WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ryan Zimmerman is quickly building a
reputation for clutch home runs.
It was Zimmerman's second game-winning homer in less than three
weeks. He hit a two-run homer in the ninth to beat the New York
Yankees 3-2 on June 18.
"They're all good," Zimmerman said. "Can't take away anything
from a game-winning hit. They're all special."
Zimmerman hit a 2-2 pitch from Florida closer Joe Borowski (0-2)
over the left-field fence with Robert Fick on second and All-Star
Alfonso Soriano on first. Zimmerman flipped off his helmet as he
approached home plate and leaped into a mob of jubilant teammates.
"You sit in the dugout and dream -- nothing wrong with that,"
Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "And sometimes, it comes
The Nationals won their fourth straight and second in four days
on a game-ending home run. Nick Johnson homered to give the
Nationals a win over Tampa Bay on Saturday.
The Marlins have dropped three in a row.
Robert Fick and Alfonso Soriano singled with one out in the
ninth. Jose Vidro then flied out to set it up for Zimmerman, who
lined a slider from Borowski over the left-field fence.
"I didn't know. I knew I hit it pretty good. But I really
didn't know," Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman, a rookie, has 56 RBI, and has played the last two
games as the Nationals' third hitter in the batting order.
"He doesn't play like a rookie, like the average rookie,"
Robinson said. "You all heard the accolades that was thrown at him
and thrown on him. He's showing some of that. He's a very special
individual. They don't come along often."
Chad Cordero (4-3) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win.
The Marlins took a 4-3 lead after All-Star Miguel Cabrera scored
on a botched double play in the eighth. With runners at first and
second, Joe Borchard hit a grounder to third baseman Zimmerman, who
went to second for the forceout. But Jose Vidro's relay throw to
first bounced in the dirt and bounded away from Nick Johnson.
Cabrera raced in from third and beat Johnson's throw to the
plate to give the Marlins the lead.
Borowski entered with the bases loaded and one out in the
eighth, but he got two outs to work out of the jam. Fick's one-out
single in the ninth barely went over Ramirez's glove at shortstop,
and Soriano reached on a high popup that landed in shallow center
One batter later, Zimmerman ended the game with the home run.
"It's unfortunate because Joe did a great job," Florida
manager Joe Girardi said. "Fick's base hit, Soriano's base hit, he
threw one pitch that they hit hard, it cost us the game. And it's
unfortunate, because he did an awesome job."
John Patterson allowed two runs and four hits, walked one and
struck out five in five innings for the Nationals. He is winless in
three starts since returning from two months on the disabled list
with a right forearm strain.
After retiring the first nine batters he faced, Patterson
struggled in the fourth. Ramirez walked and scored on All-Star Dan
Uggla's RBI double. Uggla then scored on Cabrera's single to make
The Marlins' last blown save was May 20 against Tampa Bay.
... Nationals LHP Mike Stanton, who pitched a scoreless sixth,
appeared in his 1,072nd game, breaking a tie with Dennis Eckersley
for third on baseball's career appearances list. Jesse Orosco is
the leader with 1,252 games pitched, followed by John Franco's
1,119. ... Nationals utility player Marlon Anderson sat out the
game with a strained ribcage muscle on his left side. He is listed
as day to day. ... Soriano's two steals in the first inning gave
him 20 for the season to go along with 26 home runs. He is the
franchise's first 20-20 player since Vladimir Guerrero did it for
the Montreal Expos in 2002. ... Patterson left his last start on
June 29 after three innings because of fatigue in his throwing arm.
... Olsen has allowed three runs or less and lasted at least six
innings in his last seven starts, but he is winless in his last
three outings. ... The announced attendance was 23,118. On July 4,
2005, a sellout crowd of 44,331 saw the first-place Nationals lose
to the New York Mets.