June 10, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) slides safely into home plate ahead of the throw to Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) during the ninth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Game 58: Nationals 4, Red Sox 3


Take out the brooms boys, it’s ok to work on Sunday.

Jordan Zimmermann was an absolute horse on the mound this afternoon, going 7 strong innings and giving up 3 runs, going neck and neck with Jon Lester and keeping the Nationals in the game late. Zimmermann and Lester had nearly identical stat lines, each going 7 complete innings and giving up 3 runs while walking 2. Lester won only in that he struck out 9 (as to Zimmermann’s 7) and gave up 1 less home run. Zimmermann would get the no-decision, leaving his record at 3-5 on the year.

The offense got going early, as has been the case often over the last few weeks. It started off in the first inning, as Ryan Zimmerman hit an RBI groundout to third base, scoring Danny Espinosa. After RBIs in the second and fourth innings by Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz (leadoff home run) handed the Nationals a one-run deficit, Espinosa put Washington back on top in the seventh on a 2-run double to left field, driving in Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore. Boston would bounce back fast in the bottom of the inning, as Scott Podsednik would drive in Ryan Sweeney on a groundout to shortstop. Zimmermann would get out of the inning without allowing third-base runner Nick Punto to score, keeping the score tied at 3-3 headed into the top of the eighth.

Bryce Harper would then draw a 1-out walk in the top of the 9th to set up a Roger Bernadina 2-out double, scoring Harper and winning the game for the Nationals. The win would be secured by Tyler Clippard in the bottom of the ninth, as he collected the save while acquiring three strikeouts to hand Boston their first sweep at home during interleague play since 2002.

Champ of the Game: Danny Espinosa had an RBI and a run scored, being part of two of the Washington runs. After early-season struggles, Danny has shown signs of life in recent days.

For Boston, David Ortiz had 3 hits including a home run. As he gets older, putting up numbers will be key for Ortiz if he wants to continue playing.

Chump of the Game: Xavier Nady stranded 4 runners, going hitless from the 2-hole and also going 0-3 with runners in scoring position. Tyler Moore should start seeing more time in the near future to replace the struggling Nady.

Adrian Gonzalez went 0-4 out of the 3-hole tonight, which is supposed to be a run-producing spot. Gonzalez didn’t even reach on a walk; OBP of .000%. That needs to improve if Boston hopes to catch up to the rest of the competitive AL East teams.

Unsung Hero: Media focused solely on Bryce Harper scoring the game-winning run when discussing the run in the ninth inning. However, it was Roger Bernadina who actually hit the ball. Give the Shark some credit!

Nick Punto quietly had a solid day for Boston, picking up a hit, scoring a run and drawing a walk. For a man without a bat, you can’t ask for much more.

Next Game: June 11 at Rogers Centre, 7:07 PM. Probables: Jackson (2-3, 3.11 ERA) vs. Morrow (7-3, 2.90 ERA)

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Bryce Harper Jordan Zimmermann Roger Bernadina Washington Nationals