Zimmerman’s 2 HRs lead Nationals over Braves

Washington breaks even in 4-game series, lead returns to 3½ games

WASHINGTON — Ryan Zimmerman homered twice and drove in three runs, and Danny Espinosa and Roger Bernadina each had three hits and two RBI as the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 9-2 to split a four-game series between the top two teams in the NL East.

After Washington blew a 9-0 lead Friday night in an 11-10 loss, the teams split a Saturday doubleheader. The Nationals lead the division by 3½ games — as they did when the series began.

Zimmerman’s two-run homer and Danny Espinosa’s double keyed a four-run first off Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens (3-4).

Zimmerman’s solo shot and Espinosa’s RBI double finished Jurrjens in the fourth. In his last two starts, Jurrjens has allowed 14 runs and 17 hits in six innings.

Bernadina has reached base on six hits and a walk in his last seven plate appearances. Michael Morse had three hits and scored three runs for the Nationals, who had 18 hits.

Ross Detwiler (5-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings to win his first game since May 3.

Zimmerman added a sixth-inning single. After receiving a cortisone shot on his right shoulder on June 24, Zimmerman is batting .392 with 11 home runs and 28 RBI.

Rookie catcher Sandy Leon, playing in his fifth game, had a fifth-inning double that drove in two runs — his first two RBI of the season.

Washington led 8-0 after five, but the Braves scored two runs in the sixth on a passed ball by Leon, and an infield out by Freddie Freeman.

Notes:Zimmerman had his 10th career multi-home run game — his first since Aug. 5, 2010. … Jurrjens has an 11.29 ERA in his last four starts against the Nationals. … Washington SS Ian Desmond was rested. Manager Davey Johnson was going to try to have him play through his oblique strain, but it was too painful for him to play Sunday. After the game, Desmond was placed on the 15-day disabled list. … Nationals OF Jayson Werth (broken wrist) and INF Chad Tracy (groin) played well in their first rehab games Saturday, Johnson said. Both are about a week away from returning to the majors. … The Nationals begin a three-game series in New York on Monday. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-6, 2.35) faces RHP Chris Young (2-4, 4.11).

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