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“The last three innings I felt much better and was able to control everything,” Zimmermann said. “It was definitely good to get a win. The infields did a great job, played some great defense today.”

His 11th win of the season, the Nationals’ 90th, brought them within one of becoming the first team in the majors to punch their ticket for October.

“(It) makes a great statement in the city,” Rizzo said. “I think it’s great for the city to be a playoff team. Clinching a playoff berth is just one of the small steps in our grand plan. We’re looking forward to playing good baseball and winning games. We’re certainly going to take this one game at a time and click these mileposts off as they happen.”