Zimmerman one-hits Reds again, 1-0
WASHINGTON (AP) — On Friday night, the Cincinnati Reds saw something the franchise hasn’t experienced in more than 113 years.
If they’re lucky, it won’t happen again for another 113 years.
Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann was terrific in his second complete game of the season and the Nationals limited the Cincinnati Reds to one hit for the second straight game in a 1-0 victory on Friday night.
It was the first time the Reds managed just one hit in consecutive games since July 5-6, 1900, against Brooklyn, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau that the team provided. The Houston Astros from Sept. 14-15, 2008, were the last team to experience the same futility.
“We’ve just got to keep swinging,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We didn’t do a bunch of striking out. We put the ball in play. (Zimmermann) was good tonight, but we didn’t find any holes.”
Zimmermann (4-1) struck out four and walked one while improving to 3-0 with a 1.36 ERA in five career games against Cincinnati. The right-hander needed only 91 pitches to record his third career complete game.
Homer Bailey (1-2) took the loss, allowing one run in seven solid innings for the Reds.
“Days like this, all you can really do is tip your hat to Jordan Zimmermann,” Bailey said. “He threw a great game and we just happened to catch him on one of his really good nights.”
Cincinnati, which began Friday tied for third in the National League in hitting (.252) and second in runs scored (110), has lost three of four, scoring only four runs in the process.
“Things go in streaks and sometimes there’s no explaining why,” Baker said. “We went through this last year. There was a streak when you couldn’t buy a run and another streak when you get all the runs you need or want, or even more than you want. Right now we’re in that can’t-buy-a-run phase.”
Xavier Paul led off the third with a single to center for the only hit off Zimmermann. The other baserunners came when Todd Frazier reached on an error by first baseman Adam LaRoche in the fifth and Corky Miller walked in the eighth. No Reds baserunner reached second.
Washington won the first game of the series when Gio Gonzalez pitched eight innings of one-hit ball in an 8-1 victory on Thursday night, when Joey Votto’s homer was Cincinnati’s only hit.
Bailey was nearly as good as Zimmermann, allowing one run and six hits. He struck out six and walked none.
The Nationals’ only run came in the third. Bryce Harper tripled to right with one out and scored on Jayson Werth’s ground single to right against a drawn-in infield.
“Probably most guys are standing on second, Werth grounds out and we’re not even talking about it, but you know, he hits it down the line, good runner, he’s on third,” Bailey said.
That was enough for Zimmermann, who is 8-0 with a 3.02 ERA in his last 14 regular-season starts at home.
“We had quite a few pitches to hit,” Baker said. “I thought we hit the ball actually better than they did, except for the triple to Harper and the base hit to Werth.”
NOTES: Cincinnati OF Shin-Soo Choo failed to reach base safely for the first time this season, ending a 22-game streak to start the season. … The Reds placed LHP Manny Parra on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left pectoral muscle and activated LHP Sean Marshall. … Baker said RHP Johnny Cueto, on the disabled list with a pulled muscle in his back, is not close to returning. … Washington manager Davey Johnson said he hopes 3B Ryan Zimmerman, on the DL with a hamstring strain, will soon be able to go on a rehab assignment. He could be reactivated next weekend. … RHP Mike Leake (1-0, 3.81) starts for Cincinnati Saturday against RHP Dan Haren (1-3, 7.36).