Ryan Zimmerman was the star in the Potomac Nationals first home win in ten games, driving in the tying run and shining in the field during a 3-1 victory Thursday night in Woodbridge. Zimmerman's double off the wall in the fourth inning tied the game and his stellar defense kept it that way until the Nationals cashed in on a pair of Frederick errors to score two unearned runs.
With the victory, Potomac (22-37) snapped an eight-game Frederick (37-23) winning streak and ended a three-game skid of their own. Danny Rosenbaum pitched seven strong innings and used a pair of timely double play balls to limit the Keys to the lone run.
With his 2-for-4 night, Zimmerman is now 4-for-10 in three games with Potomac, with a pair of doubles and an RBI. In addition to a couple sterling defensive plays, Zimmerman showed agility on the base-paths and appears to be recovered from a torn abdominal muscle that has sidelined the All Star third baseman since May 3rd.
The Keys jumped out in front for the fourth straight night - but Rosenbaum limited the first-inning damage. Three consecutive one-out singles, the last which was roped by Kipp Schutz, got the Keys on the board. Rosenbaum hit Tyler Kolodny to load the bases with still just one out, but a 6-4-3 double play ended the threat.
Zimmerman got the P-Nats level in the fourth. After Jeff Kobernus's one-out infield single, Zimmerman obliterated a ball off the wall in right to score Kobernus. Throughout the middle innings, a stiff wind blew in from center as thunderstorms rolled into the Woodbridge area; those gusts kept Zimmerman's laser beam in the park.
Rosenbaum (4-3) worked around Frederick doubles in the fifth and seventh innings; incidentally, the Nationals scored unearned runs in each of those frames. In both cases, the rally started with ground balls hit by J.R. Higley to shortstop. Garabez Rosa booted both, and both haunted Frederick. In the fifth, Higley moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Jose Lozada single. In the seventh, he advanced to third on a Lozada single and scored when Eury Perez grounded out to short.
The fifth inning showcased Zimmerman's Gold Glove. After a leadoff double by Steve Bumbry, Bobby Stevens laid down a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt. Zimmerman charged hard, gloved and threw a bullet to retire the speedy Stevens. The play proved enormous; Rosenbaum got Jonathan Schoop to pop out and struck out Kipp Schutz to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Hector Nelo pitched two scoreless innings for his third save.
The Nationals continue their homestand Friday night with the Salem Red Sox in town for a three-game set. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:05 P.M.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.