Reporting Byron Kerr
The Nationals continued to ride the wave of a healthy Ryan Zimmerman, who smacked a double and homer with two runs scored, to beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 before 36,614 at Nationals Park.
Zimmerman erased an early 1-0 Baltimore advantage with his second homer of the season, coming off of Orioles’ starter Brian Matusz, tying the game at 1 in the bottom of the first inning.
Zimmerman’s return has allowed the Nationals to continue this season-best streak. He said the difference is having all three components: offense, defense and pitching working at a higher level.
“The pitching and the defense has kept us afloat while our offense has been on a roller coaster,” Zimmerman said. “Now we are getting some healthy guys back. It is a lot easier to be consistent when you have some main pieces there. They grinded while a couple of us were hurt and now we got everything back together.”
Zimmerman also hit a double in the sixth inning and scored on Michael Morse’s 13th homer and career-high 42nd RBI, a two-run blast that put the Nationals up 3-1. With the outfield playing slightly in and to the right, Ivan Rodriguez laced an RBI double to the wall in left center that put the Nationals up 4-1.
An Adam Jones homer and a J.J. Hardy RBI single were the Orioles offense.
Jordan Zimmermann notched his fifth victory and Drew Storen grabbed his 17th save.
The Nationals have won eight straight games, which is the longest streak for the franchise since August 2-9, 2009.