Zimmermann pitching in his home state against Brewers (Nats win 4-1)

The Nationals are looking to get off to a quick start against the Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park. The Nationals have lost the first game in six straight series dating back to July 8. Washington won the first game of the series against Milwaukee and San Diego at Nationals Park to begin the month of July.

Tom Gorzelanny made quick work of the Nationals in the first, getting Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman 1-2-3. Gorzelanny and Jordan Zimmermann are quick workers, so the batters will have to be ready when they step into the box.

In the second inning, Gorzelanny got hit on his pitching arm on a comebacker to the mound off the bat of Jayson Werth. He couldn’t make the play and Werth was safe with a single. Gorzelanny had to leave the game after recording only three outs, and he was replaced by right-hander Alfredo Figaro.

No score in the second inning.

Update: Zimmermann pitched around doubles by Jean Segura and Juan Francisco in the third and fourth innings respectively. Figaro has allowed only two singles by Werth but no runners past first base.

No score through four innings in Milwaukee.

Update II: Ian Desmond doubled off of Figaro in the fifth for the Nats’ first extra base hit of the game. With Denard Span batting, Desmond stole third base. The throw by Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy was not caught by Jeff Bianchi and went down the left field line; Desmond got up and ran home to give the Nationals the 1-0 lead. Bianchi was charged with the missed catch error on the play.

Update III: Bryce Harper hit a solo homer to lead off the sixth inning off of Burke Badenhop. Nationals lead 2-0 on Harper’s 16th homer of the season. The Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the inning, but Desmond grounded into a 5-4-3 twin-killing to end the inning. The Nationals settled for one run.

Update IV: Anthony Rendon’s run-scoring single off of John Axrod added to the Nationals’ lead in the seventh, 3-0. The base hit was one of four in the inning. The Nats have 10 hits on the night.

Update V: Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy hit a solo shot off of Tyler Clippard in the eighth to make it 3-1. Later, Clippard was able to strike out Juan Francisco to get of the frame.

The Nats tacked on an insurance run in the ninth, following an error by Rickie Weeks. Span crossed the plate for a 4-1 Nats lead.

Rafael Soriano came on for the last of the ninth and sat down the Brewers in order for his 27th save of the season. Nationals win 4-1.

Zimmermann (13-6) went six innings, allowing four doubles, no runs, four walks and five strikeouts for his first win since July 1, which was also against the Brewers. The win is his 13th of the season, a new career record, and he snapped a three-game skid.

The win for the Nationals was their first to open a series in their last seven attempts. The last time they won the first game of a series was against the Padres on July 5.

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