The All-Star third baseman told Martinez he wanted to play, and he made the most of it.
Rendon hit his 20th homer and knocked in the go-ahead run to help the Washington Nationals finish a three-game sweep of the last-place Miami Marlins with a 5-2 victory Thursday.
Selected for the NL All-Star team for the first time in his seventh season, Rendon is considering pulling out of next week’s festivities in Cleveland to nurse some bumps and bruises. At the plate and in the field, Rendon looked no worse for wear.
“He’s a professional,” Martinez said. “He’s the constant in our lineup that makes things go, and you saw that today.”
Washington has won eight of nine and 13 of 16 to climb to a season-best four games over .500.
Kurt Suzuki homered in the second inning to extend the Montreal Expos/Nationals franchise record for consecutive games with a home run to 18. Rendon hit a solo shot in the fourth off Elieser Hernandez (1-3) and drove in Gerardo Parra with a single in the fifth.
Parra, the newcomer responsible for sparking the Nationals’ dugout home run celebrations, drove in two insurance runs with a double in the sixth, creating some important rest for Washington’s most-used relievers.
“Obviously multi-run homers are better,” Suzuki said. “But having those big two-out RBIs like Parra had today, that’s the backbreaker. They walk Trea (Turner) to get to Parra with the lefty and he smokes a double. That’s the dagger right there.”
“Sometimes you have to put something extra on the hitter and let him know,” Rodney said.
Washington right-hander Anibal Sanchez (5-6) allowed one earned run and five hits in six innings. He hasn’t lost since returning from the injured list in late May.
RARE MARLINS DINGER
Miguel Rojas connected on Sanchez’s fifth pitch of the game, hitting his first homer of the season and No. 65 for Miami. The Marlins began the day last in the majors in home runs, six behind 29th-place Detroit.
“That’s really nice to get it out of the way,” Rojas said. “I feel like the potential to hit homers, it can happen from one day to another. At the same time, that takes the pressure away that you didn’t have a homer.”
SANCHEZ STAYS HOT
Before going on the IL in mid-May with a left hamstring strain, Sanchez was 0-6 with a 5.10 ERA. In seven starts since coming back May 29, he’s 5-0 with a 2.18 ERA.
“We talk about mixing his pitches, keeping guys off balance, but the key for him is he’s effective when the ball’s down,” Martinez said.
HERNANDEZ FINDS TROUBLE
After recording four of his first six outs by strikeout, Hernandez ran into all sorts of problems: two hit batters, a wild pitch and enough mistakes and hard-hit balls to end his day at 99 pitches. Rendon’s RBI single in the fifth was enough for manager Don Mattingly to give Hernandez the hook in favor of reliever Jarlin Garcia.
“I have to make less mistakes,” Hernandez said.
Nationals ace Max Scherzer is on the paternity list. He is expected to make his start Saturday on Montreal Expos day.
Marlins: Mattingly said OF Brian Anderson (elbow contusion) remains sore. He grounded out as a pinch hitter in the ninth. … LHP Caleb Smith (left hip inflammation) is scheduled to come off the injured list and start Saturday. Smith has missed the last 25 games.
Marlins: RHP Jordan Yamamoto (3-0, 2.35 ERA) faces the Braves for the first time as Miami begins a three-game series in Atlanta on Friday night.
|Rojas ss||5||1||1||2||T.Trner ss||2||1||0||0|
|Puello rf||3||0||1||0||Parra rf||4||1||2||2|
|Brigham p||0||0||0||0||Rendon 3b||4||1||2||2|
|Bri.And ph||1||0||0||0||J.Soto lf||4||0||0||0|
|Cooper 1b||5||0||1||0||Zmmrman 1b||4||0||2||0|
|S.Cstro 2b||5||0||3||0||Suzuki c||4||1||1||1|
|Alfaro c||5||0||2||0||B.Dzier 2b||3||0||0||0|
|H.Rmrez lf-rf||5||0||1||0||V.Rbles cf||3||1||1||0|
|Riddle cf||3||1||1||0||A.Sanch p||2||0||0||0|
|Rivera 3b||2||0||0||0||Kndrick ph||1||0||0||0|
|Conley p||0||0||0||0||Rainey p||0||0||0||0|
|Grndrsn lf||1||0||0||0||Suero p||0||0||0||0|
|E.Hrnnd p||2||0||0||0||Venters p||0||0||0||0|
|J.Grcia p||0||0||0||0||Javy.Gr p||0||0||0||0|
|N.Wlker ph-3b||1||0||0||0||M.Adams ph||1||0||0||0|
E_B.Dozier (3), Rivera (1). LOB_Miami 13, Washington 7. 2B_S.Castro (11), Alfaro (6), Parra 2 (9). HR_Rojas (1), Rendon (20), Suzuki (10). SB_V.Robles (12).
Suero pitched to 2 batters in the 8th
HBP_by E.Hernandez (T.Turner), by E.Hernandez (V.Robles). WP_A.Sanchez, E.Hernandez, Rainey.
Umpires_Home, Mark Carlson; First, Tripp Gibson; Second, Chris Segal; Third, Chris Guccione.
T_3:17. A_27,350 (41,313).