Stephen Strasburg was hoping to take aim at yet another deep start but a 1-hour 12-minute rain delay in the bottom of the second spoiled that plan. Both Strasburg and Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez didn’t return after the delay so this became a battle of bullpens. The Nationals’ relief corps won out with Craig Stammen going three innings to bridge the gap and then (after Ryan Mattheus struggled in the sixth) Drew Storen Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano finishing it off. The Nationals’ 13th win in 18 games did require some clutch hits with Jayson Werth launching a towering home run to center field to tie things up in the sixth and then Ian Desmond delivering an RBI single in the seventh to plate the go-ahead run. Because the Reds dominated the Cardinals in St. Louis the Nationals didn’t gain any ground in the NL Wild Card race. But they remain on their best roll of the season now 2 games over .500 for the first time since July 11.

Hitting highlight: How good has Werth been this summer? So good that opposing managers don’t even want to pitch to him anymore. One inning after his titanic homer to center Werth came to the plate with one on and two out in the seventh. Marlins manager Mike Redmond elected to intentionally walk him and take his chances with Desmond. Big mistake. Desmond laced a two-out RBI single to left bringing Denard Span home with the go-ahead run. Can’t imagine many managers would have done that a couple of months ago. But the way he’s going these days Werth has become the one guy in the Nationals lineup you don’t want to beat you.