for this game

Zimmerman's hit streak ends at 30, Nats top Giants

May 14, 2009 - 12:17 AM By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer

SAN FRANCISCO(AP) -- Although Ryan Zimmerman's 30-game hitting streak ended right before he could carry it home to Washington, he thinks the monthlong experience will benefit him for years to come.

The Nationals' rising star also got a less tangible prize: A whole new appreciation for the greatness of Joe DiMaggio.

"It makes you realize how much better 56 is than 30," Zimmerman said, referring to the San Francisco native's record hitting streak in 1941. "That's a long time. ... To get a hit every single game, there's got to be a little bit of luck involved."

Zimmerman got no luck in the Nationals' 6-3 victory over the Giants on Wednesday, going 0 for 3 with two walks. He never got the ball out of the infield, grounding into a fielder's choice on his final chance in the ninth.

At least Zimmerman slid home with Washington's sixth run moments later, allowing him to play a part in a rare victory for the frustrated Nationals, who have the majors' worst record.

"I'm not relieved it's over, because I would have liked to keep it going for as long as I can," said Zimmerman, who fell just short of Vladimir Guerrero's franchise-record 31-game streak with Montreal in 1999. "But it'll be good to go back to the usual routine. ... I've said every day that I'd rather win. It's been a tough year for us. I feel like we're a lot better than our record."

Zimmerman produced two groundouts and two walks against Giants starter Barry Zito, who walked Zimmerman intentionally to load the bases in the seventh after a wild pitch left first base open moments earlier. Both Zimmerman and Washington manager Manny Acta said they agreed with San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy's decision.

"We had no choice," Bochy said. "You're behind in the count, and you have the hottest hitter in baseball up there. You're trying to limit the damage. ... It's impressive, what he did. We got caught the one time when we had to put him on, but he had four at-bats, and we pitched him well."

Zimmerman grounded to shortstop against reliever Pat Misch in the ninth, but San Francisco's fans gave him a standing ovation. His streak, the majors' longest since Moises Alou hit in 30 straight for the Mets in 2007, ended right before Washington flew home for a 10-game homestand at Nationals Park, where the struggling club could have used something to celebrate.

"We all had fun, we all enjoyed it, and tomorrow is the next day to start a new one," said rookie right-hander Shairon Martis, who allowed two hits over seven sharp innings to remain unbeaten this season.

Nick Johnson had an RBI double among his four hits, and Elijah Dukes drove in two runs with a broken-bat single in the seventh as the Nationals avoided a three-game sweep in San Francisco while snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Giants.

Martis (5-0), who walked four batters and hit another but didn't allow a run until the seventh, is responsible for nearly half of the Nationals' 11 victories this season. The former Giants farmhand also doubled and scored the game's first run in the fifth.

Kip Wells earned his second career save.

Zito (1-3) gave up eight hits and four runs while pitching into the seventh, losing control of a tight game late in another tough loss on his 31st birthday. The former Oakland ace has been given just 2.29 runs of support in his seven starts this season, sabotaging his markedly improved performance after two disappointing years across the Bay.

"On the bright side, it keeps me focused on what I have to do," Zito said. "It keeps me locked in. Of course, it would be great to come out and get five every time, but that's not realistic in this game. Their guy on the other side was pretty good. He pitched out of some jams."

The Giants scored 20 runs in the series' first two games, including Pablo Sandoval's game-ending three-run homer off Joe Beimel on Tuesday night, but couldn't score against Martis until Rich Aurilia's sacrifice fly in the seventh.

The Nationals' bullpen struggled yet again, however. Sandoval added an RBI single in the eighth off Beimel, and Nate Schierholtz then tripled and scored in the ninth before Wells escaped trouble.

Notes: Giants OF Fred Lewis has a minor toe injury, but he drove home Schierholtz with a pinch-hit double in the ninth. ... Adam Dunn wasn't in Washington's starting lineup, but he popped out on one pitch as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 2 6 12 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - SHAIRON MARTIS, JOE BEIMEL (8TH), KIP WELLS (8TH) AND WIL
    NIEVES
    SFO - BARRY ZITO, MERKIN VALDEZ (7TH), JUSTIN MILLER
    (8TH), PAT MISCH (9TH) AND STEVE HOLM


    May 13 6:46 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FRED LEWIS SCORED NATE SCHIERHOLTZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F LEWIS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: R AURILIA (.159, 0-FOR-0, SF, RBI)

    Nationals 6, Giants 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 13 6:42 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY ELIJAH DUKES SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E DUKES ON FIRST, J WILLINGHAM ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.232, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Nationals 6, Giants 2  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 13 6:29 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH WILLINGHAM SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WILLINGHAM ON SECOND, R ZIMMERMAN ON
    THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: E DUKES (.283, 2-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Nationals 5, Giants 2  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 13 6:27 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PABLO SANDOVAL SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P SANDOVAL ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: J MILLER (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals 4, Giants 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 13 6:11 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RICH AURILIA SCORED AARON ROWAND.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S HOLM ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: E BURRISS (.268, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 4, Giants 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 13 5:57 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ELIJAH DUKES SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN AND NICK
    JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, E DUKES ON FIRST, R ZIMMERMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.235, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 4, Giants 0  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 13 5:44 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY NICK JOHNSON SCORED WIL NIEVES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N JOHNSON ON FIRST, C GUZMAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.359, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 2, Giants 0  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 13 5:35 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NICK JOHNSON SCORED SHAIRON MARTIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N JOHNSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.362, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Nationals 1, Giants 0  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 13 4:59 PM