“He obviously does not want to be a part timer,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said of Zobrist, who has played second on a regular basis since Akinori Iwamura(notes) was lost for the season with a left knee injury on May 24.
“You’ve got to keep pushing, pushing, pushing,” Maddon said.
“I made some good pitches when I had to,” Zimmermann said. “I had to battle pretty much every inning. I’d either walk a guy or they’d get a leadoff hit. It was a constant battle the five innings.”
Zobrist followed with a three-run shot—he has a career-high 13 homers this year, including five in his past 11 games.
“I feel good about playing anywhere,” Zobrist said. “I like being in the lineup, so if I can get in there wherever it is, I’m not going to be picky. I’m just feeling great about how the season has gone so far.”
“I didn’t have a great sinker. I was trying to throw a strike instead of a good pitch and I think I made a mistake in that,” Bergmann said.
The Rays have scored five or more runs in an inning 17 times this season, the most in the majors.
Zimmerman hit a solo homer in the first. The Nationals loaded the bases with no outs in the third, and Zimmerman had an RBI grounder.
“That was a key for us,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said of the third. “I thought that was an inning where we could have scored more runs and we couldn’t do much. We felt we had Andy on the ropes, but we couldn’t deliver a knockout punch.”
Pena homered in the fourth.
Longoria, who returned to the lineup Monday after being limited to pinch-hitting because of tightness in his left hamstring for six games, went 2 for 4. He has three hits in his last 26 at-bats, and struck out in the first and third innings with a runner in scoring position.
“I don’t know what level, but there is concern,” Maddon said.
Isringhausen underwent tests after the game. The Rays said there would be more information on the injury Sunday.
NOTES: Iwamura will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his knee on June 22. … Nationals OF Josh Willingham(notes) was placed on the bereavement list after his younger brother was killed in a car accident Friday night. … Sonnanstine has allowed 13 homers in his last seven starts, including five over the past two outings. … Tropicana Field (32 games) and Yankee Stadium (31 games) are the only stadiums in the majors where at least one homer has been hit in every game this season.