Washington at Cincinnati

Scoreboard
Washington (21-12) «000011000260
Cincinnati (16-16)100000000150

Zimmermann K's nine, Nats over Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Even in their finest moments, the Nationals can't keep from getting hurt.

Jordan Zimmermann extended Washington's streak of dominant starts, and Danny Espinosa homered for the second straight game Saturday night, leading the Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that was overshadowed by another significant injury.

Catcher Wilson Ramos left the game in the seventh inning after his right knee buckled while he chased a passed ball. He was in a lot of pain when he was helped off the field and taken for an MRI to discover the extent of the damage.

"I have a bad feeling he tore something and it's going to be a while," manager Davey Johnson said. "He's really down and still in a lot of pain. He can't put any weight on it. Not good."

The Nationals already have sent 10 players to the disabled list. Outfielder Jayson Werth broke his left wrist and needed surgery on Monday, sidelining him for several months.

Now, the Nationals have lost one of the best young catchers, perhaps for the season.

"It's going to be a big loss," Zimmermann said.

Jesus Flores replaced Ramos in the seventh and will become the primary catcher while he's out. Washington was looking to bring in another catcher for the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon.

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"We've got pretty good depth and a lot of talent here, but I think we've had enough," Johnson said. "Losing one of the top catchers in the league, that hurts."

Zimmermann (2-3) gave up five hits and struck out nine. Washington's starters have allowed one earned run or fewer 19 times this season, keeping the Nationals in first place in the NL East despite all those injuries and an offense that ranks near the bottom.

Espinosa hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the sixth off Jose Arredondo (2-1). Ramos also had a solo shot off Mat Latos.

Nationals rookie Bryce Harper was back in right field with a large bandage above his left eye, covering a 10-stitch gash from slamming his bat against a wall on Friday night. He went 0 for 4 and struck out.

Johnson decided to leave Harper in the lineup so he could take his frustrations out on the opposing pitcher instead of the dugout wall. Instead, he came away 0 for 9 in the series with four strikeouts.

The Reds gave away Joey Votto bobbleheads and drew 42,294 fans, their third capacity crowd of the season. For the second night in a row, Cincinnati couldn't do much against the major leagues' stingiest pitching staff.

Washington's starters have 17 quality starts in the past 18 games, taking the pressure off an offense that doesn't score a lot of runs.

Zimmermann struggled when he threw in the bullpen between starts, but had few problems on Saturday night.

"That's the best I've felt all year," he said. "I had command of everything. My slider was really tight tonight.

"My bullpen [session] this week was not very good. When I started warming up before the game, I was pretty pinpoint on everything and took it out to the mound."

The Reds got only one runner into scoring position after the first inning.

"He was keeping his fastball down and throwing his breaking ball in the same location, so it looked like the same pitch," manager Dusty Baker said. "He didn't make many mistakes, and he got strikeouts when he needed them."

Henry Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances, fanning three batters on 10 pitches.

The Nationals had a chance to break it open in the fifth with their young, bandaged star at the plate. The Reds intentionally walked Adam LaRoche to load the bases with two outs and bring up Harper, who hit a grounder up the middle.

Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips made a backhand stop, then flipped the ball behind his back for a forceout at second, raising his arm and pounding his chest three times in celebration.

Nothing Harper could do about that.

Latos gave up three hits in five innings. He also walked five, matching his career high.

Cincinnati put Scott Rolen on the 15-day disabled list shortly before the start of the game with more pain in his left shoulder, a chronic problem the past few years. The 37-year-old third baseman had surgery on the shoulder last August.

Notes

  • RH Bronson Arroyo tries for his second straight win in the final game of the series. Washington starts Edwin Jackson, who has faced the Reds only twice in his career.
  • Shirley Larkin, mother of Reds SS Barry Larkin, will throw a ceremonial pitch on Sunday for Mother's Day.
  • Cincinnati called up 3B Mike Costanzo from Triple-A Louisville to take Rolen's spot. Costanzo has split time between Double-A and Triple-A.
 
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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Jordan Zimmermann continues the Nationals' run of quality starts with a strong performance against the Reds.  (AP)
Jordan Zimmermann continues the Nationals' run of quality starts with a strong performance against the Reds. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

D. Espinosa
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Washington

J. Zimmermann
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 9
 

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Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Desmond, SS5010011 .257
Roger Bernadina, LF4010002 .210
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B3000113 .247
Adam LaRoche, 1B3010100 .333
Bryce Harper, RF4000015 .213
Danny Espinosa, 2B3121110 .205
Rick Ankiel, CF4000034 .260
Wilson Ramos, C2111110 .265
    Jesus Flores, C1000010 .200
Jordan Zimmermann, P1000110 .083
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
   a- Tyler Moore, PH1000010 .200
    Henry Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
Totals31262511  
a-struck out for Clippard in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ian Desmond (9, Latos)
HR - Danny Espinosa (3, Arredondo), Wilson Ramos (3, Latos)
SH - Jordan Zimmermann (2)
RBI - Danny Espinosa (5), Wilson Ramos (10)
SB - Danny Espinosa 2 (3, 2nd base off Chapman/Hanigan, 3rd base off Chapman/Hanigan)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Desmond-LaRoche
PB - Wilson Ramos (2)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann (W,2-3) 7511190 2.14
Tyler Clippard (H,8) 1000110 3.60
Henry Rodriguez (S,8) 1000030 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 105-74, Tyler Clippard 23-12, Henry Rodriguez 10-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 7-5
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 27, Tyler Clippard 4, Henry Rodriguez 3
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Zack Cozart, SS4110011 .264
Drew Stubbs, CF4000011 .248
Joey Votto, 1B2010200 .296
Brandon Phillips, 2B4001012 .253
Jay Bruce, RF4000021 .294
Todd Frazier, 3B4010030 .346
Ryan Ludwick, LF4010031 .187
Ryan Hanigan, C3010002 .288
Mat Latos, P2000022 .000
    Jose Arredondo, P0000000 .000
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
   a- Miguel Cairo, PH1000001 .214
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
Totals32151213  
a-grounded out for Ondrusek in the 7th
Batting
RBI - Brandon Phillips (11)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - B. Phillips-Cozart-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mat Latos 5311541 4.54
Jose Arredondo (L,2-1) 1111031 2.70
Logan Ondrusek 1100000 0.00
Aroldis Chapman 2100040 0.00
IBB - LaRoche by Mat Latos
Pitches-Strikes - Mat Latos 109-59, Jose Arredondo 12-11, Logan Ondrusek 14-9, Aroldis Chapman 33-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mat Latos 6-5, Logan Ondrusek 2-0
Batters Faced - Mat Latos 23, Jose Arredondo 4, Logan Ondrusek 3, Aroldis Chapman 7
Game Information
Attendance - 42294
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg