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Ryan Zimmerman breaks franchise record against Marlins

Ryan Zimmerman breaks franchise record against Marlins

WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez went from changing diapers to fooling the Marlins with his changeup once again while Ryan Zimmerman continued re-writing the Nationals record book.

Zimmerman had four run-scoring hits, including two solo home runs, drove in five runs, received two curtain calls and became the franchise's all-time RBI leader as the Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins 10-1 on Wednesday night.


Gonzalez (10-5) allowed one run over seven innings after nearly tossing a no-hitter against the Marlins in his previous start. In between, he missed a turn to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

The left-hander gladly discussed son Gabriel and the time spent with his family - "It was a beautiful thing" -- but started his postgame talk with lavish praise of Zimmerman.

The first baseman also walked, scored four runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle. He passed Tim Wallach (905), now the Marlins bench coach, for most RBIs in Expos and Nationals history with his second-inning homer. Last month Zimmerman became the franchise's all-time leader in home runs.

"RBI, home run leader. Just put a crown on him," Gonzalez said of Zimmerman. "He's the best."

That's probably what Miami thinks of Gonzalez. In Washington's 1-0 win on July 31, Gonzalez held Miami hitless through eight innings and finished with a one-hitter. He allowed seven hits, struck out six and didn't walk a batter in the rematch. The left-hander has won at least 10 games in eight consecutive seasons.

"He kept us off-balance," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We got more hits out there, but we weren't really able to get to him."

The Marlins ended any no-hit drama early, but didn't score until Ichiro Suzuki's RBI hit in the fourth. Suzuki had three hits.

Major League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went hitless for Miami after homering twice this series.

"Everyone talks about his curveball," Zimmerman said of Gonzalez, "but I feel like he gets a lot of groundballs with the changeup."

Washington's offense typically doesn't support Gonzalez -- nine runs over his last seven starts -- but it had five runs and 11 hits off Miami starter Adam Conley (4-5).

Bryce Harper had two hits and two RBIs for Washington. He scored from first on Zimmerman's double in the third for a 3-0 lead after reaching with a run-scoring single.

During a two-run fifth inning, Zimmerman knocked in Harper after the slugger's drag bunt single and Conley's wild pitch.

Conley was 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts since his recall from Triple-A New Orleans on July 18.

"They just kind of kept nicking at (Conley) in that fifth," Mattingly said. "He looked like he had run out of steam and had trouble getting through that. . Zimmerman obviously was all over him tonight."

Zimmerman entered Wednesday batting .076 (2 for 27) since July 31.

"It's been a rough 10 days," he admitted.

Washington's first draft pick after the franchise relocated from Montreal following the 2004 season received loud roars from the crowd after both homers.

"I have a special connection with all the people here," he said. "Kind of grown up together."

Stanton smacked home run No. 38 in Tuesday's 7-3 win. The right fielder had five homers and nine RBIs with a .368 (7 for 19) batting average over the opening five games of the seven-game road trip.

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Why Nationals' Max Scherzer picked college over pros — at first

Why Nationals' Max Scherzer picked college over pros — at first

When Max Scherzer was a teenager, he didn't know that one day he'd actually become a two-time Cy Young Award winner. He had no guarantee he'd make it to the majors, much less play in five consecutive MLB All-Star games. 

All he knew was that he had the option to go pro as a kid or go to college, and back then, the Nationals' ace needed a contingency plan in case baseball didn't work out. Fortunately for Scherzer, it did, but he doesn't regret going to college at the University of Missouri, telling Santana Moss on CSN's "Route 89" going to school was a no-brainer.

"It was actually a really easy decision," Scherzer told Moss. "When you get drafted out of high school, you're going to be going into the minor leagues, and that can take three to five or six years — multiple years — in the minor leagues, and you're forfeiting your right to further your education."

Scherzer was drafted in the 43rd round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003, but he opted to play for Mizzou for three years, which turned out to be a great decision. The Arizona Diamondbacks then drafted him in 2006 in the first round as the 11th overall pick. 

"A lot of times when you sign out of high school, you don't make it to the major leagues," Scherzer continued. "So I realize that your education — that's your safety net.

"You need to further your education in college, and if you do get drafted out of college, you're in a much better position to try to chase your dreams because if it doesn't work out, you still have one year left of school and that's much easier to obtain rather than try to go through four years when you're not coming out of high school."

MORE NATIONALS: Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound

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Nationals offense provides no support in Strasburg's return

Nationals offense provides no support in Strasburg's return

SAN DIEGO -- Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run home run off Stephen Strasburg in the first inning of the right-hander's first start in almost a month and the San Diego Padres beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 Saturday night.

Strasburg (10-4) retired the first two batters he faced before allowing a single to Jose Pirela and then the homer to the switch-hitting Solarte, who drove a 96-mph fastball to right for his 13th.

Strasburg then settled down against his hometown team, retiring 10 straight batters and 13 of 14. He went six innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out eight and walking one.

He hadn't pitched since July 23, when he went only two innings at Arizona. He went on the disabled list with an elbow nerve impingement.

Strasburg pitched at West Hills High in suburban Santee and then at San Diego State for coach Tony Gwynn before going to the Nationals with the No. 1 pick overall in the 2009 draft.

While Strasburg pitched well, the Nationals had only three hits.

San Diego's Travis Wood (2-1) also settled down after laboring through the first inning, when he threw 35 pitches but didn't allow a run. He was unscathed until the fifth, when he allowed a one-out single to Jose Lobaton and a two-out double to Adrian Sanchez. The run was unearned because of Woods' throwing error on Strasburg's sacrifice bunt that advanced Lobaton.

Wood allowed just the unearned run on three hits in seven innings, with two strikeouts and two walks.

Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 11th save.