in the ninth before Heath Bell completed the five-hitter for his ninth save in 13 chances.
Edwin Jackson (1-3) allowed only two runs, one earned, in 6 2-3 innings. He's 0-3 in his past eight starts even though his ERA this season is only 3.17.
"You can't do much better than he did," Johnson said.
Miami broke a 1-all tie with an unearned run in the seventh. Chris Coghlan singled and went to third when Jackson made a wild pickoff throw, and Dobbs brought the run home.
"It was a well-pitched ballgame on both parts," Jackson said. "It's who can make the least amount of mistakes, and they capitalized on that mistake."
Ian Desmond, who grounded out on the 10th pitch he saw in his first at-bat, singled for the Nationals' first hit to start the fifth. He stole second and continued to third when the throw was errant. When he broke for home on a 1-1 pitch, Brown laid down a squeeze bunt that left the Marlins without a play at the plate.
Harper tripled with two out in the sixth, but Zimmerman grounded out against Sanchez to end the inning.
"Anibal has been very consistent," Guillen said. "Finally his teammates contributed to give him a win."
NOTES: The Nationals accepted the contract of OF Erik Komatsu, who was assigned to Triple-A Syracuse. ... The Nationals recalled Solano nine days after his brother Donovan broke into the majors with the Marlins. Their parents flew Tuesday from Colombia to attend the game, and didn't seem to mind that neither son was in the starting lineup. Mom wore a Marlins jersey, and Dad wore a Nationals jersey. ... Miami's Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Washington C Jesus Flores (right hamstring) will likely sit out at least another game or two, Johnson said. ... RHP Josh Johnson, scheduled face the Nationals on Wednesday, is 7-0 in 14 starts against them with an ERA of 3.22. RHP Chien-Ming Wang makes his first start of the year for the Nationals as they try to avoid being swept.
Updated May 29, 2012