Washington righty Jordan Zimmermann aims to win his seventh straight decision on Tuesday when the Washington Nationals continue a three- game series with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
Zimmermann was terrific against the Houston Astros on Thursday, scattering three hits with 11 strikeouts in six scoreless innings to improve to 9-6, while lowering his National League-best ERA to 2.35.
He has allowed one earned run or less in 14 of his 23 starts this year.
"I feel like I have a pretty good season going right now," Zimmermann said. "I just want to finish strong and not fall off toward the end, and I guess whatever awards are out there, hopefully I get mentioned in some of them, but the main goal right now is to make the playoffs."
Zimmermann beat the Giants the last time he faced them and is 3-1 with a 3.19 ERA in five starts.
If Washington's offense delivers for Zimmermann the way it did in Monday's opener the Nationals will be well on their way to another series win. Danny Espinosa crushed a two-run home run among his four hits, knocked in three runs and scored three times, as Washington routed the Giants, 14-2.
Kurt Suzuki plated a season-high four runs, Roger Bernadina knocked in three, and Washington pounded out 21 hits to set a new single-game mark for the most hits in AT&T Park's 1,032-game history.
"It was fun watching the offense. We beat up on a pretty good pitcher," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
Gio Gonzalez (15-6) allowed two runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings to move into a tie for the NL lead in wins with New York's R.A. Dickey and Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto.
Ryan Vogelsong (10-6) was tagged for eight runs on nine hits and two walks over just 2 2/3 innings, snapping a streak of 22 straight starts in which he's pitched at least six innings.
"There's not a lot to say," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "(Vogelsong) has been so good and had some tough luck along with the base hits. This guy has been as consistent as anybody and they placed the ball well tonight. It's just one of those days."
Hoping to slow down the Nats tonight will be righty Madison Bumgarner, who is 12-7 with a 3.08 ERA. Bumgarner lost to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, allowing three runs and three hits in six innings of a 3-1 loss.
Bumgarner was hit hard by the Nats back on July 4, as he surrendered seven runs in five innings. He is 1-2 in three starts against them with a 4.00 ERA.
Washington swept the Giants earlier in the season in D.C.