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Zimmerman homered twice and drove in three runs, powering the Nationals to a 9-2 victory over the Miami Marlins.
Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon had three hits apiece as the Nationals won for the third time in four games to remain on the fringe of the NL wild-card race. Tanner Roark (5-0) pitched six scoreless innings in his first start of the season.
Tyler Moore went 2 for 5 with two RBIs after replacing Bryce Harper in Washington’s lineup. Harper was scratched after what Johnson said after the game was inflammation in his hip.
“He’s going to go to see the doctor tomorrow, figure out what it is, treat it, and he’ll meet us in New York, hopefully,” Johnson said.
Adeiny Hechavarria and Jeff Mathis each drove in a run for Miami, which was unable to overcome a sluggish outing for Nathan Eovaldi. Christian Yelich, who extended his hitting streak to eight games with his 14th multi-hit game, had two hits and scored a run.
Eovaldi (3-6) lasted just three innings in his shortest outing of the season. He allowed five runs and nine hits.
“I was battling out there; trying to limit the damage,” Eovaldi said. “You just have to have short-term memory and forget this one. You try to learn from it and move on.”
Miami manager Mike Redmond had a hunch early on that Eovaldi’s night might be a short one.
“They were squaring him up pretty good,” Redmond said. “You could see that it wasn’t going to be his night. We got out of the game early.”
Washington got off to a fast start behind Zimmerman, who drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in center in the first to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead. Zimmerman’s 18th homer came after Denard Span reached on a leadoff single to extend his career-high hitting streak to 18 games.
“It’s a big park. You just hit the ball hard and hopefully good things will happen,” Zimmerman said. “After two home runs you’re feeling pretty good … a decent night.”
Span added a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Adam LaRoche doubled home a run in the seventh, helping the Nationals improve to 10-4 against the Marlins this season.
Roark struck out four and walked none. He was 4-0 with a 1.19 ERA in nine relief appearances before joining the rotation.
“We got a couple runs early and that takes a lot of weight off your shoulders,” Roark said. “I keep going at guys, keep attacking, (I’m thinking) don’t give into anybody.”
Washington manager Davey Johnson was thrilled with Roark’s performance in combination with the club’s ability to put up some good numbers offensively.
“The story really was Roark. He really pitched a great game,” Johnson said. “It’s one thing to have great stuff, but he has great command. He throws it like Satchel Paige.”
Marlins’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton is scheduled to be evaluated Sunday after leaving the game as a precautionary measure in the seventh inning with a sore ankle. He is listed day to day.
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