May 2, 2013, 1:25 AM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
Ian Desmond rounds the bases after his fourth-inning homer.
Game in a nutshell: In a game the Nationals absolutely needed to win, who better to send to the mound than Jordan Zimmermann? The right-hander once again was brilliant, tossing eight scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and striking out eight. The Nationals didn't offer him much run support, but they got the one big blow they needed when Ian Desmond launched a two-run homer in the top of the fourth. They also suffered another potentially crushing injury when Bryce Harper appeared to tweak something on a sixth-inning swing and had to leave the game. No matter, Zimmermann took care of things for eight innings, then handed it over to Rafael Soriano to close out the ninth. Thus the Nationals finally beat the Braves for the first time in 10 tries and got themselves back to the .500 mark with one more game to go in this big series.
Hitting highlight: Desmond had never hit cleanup before in the big leagues, but he certainly looked comfortable in the role tonight. Pressed into services with Jayson Werth and Ryan ZimmermanRead more »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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