Jon Berti lined a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning as the host Miami Marlins defeated the Washington Nationals 5-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Miami's Starlin Castro also drove in two runs, and teammate Austin Dean, playing his first major league game at first base, added a solo homer. Dean also made an outstanding stretch and scoop in the ninth, saving a low throw from Castro at third.
Marlins left fielder Harold Ramirez followed Dean with his own great catch, grabbing a liner while crashing into the wall.
Backed by that defense, rookie Jeff Brigham, 27, earned his first career save, pitching a scoreless ninth.
In seeing its two-game winning streak snapped, Washington fell into a virtual for the top wild card in the National League with Milwaukee. The Brewers, who beat Pittsburgh 4-3 on Sunday, are a percentage point behind the Nationals. Washington has two more games remaining than does Milwaukee.
The Marlins snapped a string of 11 consecutive losses to the Nationals this year. It was also the home finale for Miami, which finished 30-51 at Marlins Park. The Marlins have the worst overall and home records in the National League.
Neither starting pitcher got a decision. Washington's Austin Voth allowed just one run on three hits in five innings, and Miami's Pablo Lopez was touched for three runs on six hits, also in five frames.
The win went to Jarlin Garcia (4-2), who worked one inning of scoreless relief. Nationals reliever Wander Suero (6-9) took the loss after giving up two runs on one hit while recording only one out.
Both teams scored one run in the first inning.
Washington leadoff man Trea Turner had his bat sawed in half but still muscled a bloop single to center. Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon followed with singles, with the latter getting the RBI.
Rendon, an MVP candidate batting .325, went just 1-for-12 in the three-game series.
Miami leadoff man Magneuris Sierra slapped an opposite-field triple that bounced off a side wall in left, getting past outfielder Juan Soto. One out later, Castro earned the RBI with a sacrifice fly.
Washington took a 3-1 lead in the fourth. Soto drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on Howie Kendrick's single and took third on a wild pitch before scoring on Brian Dozier's fielder's-choice groundout.
An apparent double play ended the inning, but after the Marlins had left the field, umpires ruled that rookie second baseman Isan Diaz did not step on the bag on the front end of the double play. Given a new chance, Voth stroked an RBI single to center.
But Miami took a 5-3 lead with a four-run seventh inning that started with Dean's homer. After Lewis Brinson was hit by a pitch and Sierra walked one out later, Berti hit a first-pitch fastball for a two-run double over the head of right fielder Eaton.
Castro capped the rally, throwing his bat at a low slider and pulling an RBI ground-ball triple down the third base line.
--Field Level Media