Who says pitchers can’t hit? (Nats trail 5-3 after seven)

What is it with Nationals starting pitchers with a bat in their hands?

Jordan Zimmermann became the latest starting hurler to homer, crushing a Carlos Zambrano pitch to left-center for a 1-0 lead over the Marlins in the third inning. It was his first career homer.

Last night, you’ll recall, Gio Gonzalez - who only had to wield a bat in anger in a rare interleague start as an Oakland A before this year - ripped a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 2-2. It was his first career RBI.

Last weekend, Stephen Strasburg homered against the Orioles. On Friday night, Chien-Ming Wang drew a walk against the Braves and scored.

Normally, the No. 9 spot in a National League batting order is a black hole. Not so in Washington, where the starting five is 17-for-85 (.200). Only Ross Detwiler (0-for-13) has yet to get a hit, and he’s now moving to the bullpen.

Strasburg is hitting .389 (7-for-18), Edwin Jackson is batting .211 (4-for-19) and Gonzalez is hitting .111 (2-for-18) and showing an aggressive streak at the plate. With his solo shot today, Zimmermann’s average is up to .232.

Update: Logan Morrison’s third homer of the year tied it at 1-1 in the Miami fourth.

Update II: Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run double to left-center makes it 3-1 in the top of the fifth.

Update III: Gioancarlo Stanton has just hit a two-run homer off Zimmermann to tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning. Stanton has three lifetime hits against Zimmermann - all homers.

A sacrifice fly by Chris Coghlan gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead in the sixth. Zimmermann is out for pinch hitter Roger Bernadina after pitching six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, walking none and striking out four.

Update IV: A sac fly off the bat of Hanley Ramirez has increased the Marlins’ lead to 5-3 after seven innings.

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