Zimmerman’s bat comes alive (Mets score nine in eighth, win 11-5)

NEW YORK - Manager Davey Martinez started the series here at Citi Field by saying they would not “tinker” with Ryan Zimmerman’s swing, despite a .111 start at the plate to begin the season.

Good thing he didn’t.

Zimmerman-Headfirst-Dive-Gray-Sidebar.jpgFacing Mets left-hander Steven Matz in the top of the first, Zimmerman got a hold of a 3-2 offering and drilled it over the center field wall for a 3-0 Nats lead. It was Zimmerman’s second homer of the season.

Howie Kendrick had beat out an infield single and Bryce Harper walked prior to Zimmerman’s blast.

The Nats have now scored 23 runs in the first inning, most in baseball.

Right-hander Tanner Roark produced a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, including a called third strike to the Mets Asdrúbal Cabrera.

But in the second, Roark walked Todd Frazier and Jose Lobaton. But Roark got Matz to pop up to center field to end the threat.

After two innings, the Nats lead the Mets 3-0.

Update: In the fourth, Roark allowed a RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez and a run-scoring fielder’s choice to Jose Lobaton. On that play, Zimmerman committed a fielding error trying to start a double play. The throw was way off line at second base, intended for Trea Turner.

Amed Rosario grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.

Matz finished four innings, allowing three runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. He threw 74 pitches, 46 for strikes.

Mid-fifth, the Nats lead the Mets 3-2.

Update II: Zimmerman tripled to lead off the seventh against Mets reliever Paul Sewald. He came home on a sacrifice fly to center field by Moisés Sierra. Sierra is 4-for-7 with two runs and RBI in the series. It was Zimmerman’s second triple of the season, first time he has had two or more triples in a season since 2013.

Mid-seventh, the Nats lead the Mets 4-2.

Update III: Roark recorded 11 outs in a row to finish off seven innings where he battled in and out of trouble and kept his club in the game. Huge start for the burly right-hander with the bullpen taxed the last few games, Roark went seven innings, allowed season-low two runs on two hits, three walks and struck out six, with one hit by pitch. He threw season-high 103 pitches, 61 for strikes. Ryan Madson in to pitch the eighth.

Mid-eighth, the Nats lead the Mets 4-2.

Update IV: Welp. The bullpen appeared exhausted for the Nationals after Roark pitched so well.

The Mets scored nine runs in the eighth, highlghted by a grand slam by Yoenis Céspedes and a two-run pinch-hit double for Juan Lagares. Ryan Madson allowed six runs on five hits in 2/3 of an inning.

After eight, the Mets lead the Nats 11-4.

Seth Lugo allowed solo homer to Zimmerman in the ninth, his second homer of the game.

The Nats still win two out of three in New York.

Final score: the Mets 11, the Nats 5.

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