for this game

Haren, Angels blank Nats to complete sweep

Jun 30, 2011 - 2:21 AM Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Howie Kendrick's double-play ground ball provided the game's only run, as Dan Haren outdueled Jordan Zimmermann to help the Angels complete a three-game sweep of the Nationals, 1-0.

Haren (8-5) allowed two hits, walked one, hit another and struck out six in 7 1/3 scoreless innings. The only hit he allowed prior to Ivan Rodriguez's one- out base hit in the eighth was Brian Bixler's bunt single in the fourth.

Scott Downs recorded the final two outs of the eighth, and Jordan Walden, who blew his previous three save chances, shook off a one-out double in the ninth to notch his 18th save of the season.

Zimmermann (5-7) threw his first career complete game in a losing effort. The third-year starter gave up four hits and one walk in his 11th straight quality start, but an unearned run in the fourth inning cost the Nationals the game.

Washington came into the series winners in 13 of 15 overall, but fell back below .500 (40-41) following Davey Johnson's first series as manager.

"[Zimmermann] deserved every chance to get a win. We couldn't get it done offensively," Johnson said. "Tip your hat to Haren. I've seen good pitched ballgames, but that was one of the best pitched I've seen."

Haren had gone through a rough patch following a fast start to the season, as he gave up at least three runs in each of his previous six outings.

But on Wednesday he resembled the pitcher who threw to a 1.72 earned run average over his first 10 starts, retiring the first 10 bitters he faced and setting down nine in a row after plunking Jerry Hairston Jr. with one out in the fifth inning.

Zimmermann was more efficient with his pitches, though a walk to Bobby Abreu leading off the fourth proved costly. Vernon Wells bounced into a potential double play, but Ryan Zimmerman was wide on his throw to second, allowing Abreu to advance to third and score on Kendrick's ensuing 6-4-3 twin killing.

Haren was pulled after throwing 120 pitches, and the bullpen held on for the Angels' eighth win in 10 games, with Walden striking out Michael Morse to strand Zimmerman at third.

"My command was better. My fastball was good," Haren said. "I was making good pitches down in the zone. I felt fresh, and the bullpen came in and did a good job."

Game Notes

This was the Angels' first home sweep of the season...Haren picked up his first home win since April 12...Zimmermann pitched into the seventh inning in each of his six starts in June and gave up a total of four earned runs in 42 1/3 innings...Hairston exited the game after getting hit in his right hand by a Haren pitch in the fifth...Game time: 2:19.