Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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Marlins win at Washington to tighten NL East


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WASHINGTON
Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez starred on the mound and at the plate, striking out 11 batters over seven innings and driving in two runs to lead the Marlins to a 5-1 win at Washington, further tightening the closely fought National League East division.
The Nationals still lead but are only 2-1/2 games ahead of the fourth-placed Marlins after the completion of an evenly split four-game series.
In the other key NL match-ups, Pittsburgh beat the Chicago Cubs for the first time this season, at the sixth attempt, and St. Louis won at Los Angeles to drop the Dodgers out of a share of the NL West division lead.
In the American League, Texas won the game and the fight as the Rangers beat Toronto to move to the top of the AL West and second baseman Rougned Odor landed a solid punch on the jaw of chief provocateur Jose Bautista.
Miami's Fernandez threw a career-high 117 pitches, allowing just one run, and was the key figure in a three-run sixth inning which locked in the victory.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 11th home run of the season, and also survived an outfield collision with Marcell Ozuna which handed Washington its only run; an inside-the-park homer by Ryan Zimmerman.
Chicago pitcher Jon Lester was tracking toward a no-hitter in the seventh inning and yet still ended up on the losing side as the Pirates won 2-1 at the Cubs. Lester had permitted only two walks and retired 16 straight batters before Starling Marte lined a changeup pitch into right field.
Marte then scored on Jung Ho Kang's double, and Kang homered in the eighth.
Pirates starter Gerritt Cole pitched eight scoreless innings for the win.
Texas' 7-6 win against Toronto lifted the Rangers top of their division, but they probably took more satisfaction at belatedly getting some revenge on Bautista for his condescending bat flip during their playoff series last season.

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