MIAMI (AP) — Anibal Sanchez 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 Tuesday night to break the franchise record for victories in a month.
The Marlins are 20-8 since May 1, best in the majors, and they’re six games above .500 for the first time since last June 4.
Greg Dobbs, pinch-hitting for Sanchez, drove in the run that put Miami ahead to stay with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Hanley Ramirez hit his eighth homer leading off the eighth.
Sanchez (3-3), plagued by poor run support all season, this time received enough to snap a streak of losses in three consecutive starts. He improved to 8-0 against Washington with a 1.97 ERA.
Sanchez allowed only three hits and one walk and lowered his ERA to 2.56.
Reliever Steve Cishek walked consecutive batters to load the bases in the eighth, then struck out Bryce Harper and retired Ryan Zimmerman on a grounder.
The National 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.
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.
The Marlins had only one hit until the sixth, when they scored on a double by Omar Infante and a two-out RBI double by Giancarlo Stanton to make it 1-all.
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 to end the inning.
(© 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)