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Nats get by D-Backs thanks to Ramos, Zimmermann

Jun 3, 2011 - 6:37 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Wilson Ramos drove in three runs and Jordan Zimmermann tossed seven solid innings, as the Washington Nationals took down the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-1, in the opener of a four-game series.

Michael Morse went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored for the Nationals, who started an 11-game road trip on Thursday.

Zimmermann (3-6) gave up one run on six hits to pick up his first win since May 1. The right-hander also struck out four and walked one for Washington, which has won three in a row.

"He's really finding his way," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said of his 25- year old starter. "He's starting to establish himself as a guy who can pitch at the front end of a rotation."

Gerardo Parra drove in the lone run for the Diamondbacks, who have lost two of three since a seven-game winning streak.

Zach Duke (1-1) struggled, allowing four runs on 10 hits over five innings to suffer the loss. He also struck out six in his home debut.

"I wasn't able to command my fastball the way I wanted to and that caused me to get into hitter's counts," said Duke. "I threw a lot more pitches, and obviously damage was done."

The Nationals got on the board in the first inning. Ian Desmond hit a bloop double down the right-field line and scored on Morse's two-out single to center. Danny Espinosa followed with a base hit of his own to put men on first and second. Ramos knocked in both runners with a double off the wall in center to make it 3-0.

Arizona's best chance to score early on came in the third. Parra led off with a double to right and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Ryan Roberts then hit a grounder to third but Parra was caught off the bag and was tagged out by Jerry Hairston Jr.

Washington tacked on a run in the fifth. Morse and Espinosa hit consecutive one-out singles to put men on the corners. Ramos plated a run when he grounded into a fielder's choice.

The D-Backs finally got on the board in the seventh. Miguel Montero led off with a double to center, moved to third on a fly out and crossed the plate on a Parra groundout.

Todd Coffey, Sean Burnett and Drew Storen combined to pitch a scoreless eighth for the Nats -- preventing two runners from scoring in the process.

Washington added two runs in the ninth to make it a 6-1 game. Aaron Heilman walked Brian Bixler, who scored on Roger Bernadina's triple. Jayson Werth was hit by a pitch to put men on the corners with one out in advance of Morse's bloop single to center that knocked in Bernadina.

Storen pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his 11th save of the year.

Game Notes

Arizona and Washington are meeting for the first time since the Nationals won four of seven matchups a year ago, going 2-2 at Chase Field...Duke fell to 2-3 in seven career starts against Washington...Nationals infielder Alex Cora (stomach/dehydration) missed the game...Washington snapped a five-game road skid...D-Backs second baseman Kelly Johnson saw an eight-game hitting streak come to an end.