Ramirez, Marlins Beat Nats Again, 5-3 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ramirez, Marlins Beat Nats Again, 5-3

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MIAMI - Hanley Ramirez extended his RBI streak to 10 games, pinch-hitter Wes Helms beat out a potential double-play ball to put Florida ahead in the eighth inning and the Marlins remained unbeaten against the Washington Nationals this year with a 5-3 Wednesday.

Cody Ross hit his 14th home run and added an RBI single in the eighth for Florida, which improved to 9-0 against Washington this season and 25-3 against the Nationals since September 2007. Ramirez hit a two-run double for the Marlins, making him the first shortstop in NL history with an RBI streak of double-digit games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Josh Willingham was 2 for 4 with a two-run single for Washington, which stranded 13 runners.

With the score 3-3 and the bases loaded in the eighth, Helms' roller up the middle was snared by a diving Alberto Gonzalez, who flipped to Ronnie Belliard at second to force Dan Uggla. But Belliard's throw wasn't in time to get Helms, and Ramirez scored to give Florida the lead.

Dan Meyer (2-0), one of six Florida pitchers, got the win after working two-thirds of an inning. Leo Nunez pitched the ninth, getting his fourth save in seven chances.

Julian Tavarez (3-6) faced two batters in the eighth, and both scored as the Nationals wasted a 3-2 lead.

Florida starter Josh Johnson failed to get out of the fourth inning, his shortest appearance in 34 starts dating to June 23, 2007. Johnson yielded one run and five hits in 3 1-3 innings, with four walks and three strikeouts, and only 49 of his 89 pitches went for strikes.

Most oddly, Johnson couldn't get Washington's starter out.

Jordan Zimmermann had the first two hits of his career for Washington - the rookie was 0-for-19 coming in - and drove in the Nationals' first run with a second-inning single off Johnson. Zimmermann allowed two runs on six hits in six innings.

All three games in the series were affected by rain: Monday's start was pushed back 37 minutes, Tuesday's game ended two innings early, and play was halted for 19 minutes in Wednesday's seventh inning.

Eventually, that will no longer be an issue for the Marlins.

Final arrangements were completed early Wednesday on bonds that will help pay for a $515 million, 37,000-seat retractable-roof ballpark, set to open in 2012. Crews arrived at the former Orange Bowl site hours later, beginning work on the project.

"It's time to get this building built," Marlins president David Samson said.

Ramirez hit a soft two-out double to short right field in the third inning allowed Chris Coghlan to score from third base and Emilio Bonifacio to come all the way around from first, giving the Marlins a 2-1 lead. In his last 10 games, he's hitting .475 (19 for 40) with 24 RBIs.

Washington took a 3-2 lead in the seventh on Willingham's two-run single, before Ross tied it in Florida's half with a solo homer off Sean Burnett, a left-hander making his Nationals' debut. Washington acquired Burnett and Nyjer Morgan from Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

NOTES: Johnson's ERA against the Nationals is 3.94 this season; against everyone else, it's 2.56. ... Burnett and Morgan arrived at the ballpark about 40 minutes before game time. ... Nationals manager Manny Acta left the clubhouse about a half-hour before the first pitch and walked outside the stadium, signing autographs for about 100 kids. Thousands of campers filled the lower bowl of the stadium, making up the overwhelming majority of the crowd of 27,032.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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