Zimmerman's two-run shot over the right field wall accounted for one of four hits surrendered by Mike Minor, who had walked Danny Espinosa to open the sixth inning. The Nationals had not been able to capitalize after advancing a baserunner to second base in each of the three previous innings.
The Nationals added to their sixth-inning production once Minor concluded his outing by issuing a one-out walk to Adam LaRoche. Cory Gearrin issued a walk and allowed a single before Brett Carroll drilled a three-run triple to the right-center field gap. Carolll came around to score on the play after shortstop Jack Wilson's throw to the plate bounced and went to the backstop.
The only offense produced before the sixth inning came courtesy of Jason Heyward's monstrous leadoff homer in the fifth inning. Heyward drilled Jackson's 2-2 fastball over the 30-foot-high, center field wall to give the Braves an early one-run lead.
Heyward's fourth home run accounted for the only run Jackson surrendered while scattering two hits over six innings. The veteran right-hander had combined to allow 11 earned runs in his previous two starts.
Up next for the Nationals: The Nationals' lineup will be tested when Josh Johnson and the Marlins travel to Space Coast Stadium at 6:05 p.m. ET on Friday. Ross Detwiler, who is projected to begin the year in Washington's bullpen, will make his first start of the spring. Stephen Strasburg was pushed back one day to line him up for his Opening Day assignment.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.