Record day for Zimmerman as Tigers star Verlander shines

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After three straight years of playing less than 120 games and declining productivity, many had written off Ryan Zimmerman as a legitimate player, forget an MLB All-Star.

Zimmerman's career has seen a resurgence this season as he is on his way to career highs in home runs, RBIs and batting average. That continued on Wednesday as he went four for four with two home runs, five RBIs and a new record to boot in the Washington Nationals' 10-1 rout of the Miami Marlins.

The Nationals first baseman, who went to his second All-Star Game this year, led off the second inning with a solo home run. The home run gave him his 906th career RBI to pass Tim Wallach as the franchise's all-time RBI leader.

Zimmerman ended the day a triple short of the cycle but managed to record four hits on 11 pitches seen. The 32-year-old Virginia product has spent his entire career with the Nationals, but failed to play in more than 115 games each of the last three seasons. 

He had not hit 20 home runs since 2013 and has not eclipsed 90 RBIs since 2012. He already has 24 homers this year to go with 76 runs driven in as a 30 homer/100 RBI season for the first time since 2009 seems very much a possibility.



Cleveland Indians 2-3 Colorado Rockies
Oakland Athletics 3-6 Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants 3-1 Chicago Cubs
Toronto Blue Jays 5-11 New York Yankees
Cincinnati Reds 8-3 San Diego Padres
Atlanta Braves 2-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Milwaukee Brewers 0-4 Minnesota Twins
Arizona Diamondbacks 2-3 Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets 1-5 Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels 5-1 Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals 10-1 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 2-8 Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers 10-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox 7-1 Houston Astros
St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Kansas City Royals



In what might be Justin Verlander's final start with the Tigers, the 2011 American League Cy Young winner and MVP allowed one hit in eight scoreless innings in Detroit's win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Verlander, who is now 8-7 on the year, struck out six and walked three in the win as he lowered his ERA to 3.97. 

Charlie Blackmon is someone who everyone knows is good but it usually comes the caveat of "He plays at Coors Field." He was not playing at Coors Field on Wednesday, but went three for six with a solo home run in the 12th inning.



Though the Angels beat the Orioles, they did not get much help from third baseman Luis Valbuena, who went 0-for-three with three strikeouts before he was removed from the game for a pinch hitter. 



Mariners outfielder Ben Gamel is known for the beautiful locks and is having a nice season at the plate with a .304 batting average, but his defence often gets overlooked. A's outfielder Khris Davis learned the hard way how good Gamel's defensive play is during Oakland's loss to Seattle.



Do yourself a favour and watch James Paxton pitch. Sure, Chris Sale and Corey Kluber are pretty much in a two-horse race for the Cy Young award in the AL, but Paxton is having a stellar season. He is 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA and 132 strikeouts. Tyler Skaggs (1-2, 4.32 ERA) could be a really good one if he just stayed healthy, so this has the makings of a very good game as both teams are vying for a wild-card spot.