Nats target fifth straight win in San Diego

9:37 AM, Apr 26, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - And the Washington Nationals keep on winning.

The National League-leading Nats take aim at a fifth straight victory this evening and a three-game sweep over the San Diego Padres.

Washington has jumped out to a league-leading 14-4 start, a record it improved last night with a victory in San Diego. Jordan Zimmermann continued the Nationals' excellent run of starting pitching, giving up one run through six innings while adding an RBI single.

The only costly mistake Zimmermann made resulted in a solo home run by Orlando Hudson. The right-hander was otherwise solid in picking up his first win, allowing just four hits while striking out six and not issuing a walk.

"It's pretty nice going out there when you have a two-run lead in a big ballpark like this," Zimmermann said of spacious Petco Park. "If you get behind on someone you can groove them something over the middle and try to let them put it in play."

Hudson's homer snapped a string of 26 straight scoreless innings by Washington starters, a Nats record.

Adam LaRoche led Washington's offense with three hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while Wilson Ramos went 2-for-5 and capped a four-run seventh inning with a two-run single.

"They had some well-placed hits in the seventh," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Joe Wieland suffered the loss after allowing two runs on five hits and three walks over six innings for the Padres, who had won two straight before dropping the first two meetings of this three-game series.

Washington has won seven of its past eight, with the lone loss in that span coming in Edwin Jackson's last outing on Thursday. He'll look to rebound for the Nationals this evening.

After hurling a one-run, two-hit complete game to beat the Reds on April 14 for his first victory with the club, the right-handed Jackson suffered his inaugural loss with the Nats on Thursday against the Astros. He allowed five runs on seven hits over five frames, striking out five without a walk.

"I couldn't make pitches to get out of it," Jackson said. "I just left a few balls up, in position to put people away and I didn't."

The 28-yer-old is 0-3 with a 5.40 earned run average in seven career games versus the Padres, including five starts.

Edinson Volquez tries again for his first win with San Diego, having gone 0-2 with a 4.30 ERA through his first four outings with the club. The Padres have lost each of Volquez's starts.

The 28-year-old righty had allowed just two hits over six scoreless frames versus the Phillies last time out on Friday, but ended up allowing three runs on five hits and three walks in six-plus frames to suffer a 4-1 setback.

Volquez is 1-1 with a 9.72 ERA in two career meetings with the Nationals.

The Nationals won three of four in San Diego last season.

The Sports Network

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