WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Danny Espinosa #18 of the Washington Nationals tags out Derrek Lee #25 of the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park on June 18, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Orioles Vs. Nationals: Washington Batters Baltimore 4-2, Moves One Game Closer To .500

Jordan Zimmermann has another good outing while Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse went long in the Nationals eighth straight win.

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Orioles Vs. Nationals Final: Nationals Win Another Battle In Battle Of The Beltways 4-2

The Washington Nationals are the hottest team in baseball. Let that resonate in your mind a bit and then repeat it yourself:

The Washington Nationals are the hottest team in baseball.

The Nationals earned an astounding eighth straight win against the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 on Saturday afternoon. The Nationals sealed up this round of the "Battle of the Beltways" and will go for the series sweep on Sunday. The win also puts the Nationals one game back from .500 and if the Nationals win Sunday, they will be at .500 the latest in a season since 2005.

The win comes off the pitching arm of Jordan Zimmermann and his band of merry Nationals relievers as well as the bats of Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Ivan Rodriguez. Zimmerman hit his first home run since April in the bottom of the first, Morse continued an exceptional power surge by clobbering a two-run shot in the sixth and Rodriguez rocked a RBI double in the sixth as well.

Zimmermann was not as spot on as in past starts, but it was still a strong outing. He gave up two earned runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out two. He gave up a first-inning home run to Adam Jones. Relievers Henry Rodriguez and Drew Storen came in to shutdown the O's and they did so with authority. Storen earned his 17th save of the season.

The Nationals are now 35-36 and hold on to third place in the NL East over the New York Mets and Florida Marlins.


Orioles Vs. Nationals Score: Zimmerman Home Run Ties Game 1-1 Against Orioles

With two outs in the first inning, Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann served up a home run to Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones to give the O's a 1-0 lead. As Jones rounded third he patted the Baltimore patch on his left arm in pride and excitement. Those feelings were quickly erased in the next part of the inning as the Nationals tied up the game 1-1 with the help of a Nationals favorite.

With two outs in the bottom of the first-inning, All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman came to the plate to face O's pitcher Brian Matusz. On a 1-0 fastball he crushed the ball deep, deep over the left field wall at Nationals Park to tie the game. It is the first home run for Zimmerman since April 5th. Zimmerman missed nearly two months of action getting over an abdominal strain and surgery.

The game is moving into the fifth-inning with the combatants in the Battle of the Beltways even.


Orioles Vs. Nationals: Washington Aiming To Keep Rolling Against Baltimore

A little over a week ago the Washington Nationals were playing like they wanted to pack up their lockers for the season. A week later they are playing like they want to stay awhile. Owners of the longest winning streak in the Majors currently at seven, the red-hot Nationals look to continue to rise in the NL East standings and shock the baseball world against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 P.M. at Nationals Park.

The NL East third place Nationals will be sending their young gun Jordan Zimmermann (4-6, 3.10 ERA) to the mound to face off against the Birds' Brian Matusz (1-1, 5.11 ERA). Zimmermann is experiencing a rise in his career. After starting the season a little lackluster, Zimmermann has dropped the hammer and gone into the red going at least six innings in eight straight starts and he has held opponents to two runs or fewer in seven of those starts. A future tandem of Stephen Strasburg and Zimmermann should put butterflies in the stomachs of Natstown and Nationals opponents alike.

Matusz has not been overly impressive this season and that bodes well for the Nationals offense who have been terrorizing pitchers throughout the seven-game win streak. The Orioles bullpen is atrocious as the Nationals gratefully found out Friday night and if they for some reason can't get to Matusz they know they still have a chance to get at the Baltimore relief that has been anything but.

The current win streak is the longest for the Nationals since 2009 and they are two games away from returning to .500.

Nationals Line-Up

Jayson Werth - RF

Ian Desmond - SS

Ryan Zimmerman - 3B

Michael Morse - 1B

Danny Espinosa - 2B

Jerry Hairston Jr. - LF

Ivan Rodriguez - C

Jordan Zimmermann - SP

Roger Bernadina - CF

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