Sports

Zimmermann, Nats top Jays to open doubleheader

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Zimmermann tossed eight scoreless innings and the Washington Nationals defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 in the opener of Tuesday's doubleheader.

Zimmermann (5-2) allowed just six hits and one walk and fanned four batters in his longest outing of the season.

"He was in command from the first pitch," Nationals manager Matt Williams said of Zimmermann.

Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each drove in a run, while Yunel Escobar went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored for the Nationals, who ended a three-game skid in the make-up game of Monday's rain-out.

R.A. Dickey (2-6) surrendered both runs on eight hits with six strikeouts over six frames for the Blue Jays, who were shut out for the first time this season.

Washington will send Max Scherzer to the mound to oppose fellow right-hander Marco Estrada in the nightcap.

The Nationals scored both runs in the fifth. Zimmermann led off with a single to center and Escobar walked. The runners moved up on Ian Desmond's sacrifice bunt and Harper followed with a grounder up the middle for an RBI single. Zimmerman's sac fly made it a 2-0 game.

"I was committed to throwing good knuckleballs in the strike zone to him," Dickey said of pitching to Harper.

Zimmermann escaped a jam in the seventh. Chris Colabello and Josh Thole each singled and Edwin Encarnacion walked to load the bases with one out, but pinch-hitter Russell Martin grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Drew Storen fired a 1-2-3 ninth for his NL-leading 17th save of the season.

Escobar and Desmond each singled to open the home first. Following a Harper strikeout, Escobar moved to third on Zimmerman's deep fly out.

Escobar also singled to open the third, but was left stranded at third base after Dickey induced three straight groundouts.

Game Notes

Nationals outfielder Denard Span was out of the lineup due to right knee discomfort ... Washington has won four in a row and seven of its last eight games against Toronto ... The time of the game was 2 hours and 17 minutes.