|Photo by the Associated Press|
Game in a nutshell: Facing a mediocre pitcher in Minnesota’s Scott Diamond, the Nats finally took advantage by scoring a barrage of runs and set themselves up nicely for the second game of their doubleheader. Through their first three innings, it was same old, same old. Baserunning mistakes, defensive miscues, and impatience at the plate. But in the fourth they finally broke through with two runs and added five more in the fifth. Jordan Zimmermann threw more pitches than he probably would have liked, including 26 in the second inning, but otherwise coasted with seven scoreless innings.
Hitting highlight: The Nats scored five runs in the fifth inning, more than they had in their previous seven games overall. Adam LaRoche knocked in the first with a hard infield single with the bases loaded. Ian Desmond then batted home two runners with a single up the middle. The final two were brought home on a double to right field by Anthony Rendon.
Pitching highlight: Zimmermann battled a high pitch count to go seven innings with zero earned runs, two hits, eight strikeouts, and two walks. He is now 9-3 with a 2.00 ERA on the season. He has lasted at least seven innings in ten of his 13 starts this year.
Key stat: Desmond had three hits on the day to extend his career-high hitting streak to 11 games.
Up next: The Nationals continue their doubleheader split with the Twins at 7:05 p.m. with Nathan Karns (0-1, 6.00) facing off with Samuel Deduno (2-1, 3.44).