Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Florida won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, June 30
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in 10
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Game 2: Tuesday, July 1
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Florida6
Game 3: Wednesday, July 2
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Nationals 2

(34-52, 16-26 away)

Marlins 4

(44-40, 26-20 home)

    12:10 PM ET, July 2, 2008

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

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    W: R. Nolasco (9-4)

    L: C. Manning (0-2)

    S: K. Gregg (15)

    Amezaga's two-run homer helps Marlins nip Nationals

    MIAMI (AP) -- A rain delay was worth the wait for Alfredo Amezaga and the Florida Marlins.

    Amezaga hit a go-ahead two-run home run in seventh inning when play resumed after a 1½-hour delay and the Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Wednesday.

    It was just the second home run of the season for Amezaga, who has 11 in 1,106 career at-bats.

    "When I hit a home run, I don t even know how to act because I m not used to hitting home runs and guys are not used to seeing home runs from me," Amezaga said.

    Florida trailed 2-1 when the game was halted with two outs in the seventh for 1 hour, 35 minutes. Cody Ross had singled with one out off starter Odalis Perez, and Matt Treanor grounded out before play was stopped.

    Charlie Manning (0-2) relieved after the delay, and Amezaga connected on his third pitch.

    "I thought, myself, it was going to hit the wall," Amezaga said. "I never thought it was going to go out."

    Amezaga's other homer this year was May 28, a 12th-inning drive against the New York Mets' Duaner Sanchez in a game Florida went on to lose. This was just his second career homer batting right-handed.

    During the rain delay, Amezaga worked in the batting cage with infielder Wes Helms and assistant coach Jim Presley at hitting inside pitches, an effort to deal with Manning's cutter.

    "I had a feeling he was going to get a hit because he was feeling confident before," Ross said. "When we were in here, he was like, 'Be ready, I m going to drive you in.' He's like, [Do you want to bet?' And I was like, 'No, I believe in you.'"

    Helms added a sacrifice fly in the eighth off Saul Rivera. Florida has 24 come-from-behind victories this season, tying the Chicago Cubs for most in the major leagues. The Marlins also lead the majors with 121 home runs.

    Ricky Nolasco (9-4) improved to 4-0 in his last five starts, allowing two runs and three hits in seven innings. Renyel Pinto pitched a hitless eighth, and Kevin Gregg threw a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 19 chances.

    Florida won two of three and is 10-2 against the Nationals this season.

    Making his second start since a stint on the disabled list caused by tendinitis in his left shoulder, Perez allowed one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.

    "I felt very good out there," Perez said. "I gave it six good innings and was using all my pitches well."

    He threw 53 of 77 pitches for strikes.

    "He looked like he could have gone all the way. We were going to try to max out his pitch count," Nationals manager Manny Acta said.

    Perez located 23 of 26 pitches for strikes just in the first three innings.

    "He was adding and subtracting on his fastball and his changeup," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We really had a tough time adjusting, almost Jamie Moyer-like. But that s the way he pitches. We just couldn't figure the changeup out and the fastball."

    Paul Lo Duca hit a two-run single in the second, and Robert Andino had an RBI single in the sixth.

    "It's a tough one," Acta said, "especially the way we were playing up until the rain."

    Game notes


    Florida optioned the Marlins optioned right-hander Eulogio De La Cruz to Triple-A Albuquerque. Cruz, who had a 16.62 ERA in three appearances, was among six players acquired from Detroit for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. ... Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez was selected NL player of the month for June, the first Marlin to win the award since Jeff Conine in June 1995. Ramirez set a franchise record for most home runs in a month with 10 and also tied for the major-league lead with 27 runs in the month. ... Washington shortstop Cristian Guzman, who had a 10-game hitting streak, was given the day off. ... Florida second baseman Dan Uggla, tied for the major-league lead with 23 homers, missed his fourth consecutive game because of an ankle injury.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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