Marlins Stop the Losing Skid

MIAMI (AP) -- For the Florida Marlins, it was someone old and someone new.

Hanley Ramirez, in his second full season, and Jason Wood, a 37-year-old journeyman, each homered to help Florida beat the Washington Nationals 9-3 on Saturday night, ending the Marlins' six-game losing streak.

Anibal Sanchez (2-0) pitched five innings, giving up three runs and five hits. He walked three and struck out four. He left the game before throwing a pitch in the top of the sixth because of cramping in his right hamstring. Matt Lindstrom and Randy Messenger combined for four scoreless innings of relief.

"I felt my leg getting cramps and I couldn't push," Sanchez said. "I didn't want to hurt my team but if I can't push, I lose my command. I felt strong today and I was hoping to go seven or more innings."

Matt Chico (1-2) allowed five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings. He struck out six, but struggled with his control, walking seven and throwing two wild pitches.

"It was one of those days when I was having trouble finding the zone," said Chico, who also walked the opposing pitcher twice. "I was starting to press trying to throw strikes but, unfortunately, I threw more balls."

Leading 5-3, the Marlins scored two runs in the sixth inning. Dan Uggla led off with a double and scored when pitcher Ryan Wagner fielded a bunt by Aaron Boone and threw the ball by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Josh Willingham singled in Boone.

"It was nice to get some hits and actually do something for my team," Uggla said. "It was about time after six games when we're on a skid like that it's only a matter of time until you break out of it."

Florida added two runs in the seventh. Wood homered off Wagner and Boone doubled home Uggla. It was Wood's first home run since July 23, 1999, when he was with Detroit.

"The first of this century," Wood said. "It's been a while but it's nice to get after it. It's nice to come out on top and contribute like this."

The Marlins scored a run with two outs in the fifth when Chico threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Cody Ross to score to make it 5-3.

Trailing 4-1, Washington cut the deficit to 4-3 on an RBI single by Zimmerman in the third inning and an RBI double by Ryan Church in the fourth.

"They kept putting runs on the board and we couldn't counter it," Church said. "We swung the bats well but let Sanchez off the hook."

Ramirez hit a two-run shot in the second inning to give Florida a 4-1 lead. It was his third homer of the season.

Florida scored two runs in the first when Chico walked the first two batters, who advanced on a wild pitch. Two outs later, he walked Joe Borchard to load the bases. Ross then bounced a grounder past Zimmerman to drive in two runs.

Washington made it 2-1 in the second, helped in part by a miscue by third baseman Boone. With runners on first and second and no outs, Boone apparently thought someone called him off on a pop-up by Church and it dropped in the outfield grass behind him for a hit, loading the bases. Brian Schneider then drove in a run on a fielder's choice.

The Nationals failed to score in the first inning for the 18th consecutive game. The Nats have been outscored 22-0 in the first inning this season.


Since his last season in 1999 with Detroit and a brief stint with the Marlins last year, Wood has played in 1,785 minor league games, more than any other active player. ... Sanchez is 3-0 against Washington...Chico threw a wild pitch in the first inning that landed in the first row behind the Marlins dugout. The ball got away from Chico as he brought his left arm around toward home plate and it went sideways instead. ...The last team to go more than 18 games to begin a season without scoring a first-inning run was the 1975 Cincinnati Reds (19 games). ... Four-time boxing world champion Roberto Duran threw out the first pitch.

Updated on Saturday, Apr 21, 2007 11:32 pm EDT