WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper homered in his first at-bat after coming off the disabled list, and Jordan Zimmermann earned his 12th victory to tie for the major league lead as the Washington Nationals built a big advantage and held on for a 10-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.
After missing 31 games with left knee bursitis, Harper continued his flair for the dramatic by depositing the second pitch he saw from Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo into the left field bullpen for his 13th homer of the season, drawing a curtain call from the appreciative crowd.
Zimmermann (12-3) was just as impressive, continuing his dominant run at home by handcuffing Milwaukee. Pitching aggressively with a big lead, he allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings -- only the third time this season he's given up more than three runs.
The only other major league pitcher with 12 wins in Detroit's Max Scherzer.
Zimmermann is now 14-0 in his last 21 starts at Nationals Park, and he helped his cause with a career-high three hits.
Gallardo (6-8) gave up a season-high eight runs in three-plus innings as the skidding Brewers lost their sixth straight.
Rickie Weeks and Juan Francisco homered for Milwaukee.
Jayson Werth drove in a season-high five runs for the Nationals, who moved two games over .500 (42-40) for the first time since May 28.
One game after scoring 13 runs, the Nationals didn't skip a beat, hammering Gallardo early.
With the Nationals already ahead 1-0, Zimmermann started a five-run, third-inning rally by doubling down the left field line and moving to third on a wild pitch.
Denard Span fouled off a host of tough pitches before drawing a walk, and then Werth laced a double into the left-center gap to make it 3-0 Washington.
Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond delivered consecutive RBI hits to put the Nationals up 6-0.
After playing a 14-inning affair Sunday, Milwaukee (32-49) wanted to rest its weary bullpen, but Washington continued to tee off in the fourth. Zimmermann registered his second hit of the game to set up another spurt that saw Gallardo exit, leaving the Brewers in an 8-0 hole.
NOTES: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he's not concerned with the trade rumors swirling around his disappointing team. "Every veteran's name is going to come up, and a lot of times, there's nothing to it," he said. ... RHP Erik Davis had a short stay with the Nationals, getting sent down to Triple-A Syracuse on Monday to make room for Harper on the roster, just two days after being called up to the big-league squad. ... Milwaukee LHP Tom Gorzelanny, a former National, spent a portion of the pregame shaking hands and receiving hugs from his former teammates and coaches.. ... Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg will start against the Brewers on Tuesday, the only NL team he has yet to face during his career. RHP Wily Peralta will pitch for Milwaukee.