WASHINGTON -- Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann was brilliant while pitching a complete-game, two-hit shutout, and Jayson Werth had a key two-run double in a big sixth inning as the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 8-0 on Friday to keep their fading playoff hopes alive.
The Nationals (83-71) are a season-high 12 games above .500 and are 15-4 this month as they chase the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates for a wild card spot. The weak-hitting Marlins fell to 56-98 and could do little against Zimmermann, who made quick work of the Marlins with his fourth complete game of the season.
Chris Coghlan's two-out single in the ninth was the only Marlins hit other than Donovan Solano's single in the sixth inning.
Zimmermann (19-9) struck out nine with no walks as he won his fourth start in a row. He got a nice ovation from the home crowd of 34,752 when he came to bat in the last of the eighth before he fanned.
Zimmermann got help from the surging Washington offense as the Nationals broke open a scoreless game with seven runs in the sixth to tie a season high for runs in an inning.
Washington took a 2-0 lead on a two-run double by Werth, and Bryce Harper made it 3-0 with an RBI double to right-center. Later in the inning Wilson Ramos and Anthony Rendon had RBI singles and Denard Span made it 7-0 with a two-run triple over the head of right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. Span began the inning with a single and scored on the Werth double to start the rally.
Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond (two hits), playing on his 28th birthday, had an RBI double in the seventh to make it 8-0. Span, Ramos and Rendon also had two hits.
Marlins starter Jacob Turner (3-8), who did not allow a run in the first five innings, is now 0-9 on the road this season. He allowed five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings and was lifted in the sixth for reliever Chris Hatcher.
Zimmermann, who is 12-3 at home this season, retired the first 11 batters before Giancarlo Stanton walked on a 3-1 pitch in the fourth. He did not allow a hit until Solano lined a clean single to center on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the sixth. Zimmermann then got Coghlan to hit into a force out to end the inning.
Zimmermann fanned five batters in a row at one point, including all three in the second inning.
The Marlins entered the game with a team batting average of .232, the worst mark in the National League.
Jacob Turner, the Marlins' starter, entered the game with six straight losses. But he allowed just three singles in the first five innings as he matched zeroes with Zimmermann.
The Nationals had a chance to take the lead when Adam LaRoche walked with two outs in the second and went to third on a single by Ramos. But the inning ended when Ramos was thrown out trying to go to second as LaRoche took third.
Washington began the day five games back of the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild card spot in the National League.
NOTES: Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 2.96), whose next start has been pushed back twice due to forearm soreness, is slated to start Saturday against (Tom Koehler, 3-10, 4.51) of the Marlins. "I believe 90 percent he will be good to go," manager Davey Johnson said before Friday's game. Johnson said Strasburg would do normal pregame work Friday, such as throwing off flat ground. If Strasburg can't go Saturday, Johnson said he may use Dan Haren on three days' rest. Johnson said Haren volunteered to pitch if needed ... The Nationals now have five players with at least 20 homers after Bryce Harper went deep on Thursday. Harper is only the second player to hit 20 homers in a season twice by the age of 20. The other four Washington players with at least 20 homers are Ryan Zimmerman (25 through Thursday), Jayson Werth (23), Ian Desmond (20) and LaRoche (20) ... Coghlan was born in nearby Rockville, Md., and said his family moved away from the area when he was 9. He started in left field ... The Marlins were 6-13 in the previous starts by Turner while the Nationals were 21-9 in starts made by Zimmermann prior to Friday.