Nationals’ starter Chien-Ming Wang, who returned from the disabled list after nearly two years away from the big leagues in 2011, recorded his third win of the season on Sunday in his longest outing since 2008. Manager Davey Johnson continued to sing Wang’s praises after the game, stating that Wang shows consistent signs of improvement each time he starts.
Washington beat the Marlins 4-3 thanks to Wang’s productive start. Wang threw 6 2/3 innings and gave up three runs, two homeruns, and struck out two batters over 93 pitches (60 for strikes). The second homerun of the afternoon hit by Marlins catcher Brett Hayes served as the proper cue for the starter’s exit.
The Nationals’ offense is what assisted Wang with being able to record his third win of the season. Outfielder Jonny Gomes scored the Nats first run in the second inning off a sacrifice fly from rookie first baseman and September call-up Chris Marrero.
Ryan Zimmerman (2-for-4) and Michael Morse both scored runs in the fourth inning. Zimmerman leadoff the inning with a double followed by Morse drawing a walk off of Marlins’ starter Brad Hand. Danny Espinosa singled up the middle to score two runs, giving the Nationals a 3-0 lead.
Espinosa then reached third on a throwing error by Florda’s centerfielder Bryan Petersen setting up an RBI situation for Marrero who was then up to bat. Marrero hit a ground rule double to right field to score Espinosa, giving Washington a 4-0 lead to end the fourth.
It wasn’t a spotless game for Wang but Washington was able to cobble together just enough offense to secure the win and help Drew Storen record his 38th save of the season.