Zimmerman hits tiebreaking 3-run homer as Nats beat Orioles
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman hit a tiebreaking three-run homer and finished with three hits, and the Washington Nationals overcame a pair of five-run deficits in a 12-9 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.
Zimmerman’s home run in the fourth against Adam Plutko (1-1) broke a 6-all tie.
Baltimore (17-28) dropped its fifth straight and lost for the 11th time in 13 games. The Orioles led 5-0 after an inning and 6-1 after 2 1/2 frames.
Zimmerman, already the franchise leader in many offensive categories, scored his 948th run in the sixth inning, making him the leader in runs scored at age 36.
When the milestone was noted on the scoreboard, Zimmerman received a long ovation.
“You get those moments because you’re old,” Zimmerman said. “You’ve got to play for a long time. I’m just lucky enough to do it in one place. Not many guys get the opportunity I’ve had. I think everyone knows how I feel about this DC area and the fan base and how special it is. To be able to do things like that and share it with the fan base is always great.
In his 907th career game, Josh Harrison started for the first time in center field for the Nationals and hit his first career grand-slam in the third.
Daniel Hudson (3-0), Washington’s fifth pitcher in the game, earned the win. Brad Hand pitched the ninth and collected his sixth save in eight chances.
Ryan Mountcastle highlighted the Orioles’ five-run first inning with a grand-slam. Anthony Santander had three hits.
Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde acknowledges that the losing is wearing on his team.
“We’re not winning these games the past couple of weeks,” Hyde said. “That’s tough. It’s not easy. It’s tough to lose in the big leagues. You want guys to feel success.”
Zimmerman, who was the first draft pick of the club in its first season in 2005, is definitely old school, but he likes two statistics, BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) and Exit Velocity.
“BABIP and exit velocity I like because they’re the only two that help me out,” Zimmerman said.
Orioles: RHP Hunter Harvey, who is on the 60-day injured list with a strained left oblique, will make his first rehab appearance on Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk.
“We’ve scheduled out his outings for the next eight, nine days,” Hyde said. “Then, hopefully he’s ready to join us.”
Nationals: OF Victor Robles missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle. Robles had an MRI on Friday. Manager Davey Martinez said Robles was “day-to-day. We’ll see how it feels today, and we’ll go from there.”
Martinez said he though Robles could avoid the 10-day injured list.
“He’s getting a little better every day. Today’s going to be a big day. If we get him over the hump, we can miss that IL.”
Orioles: RHP Matt Harvey (3-4, 5.93) tries to rebound from the second-shortest start of his career when he allowed six runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (2-3, 6.10) will try to continue his recent success. He’s 2-1 with 3.34 ERA in his last six starts.
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