Nationals 7, Marlins 5

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MIAMI – Ryan Church hit a pair of two-run homers, including a tiebreaking drive in a three-run ninth that led the Washington Nationals over the Florida Marlins 7-5.

Florida took a 5-4 lead in the eighth against Gary Majewski (1-0) when Miguel Olivo hit an RBI double and scored on a triple by pinch-hitter Wes Helms, a ball that landed just in front of Church in right and skidded past him.

Alfonso Soriano doubled off Matt Herges (0-1) leading off the ninth, was sacrificed to third by Marlon Anderson and tied the game when Nick Johnson grounded to shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who checked Johnson at third and threw wildly to first for an error.

Ryan Zimmerman walked, Johnson was out trying to advance to third on a pitch and Church homered to right.

Chad Cordero pitched the bottom half for his second save.

With the score 3-all, both benches emptied in the bottom of the seventh after Anderson struck out against reliever Carlos Martinez, then pointed toward the reliever with his bat and headed for the mound. Anderson was restrained by Olivo, Florida’s catcher, and while the benches and bullpens emptied, there were no punches thrown and no ejections.

Washington starter Ramon Ortiz, winless in three starts, gave up three runs and eight hits in five innings. Florida’s Sergio Mitre allowed three runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Zimmerman’s sacrifice fly put Washington ahead in the first – just the third time this season Washington scored the first run of a game.

Olivo’s first homer of the season tied the score in the fourth and Florida took a 3-1 lead in the fifth when Miguel Cabrera hit a run-scoring single and scored on a single by Mike Jacobs, sliding under the tag of catcher Brian Schneider to beat Church’s throw.

Church’s sixth-inning homer tied it at 3.

Notes: Washington’s Royce Clayton left after being hit on the left arm by a Mitre pitch in the sixth. He is day to day. … Alfredo Amezaga stole his first base of the year in the third.

AP-ES-04-16-06 1659EDT

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