Marlins snap four-game skid, ride eight-run fifth past Nats

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Once the rain stopped, the Florida Marlins poured it on.

The smallest RFK Stadium crowd since baseball returned to the nation's capital witnessed the highest-scoring game in the ballpark's history Wednesday night. What afternoon thunderstorms threatened to turn into a rainout instead became an 18-9 rout for the Marlins over the Washington Nationals.

"You definitely enjoy a game like this one," said Josh Willingham, who had a career-high four hits with a home run and three RBI, "especially when everybody is doing well, when everybody is hitting the ball. It got contagious."

The Marlins tied a franchise record with an eight-run inning and set season highs in runs (18) and hits (19). They scored eight runs in the fifth, when 10 consecutive batters reached base and eight straight scored.

Dan Uggla went 4-for-6 with two doubles and four RBI, and every starter scored at least once as Florida snapped a four-game losing skid and ended Washington's four-game winning streak.

"We needed a win," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. "We'd lost a couple of tough games in the last three. I thought it was important that we got a win. People always say, 'How are you guys going to come out?' Well, I think we came out ready."

Washington rookie Mike O'Connor (3-6) lasted eight batters over one-plus innings in his worst outing. Reliever Jason Bergmann gave up two runs in the second inning and was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans after the game. Saul Rivera was pummeled for eight runs in the interminable fifth, raising his ERA from 3.44 to 6.75. Mike Stanton allowed three more runs in the eighth.

"Bad ballgame," said manager Frank Robinson, who waited about 45 minutes before addressing reporters after the game. "No two ways about it. It was a bad ballgame."

Yusmeiro Petit (1-1) got the win in his first major-league start even though he allowed four runs in the first inning. Petit gave up hits to the first five batters he faced and then settled down to last six innings with only one more run. He got his first career hit and
RBI in the fifth.

Petit, who made seven relief appearances earlier this season before being sent to down to Triple-A Albuquerque, was recalled this week after Brian Moehler was placed on the disabled list with a sprained right foot.

The game started 18 minutes late after a storm pelted the area. The announced attendance was 18,441, but the actual number in the seats was much less. The decision to play the game caught Girardi off-guard.

"I was a little surprised by the suddenness of it," Girardi said. "We didn't hear anything for a while, then they said we're going. That's the hardest thing because you want a heads-up for your players."

The fans who stuck around witnessed a bit of history. The most runs previously scored at RFK was 22, although baseball's long absence from Washington means the stadium has hosted baseball for only 12 seasons since it opened in 1961.

Miguel Cabrera and Willingham hit back-to-back homers in a three-run first for Florida, and O'Connor was gone after a hit and a walk to begin a four-run second.

"It was one of those days when everything they hit was not at somebody," O'Connor said.

The Marlins sent 12 batters to the plate in the fifth, with Willingham the only player not to score. Wes Helms started the rally with a triple and came back to get the last RBI of the inning
with a single to center. The fans began to boo every hit, and there was mock applause for the 6-4-3 double play that ended the inning.

The Nationals got three hits each from Alfonso Soriano and Jose Vidro.

Game notes
The Nationals plan to purchase the contract of left-hander Micah Bowie from Triple-A New Orleans on Thursday. Bowie last pitched in the majors in 2003 for Oakland. To make room for Bowie, the team will transfer right-hander Felix Rodriguez (right shoulder tendinitis) from the 15-day to the 60-day DL. ... The Marlins' runs were the most by one team at RFK since Baltimore beat the Senators 18-4 on April 22, 1965. Rookie Jim Palmer tossed four hitless innings in relief in that game for one of the four saves in his Hall of Fame career. The 22 runs in that game were also the stadium record for two teams, tying a 12-10 Kansas City victory over the Senators on April 26, 1963. ... The Marlins scored eight runs in an inning for the ninth time in franchise history. The last time was July 25, 2003, against Philadelphia. ... Vidro misplayed a grounder off his glove in the fifth inning, his third error in two games. He had the best fielding percentage among NL second basemen until his two errors Tuesday. ... Washington's Tony Armas allowed two runs and three hits in 2 1/3 innings for Double-A Harrisburg at Trenton on
Wednesday night in the first of two rehab starts as he recovers from a strained right forearm.