WASHINGTON – The grounder was hit sharply, and Brian Dozier couldn't come up with it. If the Minnesota Twins second baseman makes the play, the inning's over. He didn't, and the first of five Washington Nationals crossed the plate in the fifth inning.
"That's an error, and we just missed the ball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I know they gave it a hit, but this is the big leagues folks. That's an error. That's two steps to his right."
That was just one of the flubs in the field for the Twins in a 7-0 loss Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader. Not that they mattered much against one of the National League's top pitchers.
The Twins managed just two hits in seven innings against Jordan Zimmermann (9-3), who is tied for most wins in the majors. Minnesota managed only three hits for the game and failed to get a runner past second. Chris Parmelee accounted for two hits with a double and single.
"He was pretty good," Gardenhire said of Zimmermann, whom the Twins were seeing for the first time. "He was throwing the ball really well and we kind of missed a few plays out there and didn't get too many hits."
The Nationals, who hadn't scored more than three runs for seven straight games, scored a pair in the fourth and sent 10 hitters to the plate in the fifth as they chased Minnesota starter Scott Diamond (4-5), who lasted 4 2-3 innings, allowing 10 hits and seven runs, including six earned.
"I thought I was executing pretty well. Curveball was better than it's been. I was able to throw some pretty good changeups," Diamond said. "I'm really frustrated with the way it went and how it all played out in those last couple of innings for me. Nothing to really hang my head about. Just come back and continue to stay aggressive."
The runs in the fourth came with two outs when Anthony Rendon hit a sharp grounder to shortstop with men on second and third. Pedro Florimon made a nice diving stop, but first baseman Justin Morneau failed to come off the bag to field the late, off-target throw, allowing both runners to score.
"I think Morny knows he's got to come off the bag and keep that one there and we talked about that afterwards," Gardenhire said. "He didn't know if he had a chance to still get the runner, but he's got to make sure we stop that ball."
The fifth inning included three walks, two wild pitches and the misplay by Dozier. The bases were loaded with two outs — and the score was still a manageable 2-0 — after the Twins intentionally walked Jayson Werth to face Adam LaRoche.
But Dozier couldn't handle LaRoche's hot grounder.
NOTES: Twins RHP Ryan Pressley left the game with one out in the seventh with a sore right triceps. "He's OK," Gardenhire said. "Just said he felt something in the back of his arm and we just got him out of there. They brought him in here and checked him out. He should be just fine." ... Minnesota's Clete Thomas started in LF for the first time this season and threw out Werth at home in the fourth inning. ... The Twins recalled OF Chris Colabello from Triple-A Rochester as their 26th man for the doubleheader, while the Nationals recalled 1B-OF Chris Marrero from Triple-A Syracuse. Colabello struck out as a pinch hitter. ... Minnesota's Samuel Deduno (2-1) was scheduled to face Washington's Nate Karns (0-1) in the nightcap. ... The doubleheader was scheduled after Friday's series opener was rained out.