Bowie’s starts a relief for Nats

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Ryan Zimmerman gave Washington the lead for good in the fourth when he turned on Towers’ first-pitch, 86 mph fastball and belted it down the left field line for a solo homer. Zimmerman’s fourth homer in eight games gave him 12 for the season. His 33 RBI over the last 35 games are tops in the National League.

Ronnie Belliard provided the final run with an RBI single to center in the fifth, setting up the Nationals’ bullpen to finish the game off and avoid a three-game sweep to the Blue Jays.

Having gotten six strong innings from Bowie, Acta was able to line up his bullpen how he wanted: Jesus Colome in the seventh, Jon Rauch in the eighth, Chad Cordero in the ninth. The three relievers didn’t allow a single man to reach base.

“Today was just the way we kind of drew it,” Acta said. “We’re more than happy having the lead and having those three guys go back-to-back-to-back.”

And the Nationals were more than happy to leave Toronto last night on the end of an impressive road trip. They wound up going 6-3 on Batista’s reunion tour — with stops at three of the veteran infielder’s previous homes: Minnesota, Baltimore and Toronto.

“I don’t think there’s a team out there that won’t take that,” Schneider said.

Two of those wins, of course, were recorded by Bowie. A month ago, who would have thought this relatively obscure lefty would play such a key role in the Nationals’ resurgence?

Not even Bowie would have taken that bet.

“At the beginning of the year, I was going to be in the bullpen,” Bowie said. “I didn’t think something like this was possible.”

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