Jordan Zimmermann succeeded after Washington Nationals teammates Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez faltered.
It surely helped that Zimmermann was pitching against the woeful Miami Marlins.
The right-hander threw a six-hitter for his third victory in three starts this season, and Washington bounced back from a humbling series to beat Miami 10-3 Monday night.
Washington was outscored 18-5 while being swept in a three-game weekend set at home against Atlanta, with Strasburg and Gonzalez each taking a loss. The Nationals took out any lingering frustration on the Marlins (2-11), who came into the game tied for the worst record in the majors.
”It’s nice to have success, especially after that series we just came from,” said Ian Desmond, who had four of the Nationals’ 16 hits. ”Jordan did a great job. It seems like we all hit better when Jordan pitches.”
Washington has scored 21 runs in Zimmerman’s starts, and he’s 3-0 for the first time. The nine-inning complete game was his first.
”It means a lot,” Zimmerman said. ”It means I’m doing my job staying in the game and putting up zeros. It’s the kind of pitcher I want to be. I want to be a workhorse and someone who can eat up innings.”
The right-hander struck out six, walked one and threw 102 pitches. His only complete game in 83 previous career starts was an eight-inning effort in a 1-0 loss in 2011.
”Jordan was outstanding,” manager Davey Johnson said. ”He has been outstanding all year.”
Zimmermann retired the first 10 batters, and the score was 8-0 before Miami had a baserunner. Ryan Zimmerman hit his first home run and had four RBIs, while Tyler Moore drove in three runs.
The carousel of baserunners for Washington was constant, even though Miami center fielder Chris Coghlan threw out two of them. The Nationals’ run and hit totals were season highs, and they had six extra-base hits, including doubles on three consecutive pitches.
Ballpark personnel tightened security in the wake of the explosions Monday at the Boston Marathon. A moment of silence was observed before the national anthem.
Announced attendance was 15,933, and there were more than a few boos when the score reached 6-0. Coghlan triggered a big roar when he singled in the fourth to become Miami’s first baserunner.
The Marlins went without a homer for the ninth consecutive game, tying the franchise record set by the 1993 expansion team. But manager Mike Redmond said he saw signs of improvement.
”I felt we had much better swings than we’ve had in the last few days,” he said. ”Hopefully that’s something we can grow on.”
The Nationals scored four runs in the first inning, when their first six batters reached against Wade LeBlanc (0-3). One of them — Bryce Harper — was thrown trying to go from first to third on a single.
Zimmerman singled home the first two runs, and Moore also had a two-run single. That was all Zimmerman needed.
”It’s a lot easier to pitch when you get runs early in the game,” he said.
The Nationals kept swinging, and in the third they hit three consecutive doubles with two outs. The first two, by Desmond and Moore, sailed over the center fielder’s head. Steve Lombardozzi then pulled an RBI double into the corner for a 6-0 lead.
John Maine relieved LeBlanc in the fourth, and Zimmerman hit the first pitch into the nightclub beyond left field to make it 8-0.
Miami’s starting pitching had been solid despite the team’s awful record, but LeBlanc allowed seven runs in 3 2-3 innings.
”That’s not a good team to make mistakes against,” LeBlanc said.
Zimmermann beat LeBlanc for the second time this month, and the Nationals improved to 4-0 against Miami.
The Marlins have scored only 23 runs all season and played short-handed. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton sat out for fourth consecutive game because of a bruised left shoulder, and reserve outfielder Austin Kearns was unavailable after undergoing tests for an irregular heartbeat.
NOTES: Washington 2B Danny Espinosa, nursing a bruised right hand, sat out and said he hopes to rejoin the lineup Wednesday or Friday. … Zimmerman has 19 homers against the Marlins. … A bright spot for the Marlins: They came into the game batting .174 with runners in scoring position but went 4 for 7 in those situations. … Washington RHP Dan Haren (1-1) is scheduled to start against RHP Alex Sanabia (1-1) on Tuesday.