Sanchez, Stanton lead Marlins over Nationals 1-0
WASHINGTON (AP) - Anibal Sanchez has never lost to the Washington Nationals.
That didn't change Saturday despite minimal run support.
The Florida Marlins pitcher took advantage of Mike Stanton's long home run by keeping Washington off the scoreboard, going eight sharp innings for a 1-0 victory.
"It's a matter of a mindset or comfort zone," Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
Sanchez has allowed only five hits over 15 innings in his last two starts against the Nationals, and is 7-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his career against them.
In his previous start last week, Sanchez (3-1) held Washington hitless until the seventh inning and struck out a career-high 11. This time he allowed only a second-inning single to Laynce Nix before retiring 14 straight batters.
He gave up a leadoff double to Jayson Werth and two-out walk to Wilson Ramos in the seventh inning, then allowed a two-out single by Roger Bernadina in the eighth, but never allowed one of the runners to come around to score.
Sanchez allwed three hits and walked two while striking out nine.
"They have real aggressive hitters. I just tried to keep it down like always," he said.
Leo Nunez pitched a shaky ninth inning for his major league-leading 14th save. He walked Werth and allowed a base hit to Nix before Adam LaRoche's fielder's choice put runners on the corners. Ramos popped out to second and Jerry Hairston Jr. flied out for the final out.
"Seems like he feels comfortable going from the stretch," Rodriguez said of his closer. "As long as we win the game, that's fine."
The Marlins won their eighth straight in Washington, and Stanton has six home runs in those games. His seventh-inning homer off Livan Hernandez (3-5) was his seventh this season.
"I was ready for him to mix in a fastball, and that's what he did," Stanton said.
Werth's double was just his third hit in 25 at-bats against Sanchez. He's struck out 19 times against him, including twice on Saturday.
"It's an eclectic mix," Werth said. "He's got good stuff. I think everybody knows that. He's a good pitcher. For me personally, sometimes it just doesn't match up. I feel like I'm right on him but I'm not."
Marlins catcher John Buck had a firsthand view of the Nationals' woes.
"When they're swinging and missing and fouling off some of the balls I know I've seen them hit before, in some of their reactions, I can see that they're a little frustrated because they should hit it," Buck said.
Hernandez matched Sanchez for six innings, allowing three hits. Logan Morrison singled with one out in the seventh, but was thrown out trying to steal. He gave up six hits in seven innings in his third straight loss.
Cole Kimball, recalled Saturday from Triple-A Syracuse, pitched a scoreless ninth in his major league debut for the Nationals.
NOTES: Hernandez has thrown 3,003 2-3 innings in his career. ... The Nationals designated RHP Brian Broderick for assignment. Broderick was obtained in the Rule 5 draft from St. Louis in December and was 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA in 11 appearances. ... Washington SS Ian Desmond did not play because of a sore left quadriceps muscle. ... Marlins RHP Javier Vazquez, who returned from three days on the bereavement list Friday, is set to start Sunday. ... Morrison extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Ramos threw out Morrison and Hanley Ramirez on steal attempts. Ramos is 7 for 14 in throwing out runners. ... Washington equaled a franchise-high by playing its ninth straight errorless game.