- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

MIAMI — Gio Gonzalez and four relievers combined on a six-hitter, and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins for the eighth consecutive time, winning 8-1 Wednesday night.

Gonzalez (14-6) pitched five scoreless innings but needed 101 pitches. Ryan Zimmerman hit his 31st homer, and Michael A. Taylor added his 14th.

The Nationals, who completed a three-game sweep, have outscored Miami 53-12 in their past eight meetings. Washington increased its lead in the NL East to 18 games over second-place Miami.

Major league home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 3 and is 3 for 35 in the past 10 games. All three hits were homers, leaving him at 53 for the season.

The Marlins have lost nine of their past 10 games to fade from the NL wild-card race. They’ve scored five runs in the past four games.

Announced attendance was 14,390, smallest of the year for the second night in a row at Marlins Park. With South Florida bracing for Hurricane Irma, a head count at first pitch put the actual crowd size at 799.

Dillon Peters (0-1), who threw seven scoreless innings in his major league debut five days earlier, gave up three runs in five innings.

Washington scored in the first on an RBI single by Zimmerman and a run-scoring double by Howie Kendrick. Zimmerman led off the fourth with a homer into the upper deck in right center field, and Taylor homered in the eighth.

Gonzalez wasn’t as sharp as the last time he pitched at Marlins Park, when he held Miami hitless until the ninth in a 1-0 victory. This time he had to pitch out of a none-out, bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

The left-hander improved to 10-3 with a 1.85 ERA in 16 games versus the Marlins, his hometown team.

Nationals slugger Bryce Harper acquired a new cornrow hairdo from the Marlins’ barber. Manager Dusty Baker’s review: “Where I come from — California — you wouldn’t even notice it.”

Nationals righty Max Scherzer (leg) is on schedule to make his next start Friday against Philadelphia, Baker said. Closer Koda Glover (back), who has been sidelined since June, traveled to Texas for a second opinion, and his return this season appears unlikely.

Washington returns home to begin a four-game series against the Phillies on Thursday, when righty Tanner Roark (11-9, 4.48) is scheduled to pitch against righty Aaron Nola (10-10, 3.72).

Miami begins a four-game series in Atlanta on Thursday, with righty Dan Straily (9-8, 3.91) scheduled to start against lefty Sean Newcomb (2-8, 4.31).


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