Miami, FL – Jordan Zimmermann spun six scoreless innings of four-hit ball as the Nationals downed the Marlins, 5-1, in the opener of a four-game set Friday at Marlins Park.
Zimmermann (6-6) struck out six and walked just one batter to earn his third win in his last four starts.
Ryan Zimmerman registered three hits, including a two-run homer, and Jesus Flores added a two-run single to help the Nationals secure their sixth victory in their last eight games.
Josh Johnson (5-6) was charged for all five runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts to take his first loss in 17-career games (16 starts) against the Nationals.
John Buck knocked in the lone run for Miami, which has lost three straight.
"We couldn't put it together because Zimmermann threw the ball pretty good," said Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. "Hopefully tomorrow we come here and swing the bat better."
Washington struck first in the top of the second as Adam LaRoche stroked a leadoff double to right before Ian Desmond slapped a single the other way to score LaRoche for a 1-0 lead.
After Bryce Harper reached first on a fielder's choice in the third, Zimmerman crushed a slider off the home run sculpture in left-center field to extend the Nationals advantage to 3-0.
"Little slider, cutter thing that he was throwing," said Zimmerman of the Johnson pitch that he homered on. "He's not a fun guy to face, I guess you could say, but he made a mistake and I put a good swing on it."
The run support was more then enough for Zimmermann, who struck out the side in the fourth before retiring the Marlins in order in the fifth.
Washington then added to its lead in the sixth as LaRoche and Desmond each singled to start the frame. After a fly out moved LaRoche to third and Desmond swiped second, Flores lofted a single into shallow left field to plate a pair and give the Nats a 5-0 lead and chase Johnson from the game.
With Zimmermann out of the game to start the seventh, Miami finally mounted a charge as a pair of one-out walks and two stolen bases from Justin Ruggiano found runners on the corners.
Buck then lofted a flare into shallow right field, allowing Ruggiano to score, but Mike Gonzalez entered from the bullpen and got Austin Kearns to line the first pitch back to the mound before the left-hander quickly fired to first to nab Buck for an inning-ending double play.
Hanley Ramirez singled to start the home ninth but Tyler Clippard induced a pop out from Ruggiano before striking out Emilio Bonifacio and Buck to end the game.
The Nationals on Friday agreed to terms with their first-round selection in the 2012 draft, right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito...Miami swept a three-game series at Marlins Park from May 28-30 this season...The Marlins placed outfielder Giancarlo Stanton on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 8, and activated Bonifacio off the 15-day DL.