Zimmerman extends hit streak to 23

Zimmerman extends hit streak to 23

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 23 games against the Astros at Nationals Park on Tuesday afternoon. The game was eventually suspended by rain tied at 10 in the 11th inning. Zimmerman's streak is the longest in baseball this season.

Despite the suspension, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tuesday's stats will count and will be reflected in the updated stats on Wednesday.

In the bottom of sixth inning, facing Houston right-hander Chris Sampson, Zimmerman singled to center field on an 0-1 pitch to drive in Cristian Guzman. The streak is the longest in Nationals history. In his two previous at-bats, Zimmerman was hitless against right-hander Roy Oswalt.

"It's one more than 22," Zimmerman said. "It's nice to be able to help the team. I drove in a run with the one hit. We did another good job of coming from behind today and scoring a lot of runs. Hopefully, we can keep it going like we have been."

Zimmerman would get another hit, in the eighth inning off right-hander Geoff Geary. For the day, Zimmerman ended up going 2-for-6.

During the streak, Zimmerman is 35-for-99 (.354). For the season, he is hitting .333 with five home runs and 19 RBIs.

Astros reliever LaTroy Hawkins is impressed by what Zimmerman has accomplished.

"That's pretty good, if you can hit in 23 straight games in the Major Leagues," Hawkins said. "I mean anywhere -- 23 games is pretty good. Hey, I wish we could have stopped him."

Teammate Nick Johnson said Zimmerman's success at the plate is because of hard work.

"He's swinging the bat well," Johnson said. "He comes here to work. He has a good approach to the plate. He is not missing his pitch. He is having consistent at-bats and using the whole field."

Charlie Slowes is the radio voice of the Nationals, and one can tell that he is enjoying Zimmerman's hitting streak. Slowes also pointed out that Zimmerman has a hit in 24 of the 25 games he has played this season.

"He is on a roll," Slowes said. "I listen to the other players talk about it, and they kind of feed off it. You have that one guy that can really light up your lineup and, in some cases, carry your team.

"It's exciting. Coming off the contract extension, I don't know if he was energized by it, or more relaxed. He is playing some ball. That's for sure."

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