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Associated Press, Published June 09 2013

Desmond's double caps doubleheader sweep for Nats over Twins

WASHINGTON – The day began with manager Davey Johnson calling a team meeting in which he appealed for more aggression at the plate and mistook his starting pitcher’s heat pad for a neck brace.

It ended with the Washington Nationals accomplishing something they hadn’t done all season – coming from three runs down to win a ballgame.

The Nationals swept a day-night doubleheader from the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, climbing back to .500 and showing signs of an offensive breakthrough by pounding out a combined 24 hits in the 7-0 opener and 5-4 nightcap.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever played a doubleheader,” said shortstop Ian Desmond, “where you pretty much had to win both.”

That sums up the angst that was spreading among the preseason NL East favorite Nationals, even though there are still 100 games to go before the finish line of the regular season.

“It’s good to get back to .500 – and get on with it,” Johnson said.

Desmond doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of the second game after Jordan Zimmermann dominated the opener, allowing two hits over seven innings.

Zimmermann (9-3) struck out eight with a season-high 111 pitches while dropping his ERA to 2.00. He moved into a tie with Boston’s Clay Buchholz, Arizona’s Patrick Corbin and St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright for most wins in the majors.

Zimmermann had Johnson worried before the game when the pitcher showed up for the team meeting with something on his neck. The right-hander has had a stiff neck off-and-on for a couple of weeks.

“I’m hoping he wears that neck brace every time he goes out,” Johnson said. “That was a heck of a game.”

Zimmermann later clarified that it was actually a heating pad, a precautionary measure after feeling some tightness a few days ago.

“I didn’t want to take any chances,” Zimmermann said. “So I figure heat it up and it’ll be good to go.”

Johnson also joked that he might have to hold more team meetings after watching his offense score five runs in the fifth inning of the first game. The Nationals had totaled just 14 runs in their previous seven games.

“I’ll have it every day if we get 14 hits and seven runs, but it wasn’t much of a meeting,” Johnson said. “It was about three minutes or something like that. I was just cheering ’em up.”

Asked what he got from the meeting, second baseman Anthony Rendon said: “Swing.”

“Just be aggressive,” Rendon said. “That’s basically what he was trying to say. Just go out there and try to hit.”

First game

Minnesota Washington

ab r h bi ab r h bi

EEscor 3b 3 0 0 0 Koerns cf 4 0 2 0

Thoms lf 4 0 0 0 Lmrdzz lf 5 1 1 0

Doumit c 4 0 0 0 Zmrmn 3b 5 1 1 0

Mornea 1b 4 0 0 0 Werth rf 3 1 2 0

Parmel rf 3 0 2 0 AdLRc 1b 3 2 2 1

Hicks cf 4 0 1 0 Mrrer ph-1b 1 0 0 0

Dozier 2b 3 0 0 0 Dsmnd ss 4 2 3 2

Flormn ss 4 0 0 0 Rendon 2b 3 0 2 3

Dimnd p 2 0 0 0 KSuzuk c 3 0 0 0

Pressly p 0 0 0 0 Zmrmn p 3 0 0 0

Roenck p 0 0 0 0 Krol p 0 0 0 0

Colaell ph 1 0 0 0 TMoore ph 1 0 1 0

Thielar p 0 0 0 0 XCeden p 0 0 0 0

Totals 32 0 3 0 Totals 35 7 14 6

Minnesota 000 000 000— 0

Washington 000 250 00x— 7

E—Florimon (6), Zimmerman (11), Rendon (4). DP—Minnesota 2. LOB—Minnesota 8, Washington 8. 2B—Parmelee (6), Zimmerman (7), Rendon (4).

IP H R ER BB SO

Minnesota

Diamond L,4-5 4Xc 10 7 6 2 3

Pressly Xc 2 0 0 1 1

Roenicke Xc 0 0 0 0 0

Thielbar 2 2 0 0 1 0

Washington

Zimmrmnn W,9-3 7 2 0 0 2 8

Krol 1 0 0 0 0 0

X.Cedeno 1 1 0 0 1 1

WP—Pressly 2.

T—2:48. A—38,516 (41,418).

Second game

Minnesota Washington

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Carroll 3b 4 0 0 0 Span cf 4 1 1 1

Doumit ph 1 0 0 0 Berndn lf 3 2 2 0

CHrmn c 4 0 3 2 Zmrmn 3b 3 0 1 0

Mauer 1b 4 0 2 0 Werth rf 4 0 2 2

Wlngh lf 4 0 0 0 AdLRc 1b 3 1 1 1

Parmel rf 4 0 0 0 Dsmnd ss 4 0 1 1

Hicks cf 3 0 0 0 Rendon 2b 4 1 1 0

Thoms cf 1 0 0 0 JSolano c 4 0 1 0

EEscor 2b-ss 3 2 2 0 Karns p 0 0 0 0

Flormn ss 3 2 1 2 Stmmn p 1 0 0 0

Dunsng p 0 0 0 0 EDavis p 0 0 0 0

Deduno p 1 0 0 0 Abad p 0 0 0 0

Mornea ph 1 0 0 0 Lmrdzz ph 1 0 0 0

Swarzk p 0 0 0 0 Clipprd p 0 0 0 0

Dozier 2b 1 0 0 0 Storen p 0 0 0 0

Koerns ph 1 0 0 0

RSorin p 0 0 0 0

Totals 34 4 8 4 Totals 32 5 10 5

Minnesota 022 000 000— 4

Washington 101 011 10x— 5

E—Carroll (1), Rendon (5). DP—Minnesota 1, Washington 1. LOB—Minnesota 9, Washington 9. 2B—C.Herrmann (1), Mauer (20), Ad.LaRoche (8), Desmond (18). 3B—E.Escobar (2), Span (6). HR—Florimon (3). S—Deduno, Karns. SF—Ad.LaRoche.

IP H R ER BB SO

Minnesota

Deduno 5 6 3 2 3 4

Swrzk L,1-2 BS 2Zc 4 2 2 1 2

Duensing Xc 0 0 0 0 1

Washington

Karns 3 5 4 4 3 2

Stammen 2 0 0 0 0 1

E.Davis Zc 1 0 0 0 0

Abad Xc 0 0 0 0 0

Clippard W,5-1 1 1 0 0 0 1

Storen H,8 1 0 0 0 0 0

R.Soriano S,16-19 1 1 0 0 1 1

HBP—by Karns (Willingham).

T—3:17 (Rain delay: 0:12). A—27,949 (41,418).