Nationals 4, Brewers 1

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Jordan Zimmermann threw six shutout innings and Bryce Harper hit his 16th home run of the season, leading the Washington Nationals to a 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Friday night at Miller Park.
Zimmermann (13-6) came into the game looking to snap out of a funk. In his previous four outings, he was 0-3 with a 7.52 ERA and had given up 12 runs in his last 8 2/3 innings of work.
The right-hander still struggled at times with command on Friday, giving up four hits -- all doubles -- and four walks, but struck out five and kept the Brewers off the board to win for the first time since July 6.
The sixth-inning home run from Harper provided a 2-0 cushion for Zimmermann, who gave way to pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina in the seventh.
Alfredo Figaro (1-3) took the loss for Milwaukee, despite pitching four solid innings of relief of starter Tom Gorzelanny, who left the game after being struck by a line drive in the second inning. Figaro gave up a run on two hits with a strikeout.
Jonathan Lucroy ended the shutout with a solo homer to center in the eighth, his 16th of the season.
Milwaukee had a chance to take the lead in the fourth. Carlos Gomez drew a leadoff walk and stole second. With one out and Juan Francisco batting, Gomez was caught trying to steal third. Francisco followed with a double off the wall in center but was left stranded on Jeff Bianchi's strikeout.
The Nationals got on the board in the fifth in similar fashion.
Ian Desmond opened with a double and, with Denard Span batting, Desmond attempted to steal third. Third baseman Bianchi mishandled Lucroy's throw, allowing Span to reach third and continue on to score, giving Washington a 1-0 lead.
The Brewers put runners at the corners in the bottom of the fifth, but Lucroy grounded into a force at second, ending the threat.
Gorzelanny had made quick work of the Nationals before Jayson Werth opened the second inning with a line-drive base hit that hit Gorzelanny on the left elbow.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke and members of the training staff checked on Gorzelanny, who attempted to throw a practice pitch before being removed from the game with a left elbow contusion.
X-rays on the elbow did not reveal structural damage.
After Harper homered in the sixth, Anthony Rendon singled in a run in the seventh to give Washington a 3-0 lead.
NOTES: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that discussions over his recently signed contract extension and promotion to President of Baseball Operations had been in the works for several months, despite Washington's 52-56 record so far in 2013. ... Zimmermann grew up a few hours north of Milwaukee and played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. ... The game started 20 minutes late due to a ceremony honoring former Brewers start Robin Yount. ... Spin Williams, the Nationals' minor league pitching coordinator, is serving as the team's pitching coach this weekend while Steve McCatty recovers from an irregular heartbeat that landed him in the hospital earlier this week.

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