De La Cruz homers in 10th, Marlins beat Nationals again

Jul 3, 2022, 11:12 PM | Updated: Jul 4, 2022, 12:41 pm
Washington Nationals' Ehire Adrianza, bottom, steals second against Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel ...

Washington Nationals' Ehire Adrianza, bottom, steals second against Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas, top, during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Monday, July 4, 2022, in Washington. The Marlins won 3-2 in ten innings. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — After watching Jesús Aguilar and Jesús Sánchez hit late-inning home runs to win games for the Miami Marlins over the weekend, Bryan De La Cruz was happy to get a similar chance Monday.

He made the most of it.

De La Cruz hit a two-run homer off the foul pole in the 10th inning to keep the Miami’s domination of the Washington Nationals going with a 3-2 victory.

“Just being able to do that with one swing, just put your team ahead, it’s a wonderful feeling,” he said through an interpreter. “It feels great just to do it for the whole team.”

The Marlins won the rare 11:05 a.m. start by beating the Nationals for the 12th time in 13 games this year, including seven in a row. They extended their winning streak to five and moved two games back of .500 at nearly the halfway point despite going 26-39 against everyone else.

“Essentially it seems that we’ve scored with these guys,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We seemed to have getting the outs we need to and getting some big hits when we need to.”

De La Cruz became the latest Miami player to come up with a big hit during this run, after Sánchez hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth Sunday and Aguilar homered and doubled Saturday. His fifth homer this season came off Tanner Rainey (1-3), who also gave up Sánchez’s shot to right less than 24 hours earlier.

It was the first time De La Cruz homered in the ninth inning or later in his major league career.

Miami’s Braxton Garrett cruised through seven innings on 61 pitches before things got away from him in the eighth. His first and only walk proved costly when Ehire Adrianza stole second and scored on Luis Garcia’s RBI single that sent Garrett to the showers.

“I was just efficient early,” Garrett said. “I was 0-1 a lot. And also our bullpen’s a little taxed. Our late-game guys have gone I think it was three days in a row, and it was in the back of my mind to try and get a few more innings out just for the bullpen.”

With top relievers Anthony Bass, Steven Okert and Tanner Scott unavailable after each pitching three days in a row, Mattingly pieced together eight outs with Zach Pop, Jimmy Yacabonis and Dylan Floro. Yacabonis (1-1) got the win after pitching a scoreless ninth, and Floro picked up his second save in as many days — his first two this season.

Washington’s Patrick Corbin made quick work of the Marlins for much of his seven innings, scattering eight hits and striking out four with one walk. The only run he gave up came in the third, when Luke Williams reached on a bunt single, advanced on Billy Hamilton’s sacrifice and scored on Jesús Aguilar’s single.

Corbin, one of baseball’s worst pitchers earlier this season, has a 2.37 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 19 innings over his past three starts.

“He’s been attacking the strike zone,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s actually throwing the slider a little harder, and it looks like his fastball coming in, so it’s been very effective.”

PATRIOTIC CRUZ

While Garrett was fired up to pitch on the Fourth of July, Washington’s Nelson Cruz celebrated the holiday in style with red, white and blue Stars and Stripes cleats.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

The Nationals grounded into three double plays, adding to their major league-leading total of 80 this season. One of those scored a run in the 10th, with second baseman Joey Wendle making a backhand flip from his glove to shortstop Miguel Rojas while falling after nabbing Garcia’s grounder.

SOTO PINCH-HITS

While Juan Soto was not in the Nationals lineup, the superstar outfielder pinch-hit in the eighth inning and drew a walk a day after leaving the game with tightness in his left calf. He was pulled immediately for a pinch-runner.

“He felt good enough to hit, but he couldn’t run and we didn’t want him to run,” Martinez said. “He got on base for us, and we had to get him out of there.”

Soto said an MRI did not show damage, and he figures he’ll take it day by day.

“Everything was fine,” Soto said. “They said it’s just a little tight, so just going to take a couple days and see how it goes.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: 1B Garrett Cooper was not in the lineup after taking misstep during the game Sunday. … Wendle, on an every-other-day playing schedule since returning Friday from a monthlong absence with a strained right hamstring, pinch hit.

Nationals: While Soto’s MRI showed good news, a look at Jackson Tetreault’s sore right throwing shoulder showed a stress fracture. The team put him on the 15-day inured list and called up RHP Jordan Weems.

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (8-3, 1.95 ERA) makes his first start in July after being named NL pitcher of the month for June against RHP Noah Syndergaard (5-6, 3.86) and the Los Angeles Angels Angels on Tuesday in the opener of a two-game series in Miami.

Nationals: RHP Paolo Espino (0-1, 2.80) starts at LHP Christopher Sanchez and the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday in the start of a three-game series.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo (40) throws during the second inning of a baseball gam...
Associated Press

Barrero gets game-ending hit as Reds beat Phillies 1-0

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jose Barrero hit a game-ending RBI single off Seranthony Domínguez with two out in the ninth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 on Wednesday. Albert Almora Jr. helped set up Barrero’s winning hit with a one-out walk. Almora advanced to second on Alejo Lopez’s single and hustled home […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball during an NBA basketball game ...
Associated Press

NBA schedule has less miles, and LeBron chasing more history

By mid-January, LeBron James could be the NBA’s scoring king. The NBA schedule was released Wednesday, all 1,230 games that are set between Oct. 18 and April 9 taking place in four countries with Mexico and France playing host to regular-season contests along with the U.S. and Canada. There are the usual highlights — Stephen […]
12 hours ago
Cincinnati Bengal quarterback Joe Burrow looks for a receiver during NFL football training camp in ...
Associated Press

Burrow working on regaining strength after appendix surgery

CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Burrow is trying to pack on the pounds, gaining back the weight he lost after having surgery to remove his ruptured appendix three weeks ago. The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback won’t say how much he lost, but the pounds are coming back, along with the strength and mobility he had before the […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) throws while playing Toledo in the first half of a...
Associated Press

Buchner leads way in Freeman’s first season with No. 5 Irish

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — It’s been nearly six decades since a first-year head coach and a new starting quarterback faced similar stakes at Notre Dame. Fighting Irish fans are hoping for similar results. Back then, in 1964, 41-year-old Ara Parseghian and eventual Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte teamed up to nearly lead Notre Dame […]
2 days ago
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson looks to throw during NFL football practice in Berea, O...
Associated Press

AP sources: Talks on possible Watson settlement progress

Talks between the NFL and NFL Players Association on a discipline settlement for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson have progressed. However, it’s uncertain whether the two sides will reach a deal, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The people spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because of the […]
2 days ago
Venus Williams returns a ball from Jil Teichmann, of Switzerland, during women's tennis action at t...
Associated Press

Venus Williams back in US Open after being given wild card

NEW YORK (AP) — Venus Williams will be back in the U.S. Open this year after being given a wild card on Wednesday into what could be younger sister Serena’s final tournament. Venus Williams won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2000 and 2001, and this year marks 25 years since she reached the 1997 final in […]
2 days ago
De La Cruz homers in 10th, Marlins beat Nationals again