May 30, 2013, 4:12 AM EDT
BALTIMORE — There should be no surer thing for the Nationals right now than Jordan Zimmermann on the mound in the seventh inning with a three-run lead.
Even though the ball had been flying out of Camden Yards all night Wednesday — Ryan Zimmerman, for crying out loud, clubbed three homers in his first three at-bats — Zimmermann had been able to keep the Orioles’ potent lineup mostly in check. And now as this game was moving into its final stages, the right-hander and unofficial ace of the staff should have been primed to put the finishing touches on this Nationals victory.
And then … well, let Davey Johnson explain how that seemingly comfortable lead morphed into an agonizing, 9-6 loss amid a sudden barrage of Baltimore home runs.
“That one hurt,” the veteran manager said. “It’s a tough ballpark to pitch in, and one little mistake … you let them get something going and the momentum shifts real quick. I thought Zim had pretty good stuff, but this ballpark can eat you alive.”
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