BALTIMORE - Have a night, Ryan Zimmerman. Have a night.
Zimmerman has stepped into the batter's box here at Camden Yards three times tonight. He's launched three home runs.
The first went out to left-center, a frozen rope in the first inning that got out of here in a hurry. The second was a high flyball to dead center in the fourth that flew well over the wall. The third was a shot to right-center in the fifth, one that landed a couple rows deep.
Zimmerman now has six homers on the season and he's upped his RBI total to 28, overtaking Adam LaRoche for the team lead.
Zimmerman joins Adam Dunn (July 7, 2010 against the Padres) and Alfonso Soriano (April 21, 2006 against the Braves) as the only Nationals to homer three times in a game.
The fun part for Nationals fans is that we're just in the fifth inning, and the Nats are turning the lineup over in a hurry.
Zimmerman is likely to get at least two more cracks at a four-homer night if things keep going at this rate.
Over his last 20 games, Zimmerman has posted a slash line of .384/.451/.630. Pretty decent, I guess.
The Nats now have a 6-2 lead in the fifth. Chris Tillman has been pulled after just 4 2/3 innings, with Steve Johnson coming on in relief.
Update: After homering in his first three at-bats tonight, Zimmerman struck out looking at an 89 mph fastball on the outer-half from Steve Johnson to end the seventh.
Cut the bum.
Zimmerman will need three Nats to reach over the next two innings in order to have another shot at becoming just the 17th player in major league history to have a four-homer game.
Update II: This game is just wild.
The Nats once led 6-2, with all eyes on Zimmerman as he gunned for history. Now, they trail by three after the Orioles have rattled off seven runs in the last two innings to take a 9-6 lead after seven.
Zimmermann is now out of the game, and he's on the hook for the loss. Coming into tonight, Zimmermann had allowed just six earned runs in his last six outings combined and had surrendered just three homers on the season overall.
Tonight, he gave up seven runs (including three homers) on 10 hits.
Chris Davis has two home runs tonight, including a two-run shot off Tyler Clippard in the seventh that gave the O's their three-run lead. Steve Pearce also crushed a two-run shot in the seventh.
These two teams have combined for 20 hits tonight. Eight of those have been homers. And we've played just seven innings.
The Nats have not come back from a deficit of more than two runs to win a game this season. If they can do it, tonight might be the night.