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Washington at Arizona

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Washington (25-31) «3000100026130
Arizona (31-26)000000100180

Nationals 6, Diamondbacks 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Washington manager Jim Riggleman calls Jordan Zimmermann's return from reconstructive elbow surgery a work in progress.

The way the right-hander's been pitching over the past month, he's got to be pretty close to being all the way back.

Zimmermann pitched seven impressive innings in his sixth straight solid start and Wilson Ramos helped give him an early three-run cushion, lifting the Washington Nationals to a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.

"I've felt good the whole season and I've just been stringing some good starts together," said Zimmermann, who had Tommy John surgery in 2009. "Hopefully, it continues."

Washington roughed up Arizona starter Zach Duke (1-1) in the first inning and had 13 hits to open an 11-game road trip with its first win in six tries away from Nationals Park.

Ramos matched a career high with three RBI, Michael Morse had four hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and drove in two, and Drew Storen got four outs for his 11th save in 12 chances.

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Zimmermann (3-6) was the beneficiary after a frustrating run, allowing six hits to win for the first time in five starts despite allowing three earned runs or less in each.

"I'm happy for him and what he's done for our ballclub, coming from where he did after that surgery and everything, to just keep coming back from it," Riggleman said. "He's just a horse."

Washington's horse put an end to Arizona's comeback ride.

The Diamondbacks had won eight straight one-run games after losing six in a row, the latest coming Wednesday night, when they rallied from a four-run deficit and beat Florida on a game-ending hit.

Arizona couldn't complete another D-back comeback against the Nationals, unable to get many chances against Zimmermann while going hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"We didn't play very good," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "Not a lot went right for us."

Zimmermann was solid his last outing, giving up two runs in six innings against San Diego, only to be pegged with the loss after the Nationals managed just one run. He had the Diamondbacks off balance most of the night by keeping the ball down, working around a handful of baserunners over the first six innings without much trouble.

He got some defensive help, too.

Second baseman Danny Espinosa made a diving stop in the outfield grass to rob Miguel Montero of a hit in the fifth inning, then first baseman Morse made a pair of hit-robbing plays in the seventh, ranging left to get a ball by Gerardo Parra and right to snare one along the line by Juan Miranda that scored Arizona's only run.

"Mike Morse saved me big time at first with a couple of diving plays," said Zimmermann, who also chopped out a pair of singles at the plate.

Duke was stellar in his debut after missing the first two months with a broken hand, throwing seven shutout innings and hitting a three-run homer. That, according to information provided to the Diamondbacks by the Elias Sports Bureau, makes him one of two players -- along with Colorado's Jason Jennings in 2001 -- since 1900 to throw seven or more scoreless innings and hit a homer in his first with a team.

Duke's encore didn't go so well.

Washington scored three runs off the left-hander in the first inning, one on Morse's hard single up the middle and two more on a double by Ramos that hit high on the extended wall in center. Duke managed to scrape through traffic over the next few innings before giving up another run in the fifth on a fielder's choice by Ramos that made it 4-0.

Duke was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom half after allowing four runs on 10 hits with six strikeouts.

"I wasn't able to command the fastball the way I wanted to," Duke said. "It caused me to get into hitter's counts and throw a lot more pitches and more damage was done."

Washington added a pair of cushion runs in the ninth inning off Aaron Heilman, on Roger Bernadina's run-scoring triple and a bloop single by Morse.

Notes

Ramos' double in the first inning was just his fourth hit in 27 at-bats over nine games. ... Arizona's Kelly Johnson was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts to end an eight-game hitting streak. ... Arizona signed RHP Yhency Brazoban to a minor league contract on Thursday. He will report to Triple-A Reno.

 
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
Washington

M. Morse
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
Washington

J. Zimmermann
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 4
 
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Roger Bernadina, LF5111032 .253
Ian Desmond, SS5110014 .223
Jayson Werth, RF4010011 .255
Michael Morse, 1B5242001 .319
Danny Espinosa, 2B5120023 .219
Wilson Ramos, C5013013 .250
Rick Ankiel, CF4000022 .203
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B4010010 .248
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
Jordan Zimmermann, P3020000 .211
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Brian Bixler, 3B0100100 .143
Totals406136111  
Batting
2B - Ian Desmond (12, Duke), Jayson Werth (13, Owings), Wilson Ramos (9, Duke)
3B - Roger Bernadina (1, Heilman)
RBI - Roger Bernadina (8), Michael Morse 2 (26), Wilson Ramos 3 (14)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Morse (7), Wilson Ramos 2 (4)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Desmond-Espinosa-Morse
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann (W,3-6) 7611140 3.61
Todd Coffey0100000 1.69
Sean Burnett (H,6) 0.2000020 5.40
Drew Storen (S,11) 1.1100000 1.86
HBP - Upton (by Sean Burnett)
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 97-66, Todd Coffey 1-1, Sean Burnett 14-8, Drew Storen 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 9-7, Drew Storen 3-1
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 27, Todd Coffey 1, Sean Burnett 3, Drew Storen 5
Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ryan Roberts, 3B4010002 .271
Kelly Johnson, 2B3000132 .222
Justin Upton, RF3020001 .270
Stephen Drew, SS4000025 .284
Chris Young, CF4000004 .235
Miguel Montero, C4110010 .276
Xavier Nady, 1B4010001 .272
Gerardo Parra, LF4021001 .272
Zach Duke, P0000000 .333
   a- Sean Burroughs, PH1010000 .250
    Micah Owings, P0000000 .000
   b- Juan Miranda, PH1000000 .241
    Esmerling Vasquez, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   c- Willie Bloomquist, PH1000001 .274
Totals3318116  
a-singled for Duke in the 5th
b-grounded out for Owings in the 7th
c-grounded out for Heilman in the 9th
Batting
2B - Miguel Montero (13, Zimmermann), Xavier Nady (6, Storen), Gerardo Parra (4, Zimmermann)
SH - Zach Duke (1)
RBI - Gerardo Parra (16)
SB - Ryan Roberts (9, 2nd base off Burnett/Ramos)
Team LOB - 8
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Zach Duke (L,1-1) 51044060 3.00
Micah Owings 2100030 2.51
Esmerling Vasquez 1000010 2.86
Aaron Heilman 1222110 8.68
HBP - Werth (by Aaron Heilman)
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 100-65, Micah Owings 29-23, Esmerling Vasquez 15-9, Aaron Heilman 32-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 5-4, Micah Owings 1-2, Esmerling Vasquez 2-0, Aaron Heilman 1-1
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 25, Micah Owings 7, Esmerling Vasquez 3, Aaron Heilman 7
Game Information
Attendance - 17810
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Rob Drake