WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) --
Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer in the first inning Thursday and Washington made that blast stand up for a 3-2 victory over Miami.
The Nationals prevented idle Atlanta from clinching a share of the National League East title and moved within five games of Cincinnati for the league's second wild card berth.
Ryan Zimmerman singled with one out in the first, moved to second on a walk to Jayson Werth and Harper followed with his 20th home run of the season.
Gio Gonzalez (11-7) held the Marlins to two runs on seven hits over six innings to get the win. Three relievers combined to give up two hits the rest of the way with Rafael Soriano working around a pair of ninth-inning walks for his 42nd save.
Henderson Alvarez (4-5) took the loss, surrendering three runs on seven hits over five innings.
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