Jordan Zimmermann strikes out the side in seventh inning to keep score tied vs. Cardinals

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Jordan Zimmermann was knocked around for five runs over three innings back in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cardinals on Monday, but he was called on for the first relief appearance of his major league career in Game 4 this afternoon. And he was at the top of his game.

Zimmermann struck out the side to keep the score tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. He got Pete Kozma and Kyle Lohse swinging and Jon Jay looking to complete his perfect frame. The Kozma strikeout was on a 97 mph heater.

Facing elimination, Ross Detwiler came up huge for the Nationals today, allowing one run on three hits and three walks over six innings while striking out two. Loshe has allowed just two hits and hasn’t walked a batter for the Cardinals. His only mistake was a solo homer by Adam LaRoche in the second inning. Looks like we’re headed for some more late-inning postseason drama.

Howie Kendrick to undergo an MRI after exiting game with a serious leg injury

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Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.

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Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.

While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.

Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.