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Gomes' single lifts Nationals past Reds

August 18, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jonny Gomes had a two-run single, Jesus Flores hit his first home run in more than two years and Jordan Zimmermann pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning as the Washington Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 on Thursday night.

Zimmermann and four relievers combined to limit the Reds to an unearned run. Zimmermann (8-10) allowed six hits, walking one and striking out two. He left with runners on first and second and two outs in the sixth. Ryan Mattheus came on to strike out Paul Janish to end the inning. Mattheus did not face another batter because of a tight right shoulder.

The Reds scored the unearned run in the seventh off Henry Rodriguez. Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless eighth and Drew Storen worked the ninth for his 33rd save in 37 chances.

Flores homered to left field with one out in the fifth off Bronson Arroyo (7-10). It was the catcher’s first homer since May 8, 2009. Flores missed most of the 2009 and all of last season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.

Gomes, who was traded to the Nationals by the Reds on July 26, drove in two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a single to left. He also made a nice running catch on a flyball by Joey Votto to end the fifth inning, slamming into the wall in left after making the grab.

Arroyo, who hasn’t won in his last nine starts, pitched six innings, giving up three runs and seven hits. He’s worked at least six innings in his last eight starts.

Zimmermann is nearing the end of his season. After Tommy John surgery two years ago, Zimmermann is on a team-imposed limit of 160 innings. He’s thrown 150 2/3 innings so far.

In the seventh, Fred Lewis led off with a grounder to short that was booted by Ian Desmond. He moved to second on a wild pitch by Rodriguez and to third on Flores’ passed ball. He scored on Brandon Phillips’ infield out.

Jack Hanigan, who had a season-high four hits and Phillips with three, had seven of Cincinnati’s eight hits.

NOTES: Washington Manager Davey Johnson said he wasn’t worried about RHP Stephen Strasburg, who allowed five runs in 1 2-3 innings for Class-A Hagerstown on Wednesday. “He’s not worried about pitching to hitters — setting them up,” Johnson said. “He’s worried about throwing pitches — his release point — his rhythm. He’s not concerned about results.” Strasburg, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, will pitch again Monday for Hagerstown.

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