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Zimmerman, who sat out of Monday’s game, went 2-for-5 with his 98th RBI of the season, when he doubled in the sixth to score pinch-hitter George Lombard and give the Nationals a 6-0 lead. Kearns went 2-for-4 with one RBI and a run. Soriano did strike in the three-run seventh inning, hitting his 39th double of the season to score Kearns and Harper.

Note — The Nationals are in the process of moving several of their minor league affiliates closer to the District.

Yesterday, the Nationals signed a four-year extension with high Class A Potomac, which plays in Woodbridge. The Nationals are expected to switch their low Class A affiliate from Savannah, Ga., to the Hagerstown (Md.) Suns of the South Atlantic League.

Also, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported that the Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles are vying to have Norfolk as an affiliate. The New York Mets ended their 38-year relationship with the Tides this summer.

The Nationals’ two-year “player development contract” with the Class AAA New Orleans Zephyrs expired at the end of the Zephyrs season. Three Class AAA franchises — Columbus, Ohio, New Orleans, and Norfolk — have expired contracts and will compete for the Nationals, Orioles, and Mets. The Nationals have until Sept. 30 to reach an agreement with someone. If no contract has been signed by the end of the month, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig can intervene and assign the Nationals to a city, but that is an unlikely scenario.