Nationals 7, Royals 2

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Washington Nationals used a big fourth inning for the second straight night to defeat the Kansas City Royals 7-2 Saturday night in front of 28,023 at Kauffman Stadium.

Jordan Zimmermann (15-7) picked up the win for the Nationals, who moved above .500 for the first time since the last game before the All-Star break. The 15 wins ties him with the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright for the National League lead. Zimmermann gave up two runs on eight hits (all singles) over 7 2/3 innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts. He retired 11 in a row at one point.

Chad Tracy's two-run single capped the big inning for Washington, who put a seven-spot on the Royals in the fourth inning Friday night.

Wade Davis (6-10) gave up seven runs on eight hits in six innings to take the loss. The Royals fell back to .500 for the first time July 28. They've lost seven straight and 10 of 12 since reaching a season-high eight games over on Aug. 12.

The Nationals scored their four runs in the fourth after Kansas City had tied the score in the bottom of the third. Davis had recorded seven straight outs and momentum seemed to have switched.

In the sixth, Ian Desmond hit a two-run home run to put the game out of reach.

The Royals got a second run in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Mike Moustakas. But a night after scoring 10 runs, the Royals scored just two runs with no extra-base hits.

Davis got help from his defense to avoid major damage in the first. He gave up singles to the first three batters, but Alex Gordon's AL-leading 11th outfield assist gunned down Ryan Zimmerman at second after the second hit. Bryce Harper's single scored Denard Span, but a nifty 4-6-3 double play ended the inning.

That settled Davis for a while, as he retired the next seven batters, including three strikeouts.

The Royals' offense, meanwhile, finally had some success against Zimmermann in the third. Alcides Escobar led off with a single. With one out, Emilio Bonifacio legged out an infield hit. Eric Hosmer lined a single up the middle, scoring Escobar with the tying run. Billy Butler grounded into a double play to end the threat.

But the Nationals unloaded with four runs in the top of the fourth. Zimmerman led off with a walk and Harper followed with a single, moving Zimmerman to third. Wilson Ramos scored Zimmerman with a sacrifice fly. Tyler Moore drove in Harper with a double, followed by a two-run single by Tracy.

NOTES: OF Jayson Werth was held out of the Nationals' lineup with an infection between the fourth and fifth toes on his right foot. ... The seven runs the Nationals scored in the fourth inning Friday were the most in an inning this season. ... C Salvador Perez was out of Kansas City's starting lineup, but manager Ned Yost said it was only a day off. Kansas City is in the midst of 44 games in 44 days. They had their only day off Aug. 19, but played a doubleheader at Detroit on Aug. 16.
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