Zimmermann, Nationals cruise past Braves in rubber game

Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) – Jordan Zimmermann led with both his arm and
his bat as the Washington Nationals topped the Atlanta Braves 13-4 in
Wednesday’s rubber game of a three-game set.

Zimmermann (2-2) gave up four runs — three earned — on eight hits with seven
strikeouts over seven innings and also backed his own cause by hitting a
three-run single.

Danny Espinosa went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, Denard Span
stroked a three-run homer and Bryce Harper scored three times for the
Nationals, who were coming off a thrilling 13-12 comeback victory on Tuesday.

“I think we had good at-bats,” Washington manager Matt Williams said. “We kept
gettting those opportunities. We came through today.”

It is the first time in franchise history that the Nationals have scored 13
runs in back-to-back games.

A.J. Pierzynski drove in two runs, while starter Alex Wood (1-1) was tagged
with the loss after giving up five runs on six hits with eight strikeouts over
five frames for Atlanta, which has dropped three of its last four games.

The Nationals went ahead in the fourth inning. Harper doubled and scored on
Ryan Zimmerman’s single combined with Kelly Johnson’s fielding error in left
to get within one.

After Wilson Ramos struck out for the second out, Espinosa singled and Dan
Uggla worked a walk to load the bases for Zimmermann, who helped his own cause
by clearing them with a line-drive single to center for a 5-3 score.

In the fifth, Eric Young Jr. got the Braves within one by working a leadoff
walk, moving to third on Phil Gosselin’s single and hustling home after Nick
Markakis hit into a double play.

Uggla followed a pair of one-out singles in the sixth with a groundout to
score Ramos for a 6-4 score.

Span opened the seventh with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and
scored on Jayson Werth’s single. Harper walked and Ramos singled to fill the
bases before Espinosa brought in two more runs with a fly ball to center for a
two-run base hit.

Uggla supplied a one-out RBI single in the ninth and Span accounted for the
final score with a three-run shot to right.

The Braves wasted no time getting on the board as Pierzynski clubbed a fly
ball to center for a two-run single, but Washington countered in the second
after Ramos’ base hit up the middle plated Harper, who got aboard with a
leadoff single.

Freddie Freeman restored Atlanta’s two-run lead with a two-out, run-scoring
single in the third.

Game Notes

Pierzynski extended his hitting streak to 12 games … Freeman has four
straight multi-hit games … Prior to the game, the Nationals recalled
outfielder Michael Taylor from Triple-A Syracuse and pitcher Sammy Solis from
Double-A Harrisburg … Washington travels to Citi Field for a four-game set
against the Mets starting Thursday, while Atlanta continues its 10-game
homestand Thursday with the opener of a four-game set against the Reds.