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“Guy’s up there hacking. Throw one at his neck and he tomahawks it out,” Strasburg said. “I think the previous at-bat, I was missing up there a little bit. I decided to go fastball away and I did it again and he ran into one.”

It was Zimmerman’s second error of the season – and of the series.

“I should have set my feet,” he said. “That’s why it is so frustrating. I had time. I should have set my feet and made a strong throw like I’ve been doing all year on those balls.

“It’s unfortunate. That was a big part of the game. But it happens.”

Atlanta will go for the sweep on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. when it sends Paul Maholm to the mound against Gio Gonzalez in a battle of left-handers. Despite having a couple of key injuries, Atlanta is off to a 10-1 start and out to a three-game lead over the Nats.

“Honestly, I think our lineup is better,” Strasburg maintained. “They’re hot right now. It’s early. It’s not about how many wins you necessarily finish with in April. It’s how many you have at the end of the year.”

Said Espinosa: “They’re good. I don’t think they’re better than us. They’re a good ballclub. They have talent. They’re hot right now. They’ve lost one game. They’ve come back in a couple of games. It all evens out.”