Werth comes through as Nationals beat Marlins 4-2
WASHINGTON (AP) A week into the new season, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth still has two fewer hits than his team has wins.
And that's just fine with him.
Werth hit a go-ahead, RBI single to end an 0-for-13 start to the season and key a three-run seventh inning on Sunday, helping the Washington Nationals to a 4-2 victory over the Miami Marlins.
''It's April,'' Werth said. ''I've never been the best player in April. Never had a chance to win the player of the month for April.''
Joe Ross (1-0) allowed a run and five hits in seven innings as Washington split a two-game series following Saturday's postponement because of cold weather.
Bryce Harper hit the 99th and 100th doubles of his career and drove in the Nationals' first run. Anthony Rendon went 3 for 5 with a double and scored twice.
Playing while Ryan Zimmerman took a planned day off, Clint Robinson also got his first hit, adding a two-run single after Werth to complete the Nationals rally.
Robinson said he could relate with Werth's plight.
''I'm sure it does a lot for him,'' Robinson said. ''I know J-Dub doesn't need that kind of stuff for confidence, but it's always good to go out there and help your team win and contribute like that.''
For the Marlins, Christian Yelich homered off Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon, who still earned his third save.
Dee Gordon tripled and scored in the first inning. Tom Koehler (0-1) allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings.
Struggling with injuries, Werth batted just .221 with 12 homers in 88 games last season while the Nationals missed the playoffs.
He's been healthy but slow to find his swing in 2016.
And he'd already left four runners on base before coming up to face Edwin Jackson in the seventh.
''I've been there,'' Nationals manager Dusty Baker said ''You knew it was going to happen sooner or later.''
After Rendon's second single chased Koehler with the score tied 1-1, Harper doubled off Chris Narveson to send Rendon to third. Marlins manager Don Mattingly intentionally walked Daniel Muprhy and brought in the right-handed Edwin Jackson.
Werth worked the count even after falling behind 0-2, then got enough of Jackson's fastball to send it into shallow right-center.
''You try to come in and you try to make a pitch,'' Jackson said. ''It's not a situation where you can be too perfect. I was able to get to two strikes on hitters, I just couldn't put them away. They battled.''
Marlins: `I'm not here to watch games. I'm here to pitch every fifth day so to be able to go out there and finally participate was a good feeling. I would have liked some better results though.'' Koehler on his start after Miami and Washington both had back-to-back days off.
Nationals: ''One of the best ballplayers of all time. Very highly intelligent man. Great vision. And, you know, better with kids than adults.'' - Baker, when asked to describe Barry Bonds, the Miami Marlins hitting coach.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen threw a bullpen session Sunday and ''everything felt sharp,'' Mattingly said. Chen was hit in his left elbow by a batted ball in his first start. He could start Wednesday or Friday, Mattingly said.
Nationals: An MRI confirmed OF Ben Revere's left oblique strain, and Baker would not put a timetable for the leadoff man's recovery or rule out a return when he's eligible to come off the disabled list on April 20. ''Everything is a possibility when you're dealing with the unknown,'' Baker said.
Marlins: Jarred Cosart is likely to start Monday as the Marlins begin a three-game series at the New York Mets. Cosart had been available in relief Sunday if needed, Mattingly said.
Nationals: Max Scherzer will make his second start against the Atlanta Braves against after he faced them on opening day. He struck out seven and allowed two runs.