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Ryan Zimmerman helped spur the Nationals' early rallies.
Hitting highlight: The Nationals wasted no time pouncing on Fister. Five of their first six batters recorded base hits, with Denard Span getting things started with a leadoff double, Roger Bernadina dropping down a perfect drag bunt and Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond all singling in succession. The hits kept coming in the bottom of the second, with Zimmerman and LaRoche again rapping out back-to-back RBI singles to extend the Nationals' lead to 5-0. But as we've seen more than a few times in the past, the Nats' lineup went silent after an early explosion. Despite knocking Fister out after only three innings, they couldn't make a dent into the Tigers' bullpen, and because of that this remained a tight ballgame throughout.
Pitching highlight: Coming off far and away his best start of the season, Haren wasn't quite in peak form. But he was effective, holding the Tigers to one run through his first five innings. He very nearly navigated his way through the sixth, as well, but then left a 2-2 pitch up to Matt Tuiasosopo and spun around in horror as the Detroit pinch-hitter clobbered it to left-center for a three run homer. That left a sour taste in Haren's mouth as his afternoon ended, but overall the veteran continued his recent upward trend, and the Nationals can't be too upset about that in the big picture.
Key stat: LaRoche now has nine hits in his last 16 at-bats.
Up next: After a tough stretch of games that saw them face five straight opponents with winning records, the Nationals now get a weekend with the hapless Cubs. Ross Detwiler faces Jeff Samardzija in Friday's 7:05 p.m. opener.