Zimmerman slam leads Nationals over Padres 11-7, Strasburg picks up the win

WP – S. Strasburg (4-6) LP – R. Erlin (1-2)

On a sizzling afternoon, Ryan Zimmerman crushed a bases clearing grand slam to deep right center, scoring Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond and Stephen Strasburg to lead the Washington Nationals to a sweep of the San Diego Padres. Bryce Harper had three hits, three RBIs and two stolen bases on the day.  He had an opportunity to really do some damage in the bottom of the seventh, at bat with the bases loaded and two outs but hit a line drive to the centerfield to end the inning.

Stephen Strasburg picked up the win on a day when he struggled with control in the heat.  He pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out nine.  Strasburg also hit three batters on the day on a day that he would need 110 pitches to get through six innings. Alexi Amarista hit a two run homerun for the most significant hit off of Strasburg.  Strasburg limited most of the Padres other scoring came on little dinks and dunks, moving runners around.

The scoring started early for the Nationals with Bryce Harper singling home Denard Span in the bottom of the first inning.  The big inning though was the bottom of the third, where the Nationals scored six runs on Zimmerman’s grand slam and Anthony Rendon hitting a two run homerun, scoring Jayson Werth.  The Nationals would tack on four more in the bottom of the fifth on RBI singles from Rendon and Strasburg, along with a wild pitch that scored Harper and a groundout that brought Werth in to score.

The Padres would make a push to make the game close by scoring three more runs in the seventh and eighth off Craig Stammen.  This is the third outing in a row that Stammen has had difficulty getting outs.  He allowed two runs in the seventh on twelve pitches, all strikes.  He failed to record an out in the eighth before being lifted for Drew Storen, who quickly put the Padres down in order.  Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth to close out the win.

This is the Nationals first sweep of a series since a two game series against the Detroit Tigers back in the second week of May.  The Nationals now take on the Philadelphia Phillies for a four game series.

The Nationals improve to 46-42, moving four games back of the Atlanta Braves, who lost to the Phillies.   The Nationals are now 41-10 in games where they score at least three runs. Additional, it was announced that Ross Detwiler would be placed on the 15-Day DL.

Robert Peterson lives in the Washington DC Metro area and has been covering the Nationals since the team moved to the area in 2005.

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