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Jordan Zimmermann allowed three runs over seven innings.
Hitting highlight: Harper was none too pleased about being held out of the lineup, but after taking batting practice in the cage pregame, he convinced Davey Johnson he could come off the bench if needed. Was he ever. Pinch-hitting for Tyler Moore in the top of the ninth in a tie game, Harper laid off three straight curveballs from Aceves and drew the walk that ignited the game-winning rally. Then he bolted for second on Aceves' 2-2 pitch to Bernadina and never let up, racing all the way around the bases and sliding into the plate with the winning run.
Pitching highlight: What to make of Zimmermann's start? The end result (three runs over seven innings) looks solid, but that doesn't tell the entire story. Zimmermann was handed an early lead in the first and couldn't hold it, giving up a run in the third and another in the fourth (on David Ortiz's homer). Then after his teammates rallied to retake the lead in the top of the seventh, he gave it right back in the bottom of the inning. This has been something of a recurring problem for Zimmermann, who has had trouble finishing off his starts.
Key stat: Zimmermann has pitched in 12 games now, 10 of them quality starts. Only Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (11) has more among all major-league pitchers this season.
Up next: The Nationals' march through the AL East continues Monday, north of the border when the former Montreal Expos meet the current Toronto Blue Jays. Edwin Jackson gets the start against right-hander Brandon Morrow at 7:07 p.m.