WASHINGTON — Jordan Zimmermann pitched the first no-hitter for the Washington Nationals, the gem preserved when defensive replacement Steven Souza Jr. made a diving catch in left field for the final out in a 1-0 victory over the Miami Marlins in a regular-season finale Sunday.

Zimmermann (14-5) allowed only two baserunners, finishing with 10 strikeouts and one walk in the fifth no-hitter in the majors this year.

Christian Yelich almost wrecked Zimmermann’s bid with two outs in the ninth inning. He sent a long drive to left-center, and Zimmermann leaned his head back and winced, thinking his no-hitter was lost.

But Souza, who made his big league debut this year and took over for Ryan Zimmerman to begin the ninth, ran hard into the gap, extended his glove for the sensational catch. Souza used his bare hand to squeeze the ball in his mitt as he fell.

Souza hopped up and punched the air. Zimmermann, watching from the mound, raised both arms overhead and pumped his right fist.

“I thought that was a double for sure, and here he comes out of nowhere and makes the play,” Zimmermann said.

It was the fifth time there has been a no-hitter on the final day of the season. Last year, Henderson Alvarez of the Marlins threw one against Detroit to close the season – on Sunday, he was Miami’s starting pitcher against Zimmermann.

The Nationals put a stirring finish to a regular season in which they finished with the best record in the National League.