by Anthony Amobi, Staff Writer


The Washington Nationals three-game win streak came to an end on Saturday as they were steam rolled by the Florida Marlins, 7-1.

The Nationals offense could not get anything going and their pitching corps, which had served them so well in the past week, faltered. Craig Stammen, who started the game on the mound for Washington, struggled on the mound as he took the loss. He would go four innings, give up four runs – three earned – on seven hits.

Marlins starting pitcher Chris Volstad pitched a complete game giving up only one run on four hits, one walk, and struck out eight. The Nationals scored their only run in the second inning off a Ivan Rodriguez sacrifice fly that plated Adam Dunn that would give them a brief 1-0 lead. Thereafter, the game belonged to the Florida. The Marlins tied the game in the third inning as Hanley Ramirez plated in Volstad with an RBI double.

Florida took a 3-1 lead off a Cody Ross RBI-triple and then he went on to score on a Nyjer Morgan throwing error after Gaby Sanchez line out to center in the fourth.

Marlins attacked again in the fifth as Craig Stammen opened up the inning by giving up a leadoff double to Cameron Maybin and walking Chris Coghlan. Moments later, Washington manager Jim Riggleman yanked Stammen from the game in favor of reliever Tyler Walker.

However, the Marlins would blow open the game from there. The Nationals seemed close to finding a way of their jam as Walker was able to get two quick outs – Coghlan was picked off, and Ramirez struck out; however, the next batter, Jorge Cantu took Walker deep to left field with a two-run homer to up Florida’s lead to 5-1.

In the seventh inning, the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer to left field off Walker to give them a 7-1 lead.

In spite of the loss, Ryan Zimmerman who started his second game in a row after coming back from an injury, went 2-for-4 with a double and made a couple of fantastic defensive plays.

Ivan Rodriguez perhaps avoided an injury scare in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cody Ross, who scored a run in the frame, came sliding into home plate and Rodriguez rushed to try to tag him; however, both men were involved in a collision. Rodriguez seemed to hurt his knee, but after a few minutes, consulting with the team trainers and walking around to alleviate the pain, he seemed to be fine.

In other news, pitcher Stephen Strasburg should be headed to Triple-A Syracuse after his Sunday start in Harrisburg, according to the Nationals’ MLB team site. The organization, nor Washington general manager Mike Rizzo, has not announced anything as of this time, but according to the report, he should make his scheduled start on Sunday (if all goes well) and find himself promoted thereafter.