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Jordan Zimmermann was sharp and efficient in his season debut, but took the loss.
Hitting lowlight: The Nationals' lineup was once again rendered helpless by a Cubs starting pitcher. This time, Jeff Samardzija held them to one run on three hits before finally surrendering a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche with two outs in the ninth. Carlos Marmol saved the day for Chicago, though, getting Xavier Nady to end the game.
Pitching highlight: Jordan Zimmermann was both sharp and highly efficient in his first start of the season, needing only 80 pitches to complete seven innings. The young right-hander retired the first seven batters he faced and didn't walk a batter during his superb outing.
Key stat: Jayson Werth is now 0-for-10 with five strikeouts (and three walks) on the season.
Up next: The Nats head to New York for tomorrow's series opener at Citi Field. Edwin Jackson faces Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey at 7:10 p.m. EDT.