Zimmerman boosts streak, but Giants roll

BY foxsports • May 13, 2009

Randy Johnson struck out nine in his 298th career victory, and Randy Winn had three hits and scored three runs in the San Francisco Giants' 11-7 win over the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 29 games and went 4 for 5 with two homers for the Nationals, including a three-run shot in the ninth.

Zimmerman also hit a solo shot in the sixth off the 6-foot-10 Johnson (3-3), who yielded eight hits and four runs while outdueling 6-foot-9 Daniel Cabrera in the tallest pitching matchup in baseball history.

Travis Ishikawa had three hits and drove in two runs for the Giants, who produced their biggest run total of the season in their 14th victory in 20 games.

Johnson, San Francisco's 45-year-old left-hander, threw five strong innings before fading in the sixth after a long, chilly stroll around the basepaths while the Giants drew five consecutive walks and scored five unearned runs in their eighth straight victory over Washington.

The Giants had given Johnson more than one run of support just once this season before pounding Cabrera (0-4) for their fourth victory in five games. Cabrera gave up eight hits and six walks, including four straight free passes to close his 12th straight start without a victory.

At least Zimmerman wasted no time extending the longest hitting streak in the Nationals' brief history and the longest by a third baseman in a quarter-century when he slapped a first-inning single. With his ninth-inning shot off the tin covering on the right-field arcade, Zimmerman improved to 48 for 126 (.381) since the streak began.

Josh Willingham and Ronnie Belliard hit solo homers for Washington, which has the majors' worst record at 10-20.

After Zimmerman's two-out homer in the ninth off reliever Osiris Matos, Washington got two more runners on, forcing the Giants to use closer Brian Wilson. He struck out Willingham on three pitches for his eighth save in 10 opportunities.

The Big Unit and the towering Cabrera measure a combined 163 inches - one more than the combined heights of Cabrera and Mark Hendrickson on Sept. 1, 2004, in the previous record-holding matchup, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Giants rallied in the fifth because Willingham terribly misjudged Fred Lewis' two-out fly to left. The ball landed behind Willingham as he ran forward with his glove raised, allowing Pablo Sandoval and Winn to score.

Cabrera immediately fell apart, issuing four straight walks, one intentional. Reliever Logan Kensing then walked Sandoval to put the Giants up 8-2.


Ishikawa tumbled headfirst into the seats along the first-base line in the second inning to catch a foul pop by Wil Nieves. ... Willingham's homer was the 400th allowed in Johnson's career. Jamie Moyer is the only active pitcher to give up more homers. ... Matos beat out a single to shallow right field in the eighth for his first major-league hit and RBI.

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