The National League East remains as wide open as ever, with fewer than five games separating the top and the bottom of the division. The Washington Nationals rolled into Miami on Monday sitting in the division lead, but the Marlins ate into that with a 5-3 win.
Washington rolled along through the first five innings, with starter Jordan Zimmermann contributing a third inning home run in what was shaping up to be another strong road performance for the righty. Miami had other plans, posting three runs in the sixth to grab the lead. Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run shot, and Chris Coghlan drove in another.
A struggling Heath Bell retired three straight batters in the ninth for his eighth save of the season, justifying Ozzie Guillen's faith in his closer. Carlos Zambrano picked up the win, his third, in six innings of work. The Marlins' right-hander struck out five and gave up three earned runs in the effort.
For the third time in three outings, Zimmermann allowed multiple home runs and four earned runs. He now has two losses in his last three starts. Bryce Harper had a single to keep his hit streak alive at eight games.
Edwin Jackson starts on Tuesday night for the Nationals, facing Anibal Sanchez for the Marlins.
For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball. For the Marlins perspective, check out Fish Stripes. For news and updates from the Nationals series in Miami, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC.