Nationals 4, Brewers 1

Jordan Zimmermann’s family and friends made the short trip from

his hometown of Auburndale, Wis., and did what most fans do before

games at Miller Park.

”They were out in the parking lot tailgating since 3 o’clock

today, so I’m sure they’re all feeling pretty good right now,”

Zimmermann said.

That’s because the Nationals right-hander pitched his first game

against Milwaukee, riding three Washington home runs to a 4-1

victory over the Brewers on Saturday night.

”It was definitely awesome,” said Zimmermann, who once pitched

a Legion all-star game at Miller Park. ”A dream come true to pitch

in front of my family and friends, and everyone who came out to

watch. I’m just glad I gave them a good showing. . I didn’t want to

go out there and have a terrible outing. I thought I threw the ball

well and got some quick outs. They’ve got a pretty good lineup and

I was able to do pretty well.”

Zimmermann (8-6) struck out six and gave up five hits in six

innings. The right-hander, who also played at the University of

Wisconsin-Stevens Point, has not allowed more than one earned run

in each of his last seven starts.

Afterward, Washington manager Davey Johnson was asked if he

noticed any nervousness or changes in Zimmermann’s demeanor.

”Nope. He’s always the same,” Johnson said. ”He’s got great

composure out there. He was throwing the heck out of the ball from

the get-go.”

Drew Storen and Sean Burnett each threw an inning of relief and

Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his 19th save.

Washington center fielder Bryce Harper was a late scratch

because of a stomach virus and was replaced by Corey Brown.

Brown led off the fourth by homering to left field, his first

career hit giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead. It was the start of a

six-hit inning off Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (3-7).

With one out, Michael Morse singled and took second on a balk,

but was easily thrown out at home by right fielder Norichika Aoki

on Adam LaRoche’s single. The next batter, Tyler Moore, hit his

sixth homer to left for a 3-0 lead.

”It was one of those games where Zimmermann was on,” Wolf

said. ”I would have had to have thrown a shutout (to give the team

a chance to win). Zimmermann is probably the most underrated

pitcher. He has great numbers. I would have had to be near perfect

just to get a no-decision.”

Milwaukee’s run came in the fifth on Rickie Weeks’ 11th homer of

the season.

Wolf gave up four earned runs on nine hits in seven innings, as

the Brewers lost for the eighth time in nine games.

”It’s a lack of the whole team getting together offensively and

defensively,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. ”When you are

not consistent in those two parts for a long time, it is hard to

get on that winning streak. Sometimes we’re pitching well and we

are not scoring runs.”

NOTES: Johnson, who is now 100-83 with Washington, said Harper

will ”more than likely” play Sunday. . Brown was 0 for 10

entering the game. He was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday

and played in his 11th game for the Nationals in the last two

years. . Milwaukee backup catcher George Kottaras, who was

designated for assignment on Thursday, could be traded to Oakland

as soon as Sunday. Despite a rumor a deal was finalized Saturday

afternoon, Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin said before the

game that ”nothing is finalized.” . Weeks is 9 for 14 (.642) in

his last 14 at-bats. . The Brewers are 4-11 against the NL East. .

Johnson indicated infielder Chad Tracy might return Tuesday. He’s

been on the disabled list with a right groin tear since late