Zimmerman powers Nats past Braves
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Ryan Zimmerman crushed a pair of home runs and the Washington Nationals topped the Atlanta Braves, 9-2.
Zimmerman remained red-hot, going 3-for-5 with the two jacks and three RBI. In 25 games since June 24, Zimmerman has hit a scorching .392 with 11 homers and 12 RBI.
Michael Morse, Danny Espinosa and Roger Bernadina all raked three hits as the Nats won their second straight game to salvage a four-game series split.
"Especially after the first couple games of this series ... for us to come back and win both of those games, last night and today, and even this series out was huge," Zimmerman said.
"I feel like we had a chance to win the series," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We had an opportunity to win it and it just didn't happen."
After tossing seven scoreless innings against the Mets in his last, Ross Detwiler (5-3) twirled another gem, holding Atlanta to two runs -- one earned -- in seven innings.
"You have to have the mindset of going out there and just attacking instead of leaning back and just trying to throw strikes," Detwiler said. "That's a good lineup and they can come back and get you at any point."
Jair Jurrjens (3-4), who matched a career-high with eight runs allowed in his last outing, was shelled again. The right-hander was tagged for six runs on nine hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Washington ambushed Jurrjens from the outstart of the game. Steve Lombardozzi snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a leadoff single before Zimmerman deposited an outside changeup into the first row in right-center field. After Morse singled, Espinosa ripped a double into the right-field gap to plate another run. Bernadina then lined a base hit into right field to make it 4-0 after one.
Zimmerman crushed his second bomb of the day to start the third and give the Nats a five-run lead. Morse followed with a long double to right-center field and later scored when Espinosa dropped a single just out of the reach of Jason Heyward in right field.
Nationals catcher Sandy Leon picked up his first two career RBI when he delivered a two-run double with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to expand Washington's lead to eight.
Martin Prado singled and Heyward doubled to start the sixth inning. Prado scored on a wild pitch and Heyward crossed home on Freddie Freeman's groundout to put Atlanta on the board.
Washington got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the sixth to round out the scoring. With the bases loaded, Bernadina lined a single off of pitcher Anthony Varvaro to bring home Zimmerman and make the score 9-2.
Craig Stammen tossed two scoreless innings of relief of Detwiler to seal the win.
Braves pitcher Luis Avilon picked up his first major league hit with a single in the fifth inning...Washington is 8-4 against Atlanta this season...Chipper Jones went 2-for-4 and has now hit in 20 of his last 22 games. in that span, he is hitting .380 with nine doubles, four homers and 16 RBI...Jurrjens is 3-5 with a 5.29 earned run average in his career against the Nationals (43 earned runs in 73 2/3 innings)...The Nationals lead the Braves by 3 1/2 games for the lead in the National League East...Washington is 8-1-3 in series play against teams from the NL East...Bernadina is 16-for-31 (.516) in 19 games since June 28...Washington has scored at least five runs in nine of 12 games against the Braves this season...The Nationals are 5-1 in games Detwiler starts against Atlanta and 9-1 against teams from the NL East over the last two seasons...Washington was 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10...Atlanta went 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six.