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Zimmerman hits walk-off slam in 9th; Nats beat Phillies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman has now done it eight times, and it never gets old.

Watch the ball sail out of the park. Slap hands with the first base coach. Slap hands with the third base coach. Toss the helmet and jump into the pile of teammates waiting at home plate.

For the eighth time in his seven-year big league career, the Washington Nationals third baseman ended the game with a home run. This time, it was a grand slam, hit with a full count and two outs in the bottom of the ninth against one of the best closers in the league.

Zimmerman's line drive over the left field wall against Ryan Madson capped a six-run ninth Friday night, giving the Nationals an 8-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

"It's the ultimate thing," said Zimmerman, who also got a Gatorade shower and whipped cream in the face, "because when you come around third, your teammates are waiting there."

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The Nationals were trailing 4-2 entering the ninth, but they sent eight men to the plate against Madson (3-2), who had previously blown only one save this season and hadn't allowed six runs in a game since becoming exclusively a relief pitcher in 2007. Zimmerman was 8 for 22 in his career with no homers and four RBI against the Phillies' formidable closer, including 0 for 3 this year.

That RBI total doubled in a hurry. The slam was Zimmerman's third in his career, and the second one to end a game.

"Just trying to get it out of the infield," Zimmerman said. "I guess you could say he's dominated me throughout the whole time. It's one of those at bats where I don't know really how it happened, but I guess it happened.

"The pressure's on him, man. It's not on me. I'm, like, 0-for-whateaver against him -- I'm supposed to get out," he added. "The way I've always been taught is the pressure's on the pitcher. It keeps you calm, and the key thing is not trying to do too much."

Jayson Werth, whose locker is next to Zimmerman's had an even simpler explanation for his teammate's knack for big hits.

"He's good. He wakes up every morning, and he's good," Werth said. "That's all you need to know."

Werth played a key role in the rally, opening the inning by hanging on with foul ball after foul ball until he singled to left on Madson's 11th pitch. Danny Espinosa hit a flare to center for a single, and Jonny Gomes singled to left to drive home Werth. Wilson Ramos bunted to put runners on second and third, and pinch-hitter Jesus Flores was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Ian Desmond singled to right to score Espinosa. With the bases still loaded, Rick Ankiel struck out swinging, leaving Zimmerman to finish things off. With no room on the bases, Madson had little choice but to throw his fastball with the full count.

"Here it is, and if you hit it, you hit it," Madson said. "Most times when you challenge a guy like that, he's going to get a hit, and he did that time. So, I tip my cap to him. He's a great hitter."

Todd Coffey (4-1) pitched the top of the ninth to get the win for the Nationals, who handed the Phillies only their second loss in the last 13 road games.

Until the last few minutes, the Phillies were in firm control. Kyle Kendrick, getting an unexpected start after a long rain delay, allowed two runs over six innings.

The teams started by playing all of 5 minutes of baseball with a background of thunder and lightning before a massive storm hit - it was an interesting choice for the officials to start the game when they did.

"I was surprised they started the game," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "You could tell it was going to rain, I guess. I could. I'm not a weatherman."

After a delay of 2 hours, 22 minutes, scheduled starter Roy Oswalt was scratched in favor of Kendrick, who had been slated to pitch Saturday. In the fluky world of baseball, Kendrick was credited with a game starting as a pitcher but not as a batter, while Oswalt started as a batter but not as a pitcher - even though he didn't perform either task.

Oswalt will now start Saturday.

Washington starter Livan Hernandez was pitching to his fourth batter when everyone but the grounds crew headed for cover, and he stayed in the game when play resumed. The Phillies hit him hard in a four-run third, sending nine men to the plate and getting a season-high seven hits in an inning.

Notes

  • Zimmerman reached base for his 25th straight game.
  • Phillies CF Shane Victorino served the second game of his two-game suspension for his part in a benches-clearing brawl at San Francisco on Aug. 5.
  • Howard returned after missing one game with a strained hand muscle. Ruiz was back after sitting out two games with a groin injury.
  • Washington's Michael Morse didn't start because of swelling in his left elbow, but he flew out to left as a pinch hitter in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base.
  • Nationals' prospect Bryce Harper was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. He was hurt in Double-A Harrisburg's win at Akron on Thursday. Johnson said Harper will probably miss the rest of the minor league 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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Michael Morse and Jayson Werth pour Gatorade over Ryan Zimmerman, who bashes a grand slam. (AP)
Michael Morse and Jayson Werth pour Gatorade over Ryan Zimmerman, who bashes a grand slam. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Philadelphia

C. Ruiz
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jimmy Rollins, SS4110000 .267
John Mayberry Jr., CF3111100 .264
Chase Utley, 2B4111011 .282
Ryan Howard, 1B3111120 .256
Hunter Pence, RF3010102 .311
Raul Ibanez, LF4000012 .236
Carlos Ruiz, C4021000 .263
Wilson Valdez, 3B4010003 .238
Roy Oswalt, P0000000 .143
Kyle Kendrick, P2000000 .238
   a- Ben Francisco, PH1000000 .220
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
    Antonio Bastardo, P0000000 .000
   b- Ross Gload, PH1000000 .235
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
Totals3348434  
a-grounded out for Kendrick in the 7th
b-grounded out for Bastardo in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jimmy Rollins (22, Hernandez), Chase Utley (17, Hernandez), Carlos Ruiz (19, Gorzelanny)
3B - John Mayberry Jr. (1, Hernandez)
RBI - John Mayberry Jr. (35), Chase Utley (37), Ryan Howard (96), Carlos Ruiz (26)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Ruiz (9)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Wilson Valdez (7, Throwing)
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Kendrick 6522141 3.24
Brad Lidge (H,3) 1000010 1.17
Antonio Bastardo (H,14) 1000010 1.32
Ryan Madson (BS,2; L,3-2) 0.2566111 3.25
IBB - Flores by Ryan Madson
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Kendrick 92-62, Brad Lidge 7-5, Antonio Bastardo 14-10, Ryan Madson 38-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Kendrick 6-9, Brad Lidge 1-1, Antonio Bastardo 1-1, Ryan Madson 1-0
Batters Faced - Kyle Kendrick 25, Brad Lidge 3, Antonio Bastardo 3, Ryan Madson 8
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Desmond, SS5122011 .230
Rick Ankiel, CF5000045 .244
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5124000 .302
Laynce Nix, 1B3000001 .249
   a- Michael Morse, PH-1B1000000 .319
Jayson Werth, RF4110002 .227
Danny Espinosa, 2B3110111 .227
Jonny Gomes, LF4111002 .211
Wilson Ramos, C3221010 .250
Livan Hernandez, P0000000 .231
    Tom Gorzelanny, P1010000 .111
   b- Alex Cora, PH1000000 .226
    Sean Burnett, P00000001.000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   c- Jesus Flores, PH0100100 .244
Totals35810827  
a-flied out for Nix in the 8th
b-grounded out for Gorzelanny in the 7th
c-was walked intentionally for Coffey in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ian Desmond (19, Kendrick), Ryan Zimmerman (14, Kendrick)
HR - Ryan Zimmerman (9, Madson), Wilson Ramos (10, Kendrick)
SH - Wilson Ramos (4), Livan Hernandez (14)
RBI - Ian Desmond 2 (36), Ryan Zimmerman 4 (33), Jonny Gomes (38), Wilson Ramos (36)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Desmond (9), Ryan Zimmerman 4 (16)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jayson Werth 1
DP - Desmond
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Livan Hernandez 4744200 4.34
Tom Gorzelanny 3100020 4.35
Sean Burnett 1000120 4.74
Todd Coffey (W,4-1) 1000000 4.13
Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 59-36, Tom Gorzelanny 40-20, Sean Burnett 20-10, Todd Coffey 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 10-1, Tom Gorzelanny 4-2, Sean Burnett 1-0, Todd Coffey 2-1
Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 20, Tom Gorzelanny 9, Sean Burnett 4, Todd Coffey 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37841
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor