Finally, some offense.
It was just the Nationals’ fourth hit of the ballgame, but it did the trick.
Jordan Zimmermann is now off the hook, and while he still won’t leave Nats Park with his first win of the season, he also won’t get another tough-luck loss.
The Nats had a chance to take the lead after Bernadina’s double, as manager Davey Johnson pinch hit Steve Lombardozzi for Zimmermann. Lombardozzi walked and Bernadina stole third, but Ian Desmond popped out to end the threat.
Two runs in one inning would just be too much to ask for.
We can close the book on Zimmermann, who went seven innings, allowing one run on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He threw 86 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Update: The Astros immediately answered the Nats’ run with one of their own in the top of the eighth, and they now have a 2-1 lead.
Jason Castro doubled off Nats reliever Ryan Mattheus leading off the eighth, and after Mattheus set down the next two Astros hitters (with a major assist to Ryan Zimmerman, who made two diving plays), Jordan Schafer smacked an RBI single to right, scoring Castro.
It took the Nats seven innings to get one run tonight. Now they’ll need to get at least one more with just six outs to work with.
Update II: Forget the six out. The Nats got all the runs they needed in the eighth, and the bottom of the ninth wasn’t necessary.
Washington scored twice in the eighth inning, with Jayson Werth’s bases loaded walk tying the game and Wilson Ramos’ sacrifice fly giving the Nats a 3-2 lead after eight.
Henry Rodriguez closed it out with a perfect ninth, and the Nats have secured their fourth straight series win and improve to 10-3 on the season.