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Nats top O's, extend winning streak to eight games

Jun 19, 2011 - 12:39 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Michael Morse hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to help the Washington Nationals run their winning streak to eight games with a 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored while Ivan Rodriguez drove in the other run for the Nationals, who are on their longest winning streak since taking eight straight from August 2-9, 2009.

Jordan Zimmermann (5-6) went 6 1/3 innings to improve to 3-0 over his last four starts as he gave up two runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

"I always want to go out there and do my best. The starting pitchers have been doing a great job and the whole team has been coming around," Jordan Zimmermann said about the team's winning streak. "We've been hitting, the relievers have been putting up zeros and we're just playing some good ball right now."

Adam Jones hit a solo home run and J.J. Hardy drove in the other run for the Orioles, who have dropped two straight and six of seven. Brian Matusz (1-2) was touched for four runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. He left in the sixth inning with a cramp in his left hamstring.

"There's still a lot of room to go, still a lot of building, a lot more room for improvement. You want to go out there every day when you pitch and compete well enough to give your team a chance to win. Today it was just not enough," Matusz said about his performance.

Each team got a solo home run from their No. 3 hitters in the first inning as Jones got the Orioles on the board in the visitors half with a shot into left while Zimmerman got his team on board in the home half with a blast deep into the left field seats.

The Baltimore second saw Derrek Lee leadoff with a single, but he was then caught stealing. The team later stranded two runners after Matusz grounded out to end the inning.

The Orioles had men on first and third with one out in the fourth, but were unable to push any across as Mark Reynolds struck out and Robert Andino grounded out to end the frame.

The Nationals went on top in the sixth inning. With one out, Zimmerman doubled and Morse followed by drilling a pitch over the right field wall.

Later in the inning with Clay Rapada on the mound for the Orioles, Rodriguez doubled home Jerry Hairston Jr, who had walked in front of Rodriguez, for a 4-1 lead.

The Orioles got one back in the second on an RBI single from Hardy with one out that saw men on first and second. Henry Rodriguez, though, came on to relieve Zimmermann and got the next two outs to keep it a two-run game.

Rodriguez stayed on for the eighth and worked around a two-out walk while Drew Storen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save of the season.

Game Notes

Baltimore left fielder Luke Scott left the game in the fourth inning with back spasms...Lee, who went 5-for-5 in the series opener on Friday, had hits in his first two at-bats on Saturday, but grounded out in the sixth to snap his streak at seven straight hits. Ken Singleton holds the record for Baltimore with 10 consecutive hits in August of 1981...Washington shortstop Ian Desmond went 0-for-4 to snap his hitting streak at 11 games...Washington has taken three of the five games against Baltimore this season.