Nationals 7, Twins 0

David Driver, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann remained nearly untouchable at home and the Nationals' dormant bats awoke for 14 hits to beat the Minnesota Twins, 7-0, on Sunday.
Rookie second baseman Anthony Rendon had run-scoring hits in the fourth and fifth and shortstop Ian Desmond had three hits and two RBIs for the Nationals (30-31), who scored five times in the fifth to break the game open.
Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Jeff Kobernus also had two hits for Washington.
It was the first of two games between the teams Sunday. The second game was set to begin at 7:05 p.m. EST.
The Nationals won for only the third time in nine games and Zimmermann (9-3) is 11-0 in his last 18 home starts and has not lost at Nationals Park since May 17, 2012.
Zimmerman entered the game with an ERA of 2.16, fifth in the league. The Wisconsin native has allowed only six earned runs in 51 innings at home this year.
This time, he went seven innings and allowed only two hits and no runs with eight strikeouts against the Twins (27-32), who have lost three of their last four games.
Rookie Ian Krol came in to pitch the eighth and Xavier Cedeno pitched the ninth for the Nationals, who had taken a 7-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI double by Rendon.
Earlier in the fifth, Desmond laced a two-run single to center to make it 5-0 as the Nationals chased Minnesota starter Scott Diamond (4-5), who allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.
LaRoche gave the Nationals a 3-0 lead in the fifth when, with the bases loaded, he hit a hard grounder that second baseman Brian Dozier could not come up, with as Steve Lombardozzi scored on what was ruled a single.
The Nationals had taken a 2-0 lead in the fourth, when Rendon singled home LaRoche from third.
Desmond also scored from second on the play as the throw from Twins' shortstop Pedro Florimon got past first baseman Justin Morneau on Rendon's infield hit.
Werth and LaRoche had singled with one out, but Werth was thrown out at the plate by Clete Thomas on a single to left by Desmond.
Washington center fielder Denard Span, who fouled a ball off his foot Saturday, did not play. He was replaced by rookie Kobernus, a natural second baseman.
Kobernus got his first big league hit in the third.
Minnesota reliever Ryan Pressly was taken out in the sixth after he was checked by the Twins' medical staff. He was replaced by Josh Roenicke, who was allowed extra time to warm up with Ryan Zimmerman at the plate.
Pressly left because of right triceps soreness and is listed as day-to-day.
NOTES: The Nationals recalled 1B/OF Chris Marrero from Triple-A Syracuse for the Sunday games. He was batting .306 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs for Syracuse, and hit .248 in 31 games for Washington in 2011. He pinch-hit in the seventh for Adam LaRoche and grounded out to shortstop. ... The Twins activated Chris Colabello for the Sunday games. He was batting .353 with 12 home runs and 41s RBI for Triple-A Rochester and entered Sunday with an average of .133 in 15 at bats for the Twins this season. He was retired as a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh. ... The Nationals unconditionally released LHP Zach Duke, who had been designated for assignment on Tuesday. ... Joe Mauer of the Twins was given his 101st intentional walk Saturday, as he moved past Rod Carew into fourth on the all-time list for Minnesota. After the walk in the 11th inning, Ryan Doumit came through with the game-winning hit. Mauer was not in the starting lineup for the first game Sunday.

What to Read Next