Washington, DC (WKZO) – In what many believe to be a potential preview of the World Series, the Washington Nationals took the first game of a brief two game series with the Tigers, 3-1 on Wednesday night, a day after the opener was rained out. The Tigers had won four in a row and 9 of 10.
Anibal Sanchez was a perfect 8-0 against the Nationals with the Miami/Florida Marlins but suffered his first career loss to Washington despite a solid outing. Sanchez (3-3) tossed six innings, allowing single runs in the third, fourth, and fifth, while striking out eight and issuing no walks.
However it was the dominance from Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman, who propelled Washington by keeping the Tigers bats at bay. Zimmerman (6-1) went seven innings while only giving up one run when Miguel Cabrera singled home Torii Hunter in the third inning for an early 1-0 Tigers lead. Zimmerman struck out seven
Washington responded right back as Bryce Harper tied the game on a sac fly, scoring Denard Span who tripled to open the Nationals half of the third. Harper later hit his 10th home run of the year in the fifth to put the Nationals up 3-1.
*Denard Span was picked off first by Sanchez after he singled to opening the first inning for the Nationals.
*With the bases loaded and two down, Sanchez got Jordan Zimmerman to ground out ending the second.
*Jhonny Peralta had two hits.
* Jose Ortega relieved Sanchez to start the seventh and set down all three Nationals he faced. Joaquin Benoit pitched a scoreless eighth.
*After Torii Hunter reached first on an error from Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche, Miguel Cabrera lined out to shortstop Ian Diamond and Hunter was doubled off first.
*Leading off the second for the Tigers Prince Fielder hit his seventh double of the year off the wall in right center, just out of the reach of Bryce Harper, but was stranded at second.
*Jhonny Peralta singled opening the fourth but Alex Avila grounded into a double play.
*Nationals took the lead in the fourth on a throwing error from Torii Hunter. With runners on first and second Ryan Zimmerman flew out to right and as Adam LaRoche tagged up, Hunter’s throw bounced of LaRoche’s hand and went out of play. LaRoche was awarded home for a 2-1 Nationals lead.
*With runners on first and second and two down in the eighth, Alex Avila struck out on a check swing.
Game Notes: The start or the game was delayed nearly an hour due to rain…Anibal Sanchez went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts at the plate in his first game in an NL park since being traded to the Tigers last season…. Tigers and Nationals close out their brief two game series on Thursday afternoon at 4:05. Doug Fister (4-0, 2.48 ERA) makes the start of Detroit vs. Dan Haren (3-3, 5.01)