Marlins-Nationals in crucial showdown

MIAMI — Some may say the season is still early, but the Marlins are in a “must win” mindset.

Miami came out on top, 5-3, against the Nationals on Monday afternoon at Marlins Park.

The Marlins trail the first-place Nationals by 2 1/2 games, and all the teams in the division are over .500.

“This division is very hard, very tough,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Great pitching staffs. Good athletes. For us, like I say, every game is a must-win game. I think everybody in the division should be thinking like that. I don’t think anybody is going to walk away, run away with this division. There’s so much good pitching here.”

The Marlins are now 1-2 with Washington, with two more games set this week.

“Like I say, if you want to win your division, you’ve got to beat your own division, because those are the teams you play more than anybody else,” the Miami manager said. “We know they’re good. We know that. We’re going to try to compete against them.”

Closer Heath Bell calls the NL East the best in baseball.

“This division is ridiculous,” Bell said. “It’s the best division in baseball, plain and simple. Hands down. You could have said that with the American League East. Right now, everybody is above .500, everybody is beating each other up.

“We can’t take anybody lightly. We’re happy about today’s win, but we’re going to forget about it. We’re going to enjoy our night off, kind of. Sleep in tomorrow and go out there and try to win tomorrow.”

Joe Frisaro



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