WASHINGTON — Ryan Zimmerman continued his torrid stretch with three hits and four RBIs, Jordan Zimmermann pitched six solid innings and the Washington Nationals opened a seven-game homestand with a 15-1 rout of the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.
Washington moved within six games of the first-place New York Mets, who were off Thursday, in the NL East.
The Braves have lost nine straight and 16 of 17.
Over his last 11 games, Zimmerman, who was 3 for 3 on Thursday, is 17 for 42 (.405) with seven homers and 23 RBIs.
Clint Robinson was 2 for 4 and had four RBIs, while Yunel Escobar had three hits and drove in three runs.
Bryce Harper tied a career high with walks in all four of his plate appearances, and he scored four runs. He joined Larry Doby (1951), Joe Morgan (1973) and Rickey Henderson (1989) as the only players to score four runs without an official at-bat since 1914, according to STATS.
Zimmermann (12-8), who has won four straight, allowed a run and two hits over six innings.
Matt Wisler (5-6) allowed seven runs, five hits and three walks in 1 2-3 innings.
Wisler’s 14th start turned out to be his shortest. The rookie hasn’t won since July 26, going 0-5 with a 9.49 ERA in his last seven starts.
Wisler and seven relievers combined for eight walks.
Zimmermann improved to 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA against Atlanta this season.
The 14-run margin of victory is the largest in Nationals’ franchise history (2005-present).
Zimmerman received a standing ovation in the first inning in honor of his 200th career homer, hit Wednesday in St. Louis. The cheering continued when he doubled, sending Harper to third.
Robinson then singled over the glove of shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Washington led 2-0.
Atlanta halved their deficit when Nick Swisher scored on a groundout.
The Nationals broke it open during a five-run second inning that included a bases-loaded walk by Harper and was capped by Escobar’s two-run single.
Zimmerman’s two-run single made it 9-0 in the third and Robinson followed with a hit to make it 10-0.
Danny Espinosa closed out the scoring with a solo homer in the eighth.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg threw a bullpen session Thursday and is expected to rejoin the rotation next week against the New York Mets. . OF Michael Taylor (right knee soreness) was out of the lineup for the second straight game, but was available off the bench according to manager Matt Williams.
Braves RHP Julio Tehran (9-7, 4.62) allowed eight earned runs in 4 1-3 innings last week against the Yankees. He’s 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 career starts versus Washington. Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (4-4, 4.54) goes in place of Strasburg. Roark is 3-1 with a 5.65 ERA in six starts this season.