WASHINGTON -- While the Marlins' rotation has struggled, they've relied on their surging offense to win seven of their previous 12 games entering Tuesday. Miami's offense again led it to victory Tuesday night vs. the Nationals, as Derek Dietrich and Giancarlo Stanton homered in the Marlins' 7-3 win at Nationals Park.
Dietrich went deep in the fourth inning before Stanton knocked his career-high 38th home run of the season the following frame to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead. All four of the runs A.J. Cole -- who was making his third start of the season -- allowed over his five innings came on those homers.
"Our lineup is special," Dietrich said. "[Marcell Ozuna] wasn't even in there tonight and we were able to score seven runs like that. We're dangerous. If we pitch and play defense the way we should and with our lineup, we could keep playing. We want to compete and battle. We want to battle until the end."
After throwing seven scoreless innings in his last start vs. the Nationals, Vance Worley again dazzled by allowing one run over six frames for his first set of consecutive wins since April 2015, when he played for the Pirates. The right-hander's lone blemish came in the third inning when Brian Goodwin scored after his double, but Miami's offense took over from there.
"[Worley] was just using both sides of the plate, going in and out, keeping us on our toes," Goodwin said. "Just cutting it, sinking it, occasional curveball every now and then ... I think it's pretty much the same thing we expected and the same thing we saw last time out. It was just on us to make the adjustment."
The Marlins added three insurance runs in the seventh frame, and their bullpen contained Washington to take a 6-5 season series lead over the Nationals, despite still trailing them by double-digit games in the National League East standings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Giancarlo breaks the tie: With the game knotted at two in the fifth inning, Stanton belted his career-high 38th homer to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead they wouldn't surrender. Seventeen of the outfielder's home runs this season have given Miami the lead. Stanton, the league's home runs leader, has hit 12 homers since the All-Star break, including five in his past five games.
"You get one a day for sure," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said, "and then you hope for another one."
"The pitch I threw wasn't a bad pitch," Cole said. "But the other two at-bats, I threw to the same spot, so he kind of sits on it. I could have thrown something outside, a slider outside or a little farther in. He capitalized on it." More >
Nats' seventh-inning rally derailed: The Nationals racked up three straight hits to begin the seventh inning after Miami took a 7-1 edge in the top of the frame. But after Bryce Harper's sacrifice fly plated the Nationals' second run, Ryan Zimmerman hit into a double play on a line drive to left field after Adrian Sanchez forgot the number of outs and got caught off first base, ending the Nationals' hopes of a late rally.
"Every time we were threatening, it seemed like we were hitting into a double play one way or the other," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "That's what hurt us tonight. Those double plays were haunting us tonight. We had action. We hit some balls hard. We couldn't find any holes at the right time."
"Now it's like every single night he's homering and powering our lineup. Really, it's been fun to watch. It's kind of fun to hit behind [him]. In that two-hole he's making it happen. He's the catalyst. He's what makes our lineup really go, and he drives in the runs. I'm happy for him. He's going to hit a lot more before the season's over, I promise you." -- Dietrich, on Stanton
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy did not start Tuesday's game because of a sore hip, although he was good enough to pinch-hit in the ninth inning, when he lined out against Brad Ziegler.
"He's played a lot," Baker said. "So we thought it would be better to skip a day and we'll see how he is tomorrow."
The injuries did not stop there for the Nationals, as their rash of injury issues even affected their manager, as Baker moved around gingerly in the dugout during the game because of a bad knee. Baker said the knee locked up on him, and he will get it checked out Wednesday.
"It's never good to see him hobbling," Goodwin said. "He's such a lively guy. All over the clubhouse. That's kind of what you get used to seeing."
In the second inning, the Marlins got a call overturned after replay showed first baseman Tomas Telis was indeed hit by a pitch. He was awarded first base with two outs in the inning.
The Nationals issued a challenge in the seventh. With a runner on first and one out, Dee Gordon doubled down the line in right field. The ball bounced into the stands in foul ground for a ground-rule double, however, the umpires also awarded fan interference on the play, which allowed Miguel Rojas to score. Washington challenged the fan interference call, but the ruling on the field stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins:Adam Conley, who's lowered his ERA from 7.53 to 5.10 since the All-Star break, will take the mound when the Marlins face the Nats at Nationals Park on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Conley has lasted at least six innings in three of his past four starts, but allowed four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings during his last outing. The lefty has posted a 3-1 record and 2.20 ERA in five road starts this year.
Nationals:Gio Gonzalez makes his first start since the birth of his second child, Gabriel, when the Nationals face the Marlins on Wednesday night. In his last start, he carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Miami. Gonzalez had been on paternity leave this past weekend before he was activated Monday.