Jordan Zimmermann is on fire.
Last time out, Zimmermann threw eight shutout innings against the Philadelphia Phillies with four strikeouts. Sunday, he was even better, dominating the San Diego Padres for a complete game shutout. He allowed just two hits — with no walks — and a career-high 12 strikeouts in a 6-0 win at Petco Park. It’s the Nats seventh in their last nine games.
Zimmermann threw 83 of his 114 pitches for strikes and didn’t give up a hit until one out in the sixth inning. The stoic righty runs his season record to 5-2 with a 3.17 ERA. It was the fourth 10+ strikeout game of Zimmermann’s career and the first since 2012.
The Nats got busy early against Padres starter Eric Stults. Denard Span led the game off with a double to the right center gap, then stole third base and scored on Kevin Frandsen’s ground out.
In the second inning, Ryan Zimmerman led off with a single and Ian Desmond followed with his 13th home run of the season, drilling a 1-0 fastball over the fence in straight-away center.
Washington broke it open in the third. Frandsen led off with a single and went to second on Jayson Werth’s flare to right field. Adam LaRoche lined a single to left and Frandsen scored. After Zimmerman lined out to first, Desmond’s sharp grounder bounced off second baseman Alexi Amarista into short right field which loaded the bases with one out.
That was all for Stults, but the Nats weren’t done yet. Danny Espinosa greeted reliever Tim Stauffer’s first pitch with a line drive single to right field. Werth and LaRoche both scored on the play to put the Nats up 6-0.
After that, it was all Zimmermann.
The Nats head up the coast to take on the San Francisco Giants in a four-game set starting Monday. Stephen Strasburg (5-4, 3.10) faces Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 3.39) in the opener at 10:15 pm Eastern.