WASHINGTON(AP) Instead of just admiring his work with the bat,
's teammates are becoming energized by his surge.
delivered a two-run single during a five-run sixth inning, Zimmerman matched a career high with four hits and the
rallied to beat the
9-4 on Monday night.
''You got to give credit to Zimmerman for staying in there and kind of giving us hope,'' said Washington's
, who drove in three runs. ''He was hitting, hitting and everybody was (thinking) they might as well join him. We're not going
to let him just hit by himself. He's just kept going and we kind of feed off of him.''
Zimmerman's first-inning single extended his Nationals-record hitting streak to 22 games. It's the longest in the majors this
''I don't really worry about individual stuff. It's nice to get off to a better start and feeling good, knowing the things
that I do are working,'' said Zimmerman, who drove in two runs and is hitting .354 (33 for 93) during his streak.
Washington, which won consecutive games for only the second time this season, had a season-best 15 hits. After watching their
bullpen routinely cough up leads, the Nationals delighted in battering Astros relievers for seven runs on seven hits, six
walks and a hit batter over three innings.
''I think we kind of got them the same way everyone's gotten us this year,'' Zimmerman said. ''They walked us a little bit,
they gave us a chance to have guys on base and have the big hits.''
(1-3) worked six innings, allowing four runs - three earned - on nine hits and two walks.
Kaz Matsui had two RBIs and
added three hits for Houston, which watched Washington erase a 4-2 deficit with a five-run sixth.
''We fought so hard tonight to get a lead in the game, and when you come in and you're not able to hold it, it's just tough
on the morale of the whole team,'' Astros reliever
said. ''Leads are hard to come by, and when you get one, you ought to be able to protect it.''
Wright (1-1) loaded the bases on a walk to
's one-out single and a walk to
relieved and walked Zimmerman before allowing a go-ahead, two-run single by Dunn.
Dukes' RBI single up the middle made it 6-4.
was hit by a pitch to load the bases again and, after a popup by
, Paulino walked Hernandez to force in another run.
''When we get into that part of our lineup where we have guys who are so patient at the plate - the Nicks, the Dunns and the
Dukes and right now, Zimmerman - there's a very good chance we can do some damage,'' Nationals manager Manny Acta said.
The Astros have yielded a major league-high 246 hits this season, while the eight walks issued Monday match a season worst.
Houston took a 1-0 lead in the first on
's RBI double.
Matsui's two-run double sparked a three-run rally in the fifth. Matsui scored on
's double to center, but Bourn was thrown out trying to reach third.
Washington finally got to Astros starter
in the fifth, scoring twice on two-out singles by Dukes and Kearns.
Moehler, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game after missing three starts because of a sprained right knee,
allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out five.
''It was all right. I threw a lot of pitches and I'm not real happy with that,'' Moehler said. ''I didn't make pitches at
times. It could have been better, obviously.''
Zimmerman added an RBI double in the seventh, then scored on Dukes' third consecutive RBI single.
Notes: Moehler lowered his ERA from 27.00 to 14.00. ... Nationals pinch-hitter
batted twice in the sixth, flying out both times. ... To make room on the roster for Moehler, Houston placed RHP
on the 15-day disabled list. Brocail hurt himself Sunday covering first base. ... Washington LHP
, on the 15-day DL with a left hip flexor strain, had a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Harrisburg rained out Monday
and instead threw a bullpen session at Nationals Park. He is expected to come off the disabled list Wednesday.