MIAMI (AP) Brandon Kintzler escaped a bases-loaded jam to end it and the Miami Marlins kept up their playoff push, scratching out a late unearned run off Max Scherzer to beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 Sunday to open a doubleheader.
The Marlins began the day with a half-game lead over Philadelphia for second place in the NL East. The top two teams in each division are assured spots in the expanded postseason field – two extra wild-card clubs will advance, too.
A two-out error by first baseman Eric Thames in the sixth inning gave Miami the go-ahead run.
Washington threatened in the seventh and final inning when Luis Garcia led off with a single and pinch hitter Yadiel Hernandez followed with a ground-rule double off Kintzler.
After Andrew Stevenson flied out to short right, Trea Turner hit a hard smash to Kintzler, who got Garcia out on a rundown that left runners still at second and third. Juan Soto was intentionally walked before Kintzler struck out Kurt Suzuki for his 10th save.
Matt Joyce hit a two-out single off Scherzer (4-4) in the sixth. Pinch runner Monte Harrison stole second, and walks to Miguel Rojas and Jon Berti loaded the bases.
Pinch hitter Starling Marte hit a grounder down the line that third baseman Carter Kieboom fielded, and his low throw bounced off Thames’ glove for an error.
Sandy Alcantara (3-2) allowed one run and five hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out four.
Scherzer (4-4) allowed two unearned runs, walked two and struck out six.
Turner’s two-out RBI infield single with the bases loaded in the fifth tied it at 1. Alcantara escaped from additional harm retiring Juan Soto on a flyout to center.
The Marlins got a run in the first when Corey Dickerson scored on Garcia’s throwing error from second base.
The Marlins activated Berti from the injured list and designated INF-OF Sean Rodriguez for assignment . LHP Braxton Garrett was added as the 29th man.
Nationals: INF Howie Kendrick (left hamstring strain) has done light running and continues to make progress in his attempt at returning before the end of the season.
Nationals: RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-5, 7.38) will face Philadelphia as Washington begins a season-ending eight-game homestand Monday.
Marlins: LHP Trevor Rogers (1-1, 6.00) will start the opener of a four-game series at Atlanta Monday night.
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