MIAMI (AP) — Bryce Harper started the scoring with a two-run single that extended his hitting streak to 13 games, and Gio Gonzalez pitched seven innings to help the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 12-3 on Tuesday night.
Daniel Murphy had two RBIs and hit his 12th homer for the Nationals. Teammate Stephen Drew had three hits and three RBIs, and Ryan Zimmerman drove in three runs with a double and a single.
The NL East leaders went 7 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
Gonzalez (7-1) allowed three runs, struck out eight and won his fourth straight decision. The left-hander, who grew up in nearby Hialeah, improved to 7-3 in 13 starts against his hometown team with an ERA of 2.19.
Marcell Ozuna hit his 19th homer for the Marlins.
The game was scoreless when Miami’s Edinson Volquez (3-8) walked Michael A. Taylor and Trea Turner in the third inning, and they advanced on a double steal. With two outs, Harper tried to bunt on the first pitch — a curious move by the slugger — and pushed it foul. He golfed the next pitch into center for the Nationals’ first hit to put them up 2-0.
The next time Harper came to bat, the Nationals again had a runner in scoring position, and Miami manager Don Mattingly opted for an intentional walk. Zimmerman foiled the strategy with a two-run double.
Volquez allowed a season-high six runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Harper’s hitting streak is the longest of his career in a single season.
Ozuna ran through a stop sign to score Miami’s first run. Ozuna reached on a single in the fourth and came around on a double by J.T. Realmuto, ignoring third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez’s signal to hold at third and easily beating the throw home.
As the Marlins celebrated, Gonzalez looked into their dugout with a sheepish shrug.
Nationals: Drew replaced 3B Anthony Rendon (sore neck), who was held out of the lineup but was available in an emergency.
Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (8-4, 2.26) is scheduled to face RHP Dan Straily (5-4, 3.58) in the rubber game of the series Wednesday afternoon. Scherzer has at least 10 strikeouts in each of his past five starts, and he leads the NL in ERA and strikeouts.
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