Zimmermann a hard-luck loser

Jordan Zimmermann and losses are two things that haven’t been paired together too often this year.

But on a night when the Nationals right-hander lowered his already-stellar ERA from 1.69 to 1.62, he absorbed just his second loss of the season, snapping a personal four-game winning streak with a 2-1 defeat against the Padres.

Zimmermann (7-2) pitched his major league-best third complete game of the year, but was burned by his own error - a pickoff throw that got past first and put speedster Alexi Amarista on second in the eighth. Amarista came around to score on a single that same at-bat.

But even with that, you can’t fault Zimmermann for this one. He held the Padres to one earned run on seven hits. He fanned six and walked none.

Zimmermann has now permitted just four earned runs in 39 2/3 innings over his last five starts for a 0.91 ERA.

Even though the result wasn’t the same, the quality of Zimmermann’s pitching was. He has now pitched at least into the eighth in four of his last five starts.

The Nats only provided minimal support, however, managing just four hits, all off Padres starter Eric Stults, who matched Zimmermann with eight strong innings. Stults gave up one run, walked two and fanned five.

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