Pitching, pink Mother's Day bats help Marlins beat Nats 8-0
MIAMI (AP) - Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out a career-high 11 Sunday to help the Florida Marlins salvage the final game of their series against Washington, 8-0.
Washington's first hit came on the 101st pitch from Sanchez, when Laynce Nix led off the seventh with a line single to right, just beyond the reach of a diving Mike Stanton.
Sanchez (2-1) allowed two hits and walked none in seven innings before departing after throwing 117 pitches on a sunny, 86-degree afternoon.
Gaby Sanchez, swinging a pink bat on Mother's Day, hit a three-run homer, doubled twice, singled and scored three runs. Greg Dobbs also wielded a pink bat and had two RBI hits.
The Marlins (20-13) broke a three-game losing streak, and they're still off to the best start in franchise history heading into a three-game series beginning Monday against NL East leader Philadelphia. Florida beat the Nationals for the 13th time in their past 17 meetings.
Michael Morse followed Nix's hit with a one-out single in the seventh, but Sanchez retired the next two batters to end the inning and his afternoon. He received a standing ovation from the announced crowd of 10,523 and waved as he walked to the dugout.
Sanchez threw a no-hitter as a rookie in 2006, and he took one into the ninth inning April 22 against Colorado before Dexter Fowler broke it up with none out.
Ryan Webb and Burke Badenhop completed a four-hitter. The Nationals, who rank next-to-last in the majors in batting, struck out 38 times in the series.
Livan Hernandez (3-4) allowed six runs in five innings, which was no match for Sanchez. The Marlins right-hander struck out the side in the second and fifth innings, and he retired 12 in a row after hitting Danny Espinosa with a pitch to start the third.
Sanchez improved to 6-0 with an ERA of 2.16 in 15 career starts against Washington.
He had plenty of offensive support from a team that scored a total of seven runs during the three-game losing streak. Chris Coghlan ended an 0-for-14 drought, and Hanley Ramirez kept his average from dipping below .190 when he singled home a run in the fifth.
The Marlins took their first lead in the series in the second when Gaby Sanchez doubled and scored on a double by Dobbs. The combination clicked again in the fourth, when Sanchez doubled and Dobbs singled him home.
Sanchez's fifth homer made it 6-0 in the fifth.
Notes: Morse was back in the lineup after missing four starts with a sore right knee. RF Jayson Werth, who is 2 for 22 lifetime against Sanchez, was given the day off. ... Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez dropped Coghlan from leadoff to second for the first time season, and Emilio Bonifacio moved into the leadoff spot. The Nationals' recent run of fielding gems continued, with left fielder Morse, second baseman Espinosa and shortstop Ian Desmond robbing the Marlins of hits. ... Florida's best defensive play was by Stanton, who ran into the railing to make a running basket catch of Desmond's long pop foul in the sixth.