Washington at Tampa Bay

Scoreboard
Washington (16-44)101000010371
Tampa Bay (33-31) «00010700x8122

Rays 8, Nationals 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Ben Zobrist started the season as the Rays' super sub. Now he may have won a starting spot at second base.

Zobrist and Gabe Gross homered during a seven-run sixth inning and Tampa Bay beat the Washington Nationals 8-3 on Saturday.

"He obviously does not want to be a part timer," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said of Zobrist, who has played second on a regular basis since Akinori Iwamura was lost for the season with a left knee injury on May 24.

  Nats place Willingham on bereavement list

Carlos Pena hit his 20th home run for Tampa Bay. The defending AL champion Rays moved two games over .500 for the first time this season.

"You've got to keep pushing, pushing, pushing," Maddon said.

Andy Sonnanstine (5-6), who retired 15 batters in a row at one point, gave up three runs and six hits over 7 1/3 innings.

Ryan Zimmerman hit his 12th homer and drove in two runs for the Nationals.

Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run and four hits in five innings. He struck out six and left with a 2-1 lead.

"I made some good pitches when I had to," Zimmermann said. "I had to battle pretty much every inning. I'd either walk a guy or they'd get a leadoff hit. It was a constant battle the five innings."

Jason Bergmann (0-1) relieved for the Nationals and Evan Longoria led off with a single and Pena bunted for a hit.

Zobrist followed with a three-run shot -- he has a career-high 13 homers this year, including five in his past 11 games.

"I feel good about playing anywhere," Zobrist said. "I like being in the lineup, so if I can get in there wherever it is, I'm not going to be picky. I'm just feeling great about how the season has gone so far."

After Pat Burrell walked, Gross extended the Rays' advantage to 6-2 with a two-run homer. Bergmann gave up five runs without recording an out.

"I didn't have a great sinker. I was trying to throw a strike instead of a good pitch and I think I made a mistake in that," Bergmann said.

Longoria's two-run double later in the inning against Jesus Colome made it 8-2.

The Rays have scored five or more runs in an inning 17 times this season, the most in the majors.

Zimmerman hit a solo homer in the first. The Nationals loaded the bases with no outs in the third, and Zimmerman had an RBI grounder.

"That was a key for us," Nationals manager Manny Acta said of the third. "I thought that was an inning where we could have scored more runs and we couldn't do much. We felt we had Andy on the ropes, but we couldn't deliver a knockout punch."

Pena homered in the fourth.

Longoria, who returned to the lineup Monday after being limited to pinch-hitting because of tightness in his left hamstring for six games, went 2 for 4. He has three hits in his last 26 at-bats, and struck out in the first and third innings with a runner in scoring position.

Rays reliever Jason Isringhausen left with pain in his right elbow after throwing a pitch in the ninth. He had surgery on the elbow last September.

"I don't know what level, but there is concern," Maddon said.

Isringhausen underwent tests after the game. The Rays said there would be more information on the injury Sunday.

Notes

Iwamura will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his knee on June 22. ... Nationals OF Josh Willingham was placed on the bereavement list after his younger brother was killed in a car accident Friday night. ... Sonnanstine has allowed 13 homers in his last seven starts, including five over the past two outings. ... Tropicana Field (32 games) and Yankee Stadium (31 games) are the only stadiums in the majors where at least one homer has been hit in every game this season.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

G. Gross
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Washington Nationals
Cristian Guzman, SS4010011 .324
Nick Johnson, 1B3010100 .313
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4112010 .314
Adam Dunn, DH4000023 .258
Elijah Dukes, LF4010002 .253
Willie Harris, CF4000001 .232
Austin Kearns, RF4010011 .207
Wil Nieves, C3000011 .259
   a- Corey Patterson, PH1000011 .000
Anderson Hernandez, 2B3220000 .268
Totals3437217  
a-struck out for Nieves in the 9th
Batting
2B - Anderson Hernandez (7, Sonnanstine)
HR - Ryan Zimmerman (12, Sonnanstine)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman 2 (42)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (11)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - A. Hernandez-Guzman-N. Johnson
E - Nick Johnson (7, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
Jordan Zimmermann 5411261 5.37
Jason Bergmann (BS,1; L,0-1)0455102 6.91
Jesus Colome 2322000 8.00
Julian Tavarez 1100010 4.44
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 92-64, Jason Bergmann 18-10, Jesus Colome 33-22, Julian Tavarez 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 7-1, Jesus Colome 2-4, Julian Tavarez 1-1
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 20, Jason Bergmann 5, Jesus Colome 9, Julian Tavarez 4
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF4110012 .213
Carl Crawford, LF4000104 .316
Evan Longoria, 3B4122023 .306
Carlos Pena, 1B4221013 .234
Ben Zobrist, 2B4113022 .315
Pat Burrell, DH3110100 .246
Gabe Gross, RF3112111 .277
Michel Hernandez, C4110002 .281
Reid Brignac, SS4030001 .286
Totals34812837  
Batting
2B - Evan Longoria (21, Colome), Reid Brignac (5, Zimmermann)
HR - Carlos Pena (20, Zimmermann), Ben Zobrist (13, Bergmann), Gabe Gross (4, Bergmann)
SH - B.J. Upton (2)
RBI - Evan Longoria 2 (58), Carlos Pena (48), Ben Zobrist 3 (38), Gabe Gross 2 (22)
2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria 2 (18)
SB - B.J. Upton 2 (22, 2nd base off Zimmermann/Nieves, 2nd base off Zimmermann/Nieves)
PK - B.J. Upton (2, Zimmermann)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Zobrist-Brignac-Pena
E - Gabe Gross (3, Throwing), Evan Longoria (6, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
Andy Sonnanstine (W,5-6) 7.1633151 6.65
Randy Choate 0.2000000 1.23
Jason Isringhausen 0.2100010 2.25
Lance Cormier 0.1000010 2.04
WP - Jason Isringhausen (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 92-66, Randy Choate 4-2, Jason Isringhausen 11-9, Lance Cormier 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 10-8, Randy Choate 1-0
Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 30, Randy Choate 1, Jason Isringhausen 3, Lance Cormier 1
Game Information
Attendance - 30586
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Joe West