Zimmerman extends hit streak

Zimmerman extends hit streak

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 20 games in Friday's 6-2 loss against the Cardinals at Nationals Park. The streak is the longest in baseball this season.

In the third inning, facing St. Louis right-hander Todd Wellemeyer, Zimmerman singled to center field to extend the streak, which is the longest-running by a DC-based player since Mickey Vernon's 20-game run in 1953 with the Senators. Zimmerman would be left stranded at first when the next hitter, Adam Dunn, popped up to third baseman Joe Thurston.

Zimmerman would latter get another single in the eighth inning off Jason Motte.

"I feel good -- I just hope I can continue with the approach that I have and keep going," Zimmerman said. "The streak thing doesn't really mean much to me. I enjoy doing well and helping the team out."

Zimmerman said he would trade in the hitting streak for team victories. The Nationals are 5-17 and have the worst record in baseball.

"I'll trade in personal stuff for wins any day," Zimmerman said. "In these last two games, we haven't beaten ourselves. We are kind of turning the corner in that way. ... Put it behind you, and come out tomorrow and get a win."

In his first three full seasons with the Nationals, Zimmerman got off to a slow start each year. In fact, he has a .237 career average during the first month of the season.

But this year is a different story. Entering Saturday's action, Zimmerman was hitting .298 with five home runs and 16 RBIs.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.