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Alvarez pitches 3-hit ball for 7 innings, Marlins beat Strasburg, Nats 3-0 for 6th win in row

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MIAMI — The Miami Marlins have gotten contributions from a number of players during their recent surge. On Tuesday night, their two All-Stars led them.

Henderson Alvarez pitched seven scoreless innings, Giancarlo Stanton drove in two runs and the surging Marlins beat Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals 3-0 for their sixth straight win.

Christian Yelich also drove in a run for the Marlins, who have won nine of their last 10.

"Guys are excited, there's a lot of confidence," manager Mike Redmond said.

Steve Cishek loaded the bases in the ninth before striking out Anthony Rendon to record his 27th save in 30 chances.

At 53-53, the Marlins have climbed back to the .500 mark for the first time since June 25 when they were 39-39. They trail the Nationals by five games in the NL East.

"They've got the ability to roll off like they're rolling right now," Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

Strasburg (7-9) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings after allowing four runs in each of his last two starts.

Alvarez (8-5), who issued a season-high four walks, got out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the second inning. He got help from third baseman Casey McGehee, who made a diving catch to rob Nate McLouth from extra bases for the second out in the inning.

"When you're winning ballgames, guys are making big plays," Redmond said.

The Marlins got to Strasburg in the sixth when Stanton doubled to left to score a run. Stanton came into the game hitless in his last nine at-bats, striking out eight times.

"I haven't felt good for a while now," Stanton said. "I did a little different set in pregame, so hopefully I'm feeling better and more comfortable at the plate and today was a good plus."

PHOTO: Miami Marlins' Henderson Alvarez (37) beats the throw to Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, left, and is safe at second on a wild pitch thrown by Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg in the sixth inning during a baseball game, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Marlins' Henderson Alvarez (37) beats the throw to Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, left, and is safe at second on a wild pitch thrown by Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg in the sixth inning during a baseball game, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Yelich hit an RBI double in the eighth to give Miami a 2-0 lead and Stanton drove him in two batters later.

Miami's Jeff Baker had his career-best 11-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-3 night.

Bryce Harper had two of the Nationals' five hits.

TRAINER'S ROOM

There is still no timetable for Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 23 with a pulled hamstring. "The first two weeks are key," Williams said. "So once it gets healed, it starts to mat down a little bit and then you can start doing some strengthening exercises and then you get a better idea of where he would be."

Also, plate umpire D.J. Reyburn took a pitch off his right wrist in the top of the seventh inning, delaying the game for nearly five minutes. In the ninth, Reyburn was struck in the right knee and play was momentarily halted.

"He reminded me of myself back in the day getting smoked by foul tips, that was rough," Redmond said. "That's one of those nights where you just sit back and pull out a Bud Light and enjoy it."

ON DECK

Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.82) will start for the Nationals in Wednesday's series finale against Brad Hand (2-2, 4.19). Roark has allowed one run in seven innings in each of his three previous starts with a 3-0 record. Hand is coming off his best outing of the season, pitching 7 1-3 scoreless innings at Houston on July 25.

POSTGAME MOVE

The Marlins optioned outfielder Jake Marisnick to Triple-A New Orleans and plan to call up infielder Ed Lucas in a corresponding move. Lucas has hit .239 with one home run and seven RBIs in 50 games for the Marlins.

DEAL TIME

Both teams could be looking to make moves before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline.

"Any help we can get to make us better is always good," Stanton said. "You never what it's going to be or if there's going to be one, but any additions will help."

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Miami Marlins starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez throws in the first inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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