After a tough, extra-inning loss to the Padres last night, the Nationals quickly returned to their winning ways on Sunday, sealing a series victory with a 6-0 shutout against San Diego. While the offense was certainly there, the game was won by Nationals’ starter Jordan Zimmermann, who turned in one of the best performances of his career.
Zimmermann struck out 12 batters over nine scoreless innings of work and did not allow a baserunner until the sixth inning. After a rough four-start stretch in which he gave up 15 runs, the right-hander has recovered nicely in his last two starts, allowing no earned runs and striking out 16 batters over 17 innings.
The Nationals offense provided more than enough run support for Zimmermann. Washington took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI groundout by Kevin Frandsen. The Nationals added two more runs an inning later when Ian Desmond connected on a fastball from Padres starter Eric Stults and crushed it over the center field wall. Washington would add three more runs in the third inning on RBI singles by Adam LaRoche and Danny Espinosa.
With Sunday’s victory, the Nationals are back to three games over .500 at 32-29 and are in a three-way tie with the Braves and Marlins for first place in the National League East.