• Sunday Top 5:
5. Riggleman's Sunday Lineup: Jerry Hairston takes the leadoff spot. Laynce Nix pushes the struggling Adam LaRoche out the cleanup spot. Alex Cora's at second in place of Danny Espinosa. Pudge Rodriguez is behind the plate catching Jordan Zimmermann in Pudge's second start of the four-game set with San Francisco (which ends Monday night.) The Nats' right-hander threw to Pudge in each of his first two starts this season, allowing five runs, four earned in 11.1 IP. With WIlson Ramos behind the plate for each of his last three starts, Zimmermann's allowed a combined 14 runs, 11 earned in 18.1 IP, including his last outing against New York earlier during this homestand which saw the 24-year-old '06 2nd Round pick give up nine hits and five runs, all earned over just 5.1 IP. Today in Nats Park, the Nationals' de facto ace gives up an infield hit but gets through a scoreless first on 11 pitches to get off to a good start...
4. Early Lead = Trouble For Nats' O: Miguel Tejada reaches first safely on the second infield single in two innings off Zimmermann, and he moves to third on a double off the right field wall by Mike Fontenot. Second and third for Nate Schierholz and a fly to left lands just inside the line out of Laynce Nix's reach. Tejada scores, Fontenot follows him in, 2-0 Giants after one and a half. The Nats start the second with a leadoff single to center by Laynce Nix and a walk to Adam LaRoche by Giants' right-hander Matt Cain. Ian Desmond K's swinging at a full-count fastball upstairs. Pudge Rodriguez flies to center. Nix takes third, and scores on an RBI double to right by Alex Cora, 2-1 Giants after two.
3. Ankiel Shows Me: Complain as I might about Rick Ankiel's low OBP in the two-spot, he's been on base often in the last two games (he had the Nats' only two hits yesterday) and he takes a one-out walk in front of Jayson Werth in the Nats' third this afternoon. Jayson Werth follows with a line drive single to center, but Laynce Nix pops the first pitch he sees up to center. Adam LaRoche walks for the second time in two at bats against the Giants' right-hander and the bases are loaded. Cain throws a high fastball by the batter, Ian Desmond, and the catcher, Buster Posey, for a swinging strike and a wild pitch that allows Ankiel to score from third. Desi K's swinging to strand two, 2-2 game after three.
2. Veteran Leadership: Jordan Zimmermann arrives a step late at first on what was almost a bunt single, but it's a sac instead as he moves Pudge Rodriguez and Alex Cora into scoring position after back-to-back singles through second to start the Nats' fourth. Jerry Hairston hits an RBI groundout to short and the Nats take a 3-2 lead. The Giants threaten in the top of the fifth, with Freddy Sanchez singling with one down and moving over to third on a wild pitch and groundout. A walk to Pat Burrell brings Aubrey Huff to the plate, but Rick Ankiel tracks his hard-hit fly to center and makes the catch to end the Giants' fifth.
1. LOB!!: Jayson Werth's 3 for 3 with three singles in his first three at bats after a one-out single in the fifth, and he ends up on third when his line drive to right gets by Giants' right fielder Nate Schierholtz and rolls to the track. Single and a two-base error for Werth, who was 0 for 5 so far in the series with San Francisco. Cain gets Laynce Nix to chase a high fastball that he fouls off for strike three. Adam LaRoche pops out to the infield. Ian Desmond does the same. Runner on third with no outs and no runs for the Nats, still 2-2. Nix 3 LOB. LaRoche 1 LOB. Desmond 5 LOB.
0. Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's, 107 P, 69 S, 4/7 GO/FO...Love Wilson Ramos, like Pudge + ZImmermann. Miguel Tejada flies out to center. Mike Fontenot to left. Then the Nats' right-hander and Giants' right fielder Nate Schierholz battle in a long at bat. Zimmermann throws 96mph heater for pitch no. 99 then drops down to 78 with a curve for pitch no.100. Zimmermann ends a 10-pitch AB with a full-count slider outside to get a called strike three on Schierholtz for the final out of the sixth.
-1. Clip and Burn?: Tyler Clippard throws a quick 1-2-3 seventh, striking out two, but he issues a leadoff walk to Buster Posey to start the eighth. Darren Ford comes on to run and get thrown out by Pudge going for second with Pat Burrell at bat. One down. One pitch later Burrell K's swinging. Sean Burnett comes on to get the last out on a grounder to the mound from Huff, and the Nats take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth. Danny Espinosa works a leadoff walk out of Guillermo Mota, Ian Desmond shoots a one-out single through second. Espinosa swipes third. Ian Desmond steals second, and Pudge Rodriguez drives them both in with an RBI single to center. 5-2 Nats.
• Riggleman on Pudge: "That was a great game that Pudge played today. I mean, that was unbelieveable. That guy [Darren] Ford is about as fast as it gets in the league, and that was a changeup he threw him out on. That was just a great pitch to get a swing and a miss and just a tremendous throw by Pudge."
-2. STOREN WARNING!! The Nats' 23-year-old closer gives up a one-out double to Mike Fontenot, but that's it. Nats win. 5-2 final. Can take series tomorrow.
Nationals now 13-14.