Nats down the Marlins 4-2, split the series

The Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins this afternoon 4-1 to gain a 1-1 series split with Miami and improved overall to 3-1.

Joe Ross (1-0) gave the Nationals a strong start on the mound, tossing 7 strong innings and scattering 5 hits and 1 run,w while fanning 5 batters in his first start of this young season.   In his season debut, Ross there 97 pitches, 57 for strikes.

After Miami took a 1-0 lead in the top of the opening inning, Bryce Harper doubled in the bottom of the first to score Anthony Rendon to knot the game up at 1-1.  Harper finished the day going 2 for 3 with a run and RBI to lift his batting average to .385 through he first three games.

The Nats offense inflicted their damage in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring three runs.  After Rendon started the offense off with a single, Harper doubled to center, moving Rendon to third base.  Hot bat Daniel Murphy was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out.  Jayson Werth delivered a shallow single to right field to score Rendon and give the Nats a 2-1 lead.  Clint Robinson would eventually follow with a two RBI single to give the Nats a 4-1 lead.  On the day, the Nationals offense collected 11 hits on the day.

Jonathan Papelbon earned his third save, but did allow a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, before closing the door.

Washington will now move on to host a three game series against Atlanta.  Max Scherzer will face Bud Norris tomorrow evening.