Jordan Zimmermann threw 7 2/3 solid innings and the Washington Nationals won their fifth straight game with a 7-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
Zimmermann (15-7) fanned seven and gave up two runs on eight hits in the second test of this three-game series. This came after surrendering eight runs, including three home runs, over five frames against the Cubs on Monday.
Ian Desmond had a two-run home run. Chad Tracy also drove in two runs while Tyler Moore, Wilson Ramos and Bryce Harper had an RBI apiece for the Nationals, whose offense has been red-hot as of late. They have scored 38 runs over their winning streak.
"We're getting a lot of runs and we're pitching a little bit better," Zimmermann said.
Wade Davis (6-10) gave up all seven runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings for the Royals, who have lost seven in a row.
"I'm not going to figure it out. What's going to happen is we're going to get some hits and we're going to win a game and then we're going to come back and we're going to get on a roll again," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
The Nationals got on the board immediately. Denard Span, Ryan Zimmerman and Harper hit consecutive singles, the last of which drove in a run, to start the game.
In the third, Alcides Escobar led off with a single. After Alex Gordon flew out, Emilio Bonifacio and Eric Hosmer hit back-to-back singles, with Hosmer scoring Escobar, to tie the game at 1-1.
Washington retook the lead in the fourth. Zimmerman walked to begin the frame and Harper singled to right, before Ramos plated Zimmerman with a sacrifice fly.
Later in the inning, Moore knocked a two-out RBI double to left and Tracy drove in two with a base hit to left-center.
Desmond extended the Nationals lead with a two-run shot in the sixth.
Meanwhile, the Royals struggled to get runs across. They had an opportunity in the fourth, putting runners in scoring position with two outs, but Escobar grounded out to end the inning. They were retired in short order over the next three innings, before finally scoring in the eighth.
Bonifacio drew a one-out walk and Billy Butler hit a two-out infield single. Zimmermann was replaced by Fernando Abad, who gave up an RBI single to Mike Moustakas. He then walked Justin Maxwell to load the bases, but ended the rally by striking out David Lough.
Tyler Clippard finished the game with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Tracy recorded his first multi-RBI game since May 5, 2012 ... Ramos has eight RBI over his last 11 games ... Span has hit safely in eight straight and 13 of his last 15 contests ... Royals reliever Luke Hochevar threw three perfect innings. It was his longest appearance since May 13, when he pitched three innings against the Angels ... The Royals are 33-33 at home ... Washington's Dan Haren is scheduled to face Kansas City's Ervin Santana in Sunday's series finale.