SAN DIEGO — Jordan Zimmermann took a perfect game into the sixth inning and finished with a two-hitter and a career-high 12 strikeouts to lead the Washington Nationals to a 6-0 victory against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Ian Desmond hit his second two-run home run in as many games.
Zimmermann (5-2) faced only two batters over the minimum as he walked none in his first complete game of the season and sixth of his career. It was his third career shutout. His previous career high was 11 strikeouts, which he’d done twice.
The Padres were shut out for the 10th time, tops in the majors, and for the second time in the three-game series. Tanner Roark and the Nationals beat the Padres 6-0 Friday night in a combined three-hitter.
San Diego’s offensive ineptness was glaring against Zimmermann. He retired the first 16 batters before Alex Amarista singled to right field. Zimmermann then struck out pinch-hitter Tommy Medica and Everth Cabrera to end the inning.
The Padres entered the game with the lowest batting average in the majors, .220. In the span of seven games, they were two-hit twice — also by Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox — and one-hit once, although they beat Pittsburgh in that game.
In his previous start, Zimmermann gave up five hits in eight shutout innings in a 7-0 win against Philadelphia.
Danny Espinosa and Jayson Werth each had three hits.
San Diego’s Seth Smith tripled leading off the eighth and was stranded.
Padres left-hander Eric Stults (2-7) lasted only 2 1-3 innings, the shortest of his 85 career starts. He allowed six runs and eight hits, struck out two and walked none.
Desmond hit a two-run homer to center field in the second inning to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead. It was his 13th. He also hit a two-run homer Saturday night to give the Nationals the lead in a game they would lose 4-3 in 11 innings.
Stults allowed three straight singles opening the third, including Adam LaRoche’s RBI base hit. After getting Ryan Zimmerman to line out to first, Stults allowed a single to Desmond to load the bases and was pulled. Tim Stauffer came on and allowed Espinosa’s two-run single.
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