The Washington Nationals, down to their last strike, got a game-tying single from Jake Alu and the go-ahead run on a passed ball later in the ninth inning in a 3-2 win over the host Miami Marlins on Saturday afternoon.
Washington, which had been in last place for most of this season, has won five straight series. The Nationals are 11-3 in their past 14 games.
Miami got a game-tying homer from Josh Bell in the sixth and a go-ahead dinger by Jorge Soler in the eighth.
But closer David Robertson (4-5) couldn't nail down the save, allowing two runs — one earned — in the ninth.
Soler's homer — his team-high 34th — came on the first pitch thrown by reliever Jordan Weems in the eighth, a 97-mph fastball down the middle of the plate.
Bell has 19 homers, including eight since Miami acquired him on Aug. 1.
Neither starting pitcher — both rookie right-handers — earned a decision.
Washington's Jake Irvin allowed four hits, three walks and one run in six innings. He struck out three.
Miami's Eury Perez allowed just two hits, one walk and one run in six innings. He struck out seven.
Washington nearly scored in the first inning as Lane Thomas drove a fastball 403 feet to center. However, Jazz Chisholm Jr. got his glove over the fence, stealing a would-be homer.
Perez, who retired Washington's first 11 batters, got in trouble in the bottom of the fourth. Joey Meneses stroked a two-out double and scored when Dominic Smith's end-of-the-bat cue shot turned into a two-base throwing error by shortstop Joey Wendle.
Miami tied the score, 1-1, in the sixth as Bell swung at a first-pitch sinker that was up in the zone, smacking it 366 feet for an opposite-field homer to left.
After Soler's homer in the eighth, Thomas hit a leadoff triple off the glove of a diving Chisholm to lead off the ninth. With the infield in, Marlins second baseman Arraez made a diving catch of a Smith grounder before throwing home to get Thomas.
Carter Kieboom then popped out. But Alu singled on a 3-2 knuckle-curve to knot the game.
—Field Level Media