MIAMI -- Donnie Murphy's single in the bottom of the 10th inning drove in the winning run, as the Marlins defeated the Nationals, 3-2, at Sun Life Stadium on Tuesday night. The Nats' record dropped to 1-3 to start the regular season.
With Nationals reliever Drew Storen on the mound in the 10th, Omar Infante hit a fly ball to shallow right field. It looked like second baseman Danny Espinosa had a bead on the ball, but right fielder Jayson Werth called Espinosa off and dropped the ball for an error.
Werth blamed himself for allowing Infante to get on base.
"That play needed to be made there in that spot," Werth said. "Totally my fault. In that situation, you want to be sure you could get the out. My read was, I wasn't totally sure if Espy was going to get it. So I called it. I had a chance to catch it. I didn't, and it cost us the game. I take total responsibility for that one."
After Infante advanced on a wild pitch, Hanley Ramirez was walked intentionally to put runners on first and second.
Gaby Sanchez followed with a single to left field to load the bases. Left-hander Sean Burnett entered the game for Washington and got Logan Morrison to fly to Werth in short right-center field before striking out John Buck.
"I liked our chances a lot better," manager Jim Riggleman said. "Burney did a great job there. Morrison has been really hot. Burney got a big out there. He got Buck, who is a fine hitter. It just seems like Murphy and Sanchez seem to be in the middle of everything every time we play these guys."
This time it was Murphy, who singled to left-center field to score Infante.
"When you're the guy in the hole, with bases loaded and no outs, you're thinking maybe the guys in front of you will get it," Murphy said. "But once I saw the guys in front of me get out, I had to bear down. I was confident, obviously, because I had been in that situation before. I didn't put any added pressure on myself."
Riggleman actually thought his team would get out of the jam, but Burnett threw a sinker that stayed up in the zone. Burnett was clearly upset about how he threw the pitch.
"I was trying to pull a Houdini act and get out of there somehow, someway," Burnett said. "Unfortunately, it was the worst pitch I threw that inning and he put a swing on it."
It was a game in which the Nationals went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Their biggest chance to score came in the seventh inning. They had the bases loaded with two outs, but Wilson Ramos grounded out to end the inning.
"We just need to relax and play the game," said Werth, who is hitting .333 with three doubles this season. "Everybody wants to play well, be good. Right now, the hits are not coming in spots. We had a lot of chances again tonight. There was one game that we really didn't have a chance this year. We have been right there. The thing is, we haven't really played together. That takes some time."
The game was tied at 1 in the third inning, when Ryan Zimmerman took an 0-1 pitch from Anibal Sanchez and hit a line shot over the left-field wall to put the Nationals ahead. It was Zimmerman's first home run since Aug. 30 of last year.
Right-hander Jason Marquis was solid, lasting 6 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on six hits. What made his start impressive was the Marlins had runners in scoring position five times with less than two outs and were able to score just one run in those five innings.
Marquis' most impressive escape occurred in the sixth. After allowing a one-out double to Sanchez, Marquis struck out Morrison and was able to get Buck to fly out to center field.
But Florida was able to score the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning. With Tyler Clippard on the mound, Greg Dobbs hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Murphy and tying the game at 2. The run was charged to Marquis because he allowed a leadoff double to Murphy.
Marquis' other blemish occurred in the second inning, when he allowed a solo home run Morrison.
The Nationals had chance to take the lead in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs and Jerry Hairston Jr. on first, Werth hit a double that hit the left-field wall. Third-base coach Bo Porter waved Hairston home to score, but then put up the stop sign to try to get Hairston to go back to third. But Hairston slipped and was tagged out trying to go back.
"It was a bad read on my part," Porter said. "I picked it up late and then I tried to stop him. It's a bad feeling. You are over there long enough that you will make that mistake and I have made it before. It's one of those things where we got out of that inning. You were hoping that we score a run and win a game. It didn't happen. You go back tomorrow and get them."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.