Rick Ankiel Carries Washington Nationals over Miami Marlins in NL East Matchup

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IApril 20, 2012

Ankiel provided all of Washington's offense on Friday night.
Ankiel provided all of Washington's offense on Friday night.Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals continue to cruise with a win over their divisional foes, the Miami Marlins

The Nationals first run came from a towering home run by Rick Ankiel. They added an insurance run in the eighth when Ankiel hustled to second base and made an acrobatic slide to avoid the tag. Ankiel advanced to third base after Marlins' pitcher Steve Cishek chose not to throw to third base when they had Ankiel caught off of second.

The two runs would be all they needed as Ross Detwiler dominated for six innings. He struck out seven batters and allowed only three hits.

Craig Stammen took care of the seventh inning and Tyler Clippard performed a high-wire act in the eighth inning to preserve the Nats' lead.

Henry Rodriguez had closing duties tonight and kept fans on the edge of their seats. He appeared to not have a feel for his off-speed pitches resulting in a walk to Gaby Sanchez and a wild pitch that allowed Sanchez to advance to second base.

The flamethrower was throwing triple digits throughout the inning, topping out at 101 MPH. After a second walk, Rodriguez settled down and ended the game with a ground ball to second base.

The Nats were able to scratch and claw for a couple of runs and come out victorious to improve their record to 11-4. Miami falls to 7-7.

Ankiel finished the night 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. The only other Washington hit was from Ian Desmond in the eighth inning that drove in Ankiel.

The Nationals are in the midst of a great run to begin the season. They have displayed one of the best all around pitching staffs in the game. This team will become even more lethal once their offense begins to click with more regularity.

Washington will send their ace Stephen Strasburg to the mound on Saturday afternoon to take on Miami's Anibal Sanchez.