Zimmerman, Espinosa nearly cycling in Miami (Nats lose 5-3)

Ryan Zimmerman is 3-for-3 with a single, a home run and a double.

Danny Espinosa is 3-for-3 with a triple, a single and a double.

The two guys are each a knock away from recording the cycle, and they’ve combined to drive in two of the Nationals’ three runs so far tonight.

The only problem is the Nats still trail 4-3 entering the seventh.

Edwin Jackson wasn’t his sharpest tonight, and a four-run Marlins third inning has then up entering the late-innings.

Miami got on the board on Carlos Lee’s two-run single, then took the lead on Hanley Ramirez’s monster two-run homer to left-center that landed on the weird, freaky multi-colored sculpture they have out there at Marlins Park.

Ramirez stood in the batter’s box and watched the thing fly out, and Jackson gave him a bit of a none-too-pleased glance. Nothing against Ramirez, but I wonder how Ozzie Guillen would have reacted if Bryce Harper had admired a homer the way Ramirez did.

Over his last three starts, Jackson’s ERA has jumped by nearly a full point (from 2.91 to 3.89).

Update: Manager Davey Johnson told reporters before the game that the Nats will likely call up John Lannan to start one half of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Braves.

Tonight, however, Lannan got smacked around a bit down at Triple-A. The lefty allowed nine hits and six runs over five innings against Pawtucket. Three of those runs and four of those hits came in the first inning.

Lannan’s season ERA now stands at 4.89.

Update II: The Nationals will have to settle for a series split in Miami.

That Marlins four-run third inning came back to bite the Nats, as they were unable to get back even after Ramirez’s homer put Miami on top. They fall to the Marlins 5-3 and head back to D.C. having taken two of the four games down in Florida.

Zimmerman finished 3-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, and Espinosa struck out in the eighth in his final attempt to complete the cycle.

Washington’s lead in the National League East is now 2 1/2 games, the lowest it’s been since June 30.

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