for this game

Zimmerman singles Nationals past Giants in the ninth

Sep 2, 2007 - 10:55 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Even though the Washington Nationals are struggling, Ryan Zimmerman has remained stellar in the clutch.

Zimmerman singled home the winning run with one out in the ninth inning as the Nationals edged the San Francisco Giants in Sunday's rubber game of a weekend series.

It was just the second win in the last nine games for the Nationals (60-77), who remained tied with the Florida Marlins (60-77) for last place in the National League East. Florida beat Philadelphia, 7-6.

"To be honest with you, I would like to be the fourth place team in East," Nationals manager Manny Acta said.

Despite those issues, the young Zimmerman has been a solid contributor for Washington, collecting 22 home runs and 80 RBI. The 22-year-old third baseman has also been an outstanding clutch performer, driving in a NL-leading 16 game-winning runs.

Zimmerman is also tied with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Vladimir Guerrero for second in the majors in that category, one behind the Boston Red Sox's Manny Ramirez.

"The key to coming up in those situations is too stay relaxed," Zimmerman said.

In his most recent late-inning exploits, Zimmerman deposited his only hit of the game into right field to score Felipe Lopez, who ripped a one-out double off Brian Wilson (1-1).

"I was looking fastball all the way, but he threw a slider," Zimmerman said. "I just threw my bat at the ball and was lucky to hit it to a good spot."

"He's the face of this franchise," Acta said. "We are looking to him in the ninth all the time. He has shown he has a knack for it. He doesn't panic. He's a gifted player."

Nationals closer Chad Cordero (3-3) worked around a double in the ninth, striking out two batters, for the win.

After snapping their lengthy slump with a 4-1 victory Saturday, the Nationals took an early lead behind Nook Logan in the third inning.

Ronnie Belliard led off the third with a single and following two straight outs, Logan ripped a drive to deep center field that resulted in a standup triple.

It was the third triple of the season for the 27-year-old center fielder, who entered the contest batting .438 (14-of-32) with runners in scoring position and two outs.

"I can't explain it," Logan said. "Try not to think too much about it. I'm happy to contribute in clutch situations."

That one run of support was not enough for Matt Chico, who gave up the tying home run to Rich Aurilia on a 2-1 pitch leading off the fifth.

It was the fifth home run of the season for Aurilia, who also doubled in the ninth before being stranded.

"It's always tough to lose with the pitching efforts we are getting from the starters," Giants manger Bruce Bochy said. "One run is not going to cut it."

Sunday's game was the first start since August 17 for the lefthanded Chico, who was recalled from Class AAA Columbus following Friday's opener. He finished with four hits and a walk allowed in seven innings.

"I was just trying to throw first pitch strikes," Chico said. "The D did a great job."

"Chico matched him (Zito) zero for zero," Acta said. "He threw seven good innings and he looked more under control."

San Francisco starter Barry Zito was just a little better than Chico, yielding a run and two hits in seven innings. He also struck out five against one walk.

"Zito was ready good. He used his changeup a lot and it made his fastball even better," Zimmerman said. "He was tough."

It was the third straight strong outing for the lefthander that has been squandered. Zito has not won since August 17 despite allowing four runs and 11 hits over his last 22 frames.

"I feel more relaxed out there. I think the worst is behind me," Zito said. "It is just getting acclimated to the new surroundings, unfortunately it took me four months to pull through. I expect these outings more consistently."

Future Hall of Famer Barry Bonds did not start for the Giants, who have lost three of their last four games. The all-time home run leader did pinch hit in the eighth, rolling over a bouncing ground ball to first base with a runner at first base and no outs.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 1
    WASHINGTON 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SFO - BARRY ZITO, TYLER WALKER (8TH), BRIAN WILSON (9TH) AND
    GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ
    WAS - MATT CHICO, SAUL RIVERA (8TH), CHAD CORDERO (9TH)
    AND BRIAN SCHNEIDER

    HOME

    Sep 2 3:56 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    FINAL SCORE: WASHINGTON 2, SAN FRANCISCO 1

    Giants vs. NationalsSep 2 3:56 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Giants vs. NationalsSep 2 3:56 PM
  • 60
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Giants vs. NationalsSep 2 3:35 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RICH AURILIA (5) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF MATT CHICO.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN FRANCISCO 1, WASHINGTON 1
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: D ORTMEIER (.252, 0-FOR-1)

    Giants vs. NationalsSep 2 2:37 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY NOOK LOGAN SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N LOGAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN FRANCISCO 0
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.241, 0-FOR-1)

    Giants vs. NationalsSep 2 2:13 PM