WASHINGTON (AP) -Three consecutive bullpen blowups by the majors' losingest team pushed perennially positive Manny Acta to
the breaking point.
After watching the
again shred his relievers in a 7-4 victory Sunday, the
manager promised - and then swiftly delivered - an in-season overhaul.
''I think it's embarrassing. I think it's unacceptable. I think our fans have every right to be mad like we are right now,''
Acta said. ''We're going to have a brand-new bullpen tomorrow, and if those guys who come in don't get it done, we're going
to continue getting guys out of here.''
The Nationals made a flurry of postgame moves, reconstructing their ineffective relief corps - which had a 6.48 ERA in 41
2-3 innings - and getting ready for top pitching prospect
to make his first big league start Monday against Atlanta.
were designated for assignment, and right-hander
optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. The team plans to purchase the contract of right-hander
and recall right-handers
''It's unacceptable to perform the way the bullpen's performed. It shows the incredible strain it's put on the whole ballclub,''
said Nationals vice president Mike Rizzo.
The loss followed a familiar pattern, with the Marlins'
hitting the tying homer in the eighth inning and adding a three-run double in the ninth.
led off the deciding inning by drawing a walk off Rivera (0-3), and
followed with a double into the gap in left-center. After
was walked intentionally
struck out and
walked on a 3-2 pitch.
Ross ripped a double to right-center, clearing the bases and giving him five RBIs while sending Florida to 6-0 on the road
with its fourth comeback victory.
''When we're down, nobody panics,'' Ross said. ''We have a feeling we're going to win. It's just a matter of time. That's
the way we've approached it the last week or so and it's kind of paid off for us.''
Rivera was pressed into service as Sunday's closer because
, who had blown saves in two straight weekend outings, and
had pitched three straight days.
Baker had two RBIs for the Marlins, who are 11-1 and own the best record in the majors. At 1-10, Washington has the worst
''It's not just one guy getting the job done. Multiple people are capable of getting the job done,'' Uggla said. ''Whether
coming off the bench getting a pinch hit,
, Hermida, whomever. It's not always going to be the guys you think its going to be.''
(2-0) worked the eighth and
pitched the ninth for his third save.
Washington loaded the bases in the first but could only grab a 2-0 lead on singles by
, and Baker's two-out RBI double cut the lead in half in the third.
The Nationals knocked
from the game in the fifth when
drew a leadoff walk, went to third on a one-out single by Kearns, and eventually scored on
' single off reliever
departed after giving up a leadoff double to Ramirez and walking Gload in the sixth. Shell relieved, loaded the bases by walking
Hermida with one out, then allowed Ross' RBI single that made it 3-2.
Cabrera allowed two runs on three hits and four walks.
The Marlins missed a chance to go ahead after Ross' homer in the eighth. Right fielder Kearns misplayed pinch hitter Helms'
sinking liner into a double.
, who had reached on an infield single, tried to score but was cut down at the plate - after missing home on his slide and
being tagged out by Flores while trying to dance his way back.
tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on a run-scoring fielder's choice.
Notes: Cabrera grounded out unassisted to the first baseman in the fourth. Until then, he had been 0-for-18 with 18 strikeouts
and two sacrifice hits for his career. In the fifth, Cabrera worked Penn, his former teammate with the Orioles, for a four-pitch
walk. ... Zimmerman's RBI grounder snapped a scoreless streak of 24 2-3 scoreless innings by the Marlins bullpen on the current
road trip. ... Dunn has reached base in each of Washington's 11 games, and has drawn 17 walks.