Inquirer Daily News

Nats hit another slam to sweep Marlins

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - For the second straight game, the Washington Nationals hit a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Ian Desmond's grand slam on Thursday helped Washington secure a 7-1 victory over the Miami Marlins. It was the second of Desmond's career.

On Wednesday, Jayson Werth hit a go-ahead grand slam to give the Nationals a 10-7 win. Werth added a two-run homer on Thursday.

Stephen Strasburg (1-1) also helped Washington complete the three-game sweep. He gave up one run on three hits while striking out 12 over 6 2/3 innings for the Nationals, who have won four in a row.

"I don't need to go out there and trick guys and I don't need to go out there and be perfect," Strasburg said. "I just gotta attack the strike zone and let my stuff work. You get much better results that way."

Marcell Ozuna hit a solo homer for the Marlins, who have dropped four straight. Tom Koehler (1-1) got the start and allowed two runs on five hits while striking out six over six innings.

"If we don't learn from these three games, then that's when they're really going to hurt us," Koehler said of his squad being swept.

The Marlins wasted a golden scoring opportunity in the first inning. Christian Yelich led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on center fielder Nate McLouth's error. But Yelich got caught in a rundown when Derek Dietrich hit a grounder back to Strasburg. Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging and Garrett Jones flied out to end the inning.

Werth's homer in the third gave Washington a 2-0 lead. Anthony Rendon worked a two-out walk before scoring on Werth's blast to left-center field.

Meanwhile, Strasburg was on cruise control until running into minor trouble in the sixth. Koehler reached base on an infield single and Dietrich was hit by a pitch, putting men on first and second with one out. Strasburg kept calm and struck out Stanton and Jones to preserve Washington's two-run margin.

Miami finally scored a run off Strasburg in the seventh. With one out, Ozuna homered to left to make it a 2-1 contest.

But the Nationals put the game away with a five-run eighth. With Arquimedes Caminero on the mound, Rendon doubled, Werth singled and pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen walked to load the bases with one out. Bryce Harper walked to force in a run and Desmond followed with a blast to left-center field.

Game Notes

Strasburg improved to 7-3 lifetime against the Marlins ... Rendon extended his hitting streak to nine games ... Yelich swiped the 13th base of his career Thursday, and is now 13-for-13 since making his MLB debut last July. He tied Edgar Renteria (1996) for the franchise record for most consecutive stolen bases to begin a career ... Miami went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded five.

04/10 23:58:49 ET