The stellar starts keep coming from Jordan Zimmermann (Nats win 3-1)

OK, so it wasn’t a complete-game one-hitter.

He didn’t allow just two baserunners over eight innings.

But Jordan Zimmermann turned in another gem tonight, and he did it against arguably the most dangerous offensive team in baseball.

Zimmermann went seven innings, allowing just one run on seven hits. He walked two, struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 1.59.

Over his last three starts, against the Reds, Braves and Tigers - all potent lineups - Zimmermann has allowed just one run on 10 hits, with 19 strikeouts in 24 innings of work.

Is he an ace? Yeah, he’s an ace.

Zimmermann hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his seven outings this season. He has worked fewer than six innings in just one of those starts. He has six quality starts thus far.

The right-hander is in line for his sixth win of the season as we head to the eighth.

The Nationals, meanwhile, knocked Anibal Sanchez from the game after six innings of work, and if the score holds, they’ll stick Sanchez with his first loss in 20 career starts against the Nationals.

Tyler Clippard will work the eighth for the Nats, with Rafael Soriano looming in the ninth.

Update: Clippard retired Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to open the eighth, then issued back-to-back walks. He needed 10 two-strike, two-out pitches to finally get out of the frame.

But eventually, he retired the side.

Clippard struck out Alex Avila with his 34th pitch of the inning, stranding two runners and keeping the score 3-1 as we go to the bottom of the eighth. Soriano is warming as the Nats attempt to add some insurance runs off the Detroit bullpen.

The Nats are three defensive outs from their fifth win in their last six games.

Update II: That’ll do it. Soriano locks up his 11th save in 12 tries, and the Nats beat the Tigers 3-1.

Zimmermann improves to 6-1 on the season, Bryce Harper reaches a double-digit home run total and the Nats finally notch their first ever win over Sanchez.

The Nats improve to 18-15 on the season.

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