Posted July 04, 2012 on
AP on Fox
San Francisco Giants
Ryan Zimmerman's line drive to right-center kept going - and going and going - until it landed in the first row, highlighting another big Fourth of July for the resurgent third baseman as the NL East-leading Washington Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants 9-4 Wednesday.
Zimmerman missed another home run by inches - he had to settle for an RBI double - on a humid day when the ball carried well at Nationals Park. He is 10 for 20 with four homers and 13 RBIs in six Independence Day games.
Undeterred by an 11:08 a.m. holiday start time that followed a late-finishing game, Washington rallied from an early deficit to move 15 games above .500, matching its season-high.
Edwin Jackson (5-4) settled down after a three-run first and allowed four runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. Three relievers combined to shut down the Giants the rest of the way.
Madison Bumgarner (10-5) followed last week's one-hit shutout of the Cincinnati Reds with one of his rockiest outings. He was done after five-plus innings and gave up three home runs, matching a career high. He allowed seven runs total, more than in his previous four starts combined.
Washington has scored 18 runs in the first two games of the series and will go for the sweep Thursday. The Giants have lost four of five - and have allowed nine-plus runs in consecutive games for the first time since 2009.
Zimmerman is batting .386 (17 for 44) since receiving a cortisone shot in his sore right shoulder on June 24. He was in a 5-for-49 slump at the time, and the travails of the team's No. 3 hitter were becoming a concern in a mostly positive first-half of the season.
Zimmerman drilled a line drive his first time up - but it turned into an out after Bumgarner made a nice slide in the grass to retrieve the ball after it hit the pitcher in the leg.
No one got in the way of Zimmerman his next two times up. His double that peppered the left field wall was part of a three-run third, and he and Michael Morse hit back-to-back opposite-field homers in a three-run fifth.
Rookie Jhonatan Solano joined in the offense in the fourth inning, hitting a liner similar to Zimmerman's. It initially looked like a gapper but carried into the seats for his second career homer in his ninth major league game. Rick Ankiel added a two-run, fly-ball homer in the eighth.
Nationals starter Jackson has a tendency to struggle in the first inning, and Wednesday was no exception. He walked Gregor Blanco to start the game and soon was behind 3-0 after Pablo Sandoval put a belt-high fastball over the center field wall.
NOTES: The Giants trickled into their clubhouse around 9 a.m., their body clocks on West Coast time and their bodies still weary from the rain-delayed game the night before. ''We'll get some caffeine in us, some Red Bull, some coffee, something like that and push through it,'' Giants SS Brandon Crawford said. At least the early start left plenty of time to celebrate the holiday in the nation's capital, which held its traditional fireworks display on the Mall. ''Yeah, get the rest of the night off,'' Crawford said. ''You get to spend July 4 with the guys. So it will be fun.'' ... The Nationals returned C Sandy Leon from rehab, reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Double-A Harrisburg. ... Matt Cain starts for the Giants in Thursday's series finale, facing Ross Detwiler of the Nationals.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Nationals slugger Bryce Harper said if he wasn't a 19-year-old MLB phenom, he thinks he would have chosen to become a firefighter.
Rookie phenom Bryce Harper is the owner of customized Mercedes Benz CLS that features his initials and the team's logo, among many other bells and whistles.
The Washington Nationals have reached the point where they can hold news conferences to brag about what they've done - instead of what they hope to do.
The NL East leaders put Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Ian Desmond at the featured table Tuesday to discuss their selections to the All-Star game. It's the first time Washington has sent more than one player to the classic...
That’s a clown pie, bro.
Jayson Werth gave the 19-year-old a shaving cream pie to the face after the Nationals defeated the Giants 9-4 on July 4th. It’s all fun and games right now in Washington as they have the best record in the NL and a four-game lead in the East. The Nationals haven’t seen this much potential since, I don’t know, 1994 when the team was in Montreal...
CLOWN GESTURE, BRO
(Video above via @JakeRussell)
Because nothing says "Fourth of July" like Bryce Harper in his official Under Armour "Don't Be a Clown Bro" t-shirt, getting a shaving cream pie in the face from Jayson Werth on MLB Network after the Nats beat down the Giants.
(Screencap via @recordsANDradio)
Befriend the Nats Enquirer on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
July 4th, 2012, and the Nationals have the best record in the National League? Happy 4th of July, indeed.
Up above, (photo via @NationalsPR) a sampling of the patriotic gear the Nats are wearing for their 11 AM game this morning against the Giants...
Befriend the Nats Enquirer on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
Yesterday was pretty much the ideal 4th of July, other than I had to return to work today. And I didn’t have even a drop of alcohol.
One of the things that made it perfect was there was baseball on starting at 11:00 AM ET in the nation’s capital. Bryce Harper, Mike Morse, Ryan Zimmerman (all fantasy teamers of mine) were destroying Madison Bumgarner (fantasy teamer I cut prematurely...
Bryce Harper debuted his new Under Armour “Don’t Be A Clown Bro” shirt during a MLB Network post-game interview this afternoon, but that wasn’t the real highlight. The original Nats bro, Jayson Werth, interrupted the interview with a shaving cream pie to Harper’s face. Yes, Bro Harper got clowned by Bro Werth and Internet bros totally lost it. Who’s rushing out to get...
All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond hit his 14th home run, and the Washington Nationals became the latest team to beat up on Tim Lincecum, pounding the struggling right-hander hard early and often Tuesday night in a 9-3 victory.
The opener of the three-game series between first-place teams was barely a contest. Jordan Zimmermann (5-6) pitched a rain-shortened six innings and again enjoyed...
The NL East-leading Washington Nationals haven't been this far above .500 since 2005.
The Colorado Rockies are at their lowest point since that same season.
Coming off an abbreviated outing, Nationals All-Star right-hander Stephen Strasburg will try to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time in Friday night's series opener against the visiting Rockies.
Mike Rizzo’s Washington Nationals lead the National League East by 4-1/2 games, and he says he doesn’t feel pressure to make a big move at this month’s non-waiver trade deadline.
“We’re always looking to upgrade, if there’s an upgrade we can make and it fits for us in the long term,” the general manager said in an interview this week with FOXSports.com. “We’re always...
We've hit the quarter-century mark of the podcast, and it was conveniently the All-Star edition of the podcast. None-the-less, we start the podcast talking about former (and future) All-Star Ryan Zimmerman and his recent hot streak. We also talk about the current All-Stars, and we compare the 2012 Washington Nationals to the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants as...