for this game

Pitching leads Nationals past Rockies

Jul 10, 2011 - 11:16 PM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jordan Zimmermann worked 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball and the Washington bullpen proved equally effective, as the Nationals earned a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies to avoid a three-game sweep.

Zimmermann (6-7) did not walk a batter and surrendered just four hits while striking out six.

Ryan Mattheus finished the seventh, while Tyler Clippard stranded two in the eighth and Drew Storen worked around a two-out double to record his 23rd save of the season.

Rick Ankiel belted a home run and Roger Bernadina had an RBI single for the Nationals, who halted a three-game skid and secured a .500 record at the All- Star break for just the second time in club history. The first came in 2005, when they sported a 52-36 record.

Jhoulys Chacin (8-7) was perfect through 3 2/3 innings and took the loss despite allowing just one run on four hits over seven frames.

The Rockies, losers of six of their last eight, were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.

The Nationals manufactured a run in the sixth, as Ian Desmond began the frame with a single, advanced to second on a Zimmermann sacrifice bunt and came around to score on Bernadina's line drive to right-center.

Zimmermann worked deftly into the seventh. He allowed a Todd Helton single to begin the frame and was pulled after inducing an infield pop up by Troy Tulowotzki.

"He's a young pitcher, he's getting to know the league and he's really been phenomenal," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of Zimmermann. "He's absolutely been our best pitcher."

Mattheus spelled Zimmermann, forcing Seth Smith into a flyout before striking out Cole Garner to keep the Rockies off the board.

Clippard allowed Colorado to place runners on first and second with one down in the eighth, but struck out pinch-hitter Jason Giambi with a 3-2 changeup before Mark Ellis flew out to center.

The Nationals added insurance in the bottom half, as Ankiel belted a solo shot off of Matt Reynolds, who had just entered the game.

"We played pretty good here," said Chacin. "If we keep playing good, like we did this series with Washington, I think we're gonna win more games."

Game Notes

The Rockies had won five straight over the Nationals...Washington went 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left three men on base...Zimmerman threw 64 of his 88 pitches for strikes while Chacin tossed 52 of his 84 pitches for strikes.