Zimmerman homers in return, Nationals defeat Marlins

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was happy to rejoin in the fun.

Zimmerman celebrated his return from the injured list with one of Washington’s four home runs and the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 9-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

The 34-year-old Zimmerman, who was reinstated Sunday after missing 36 games with Plantar Fasciitis in his right foot, connected for a two-run shot to give the Nationals a 6-3 lead in the sixth inning.

”I’ve hit home runs before, so it’s not a huge deal,” Zimmerman said. ”Being back out there with the guys and just being part of the game, it was fun.”

Washington has had a lot of fun of late. The NL Wild Card leader has won four straight, nine of 10, and 19 of 24 as they continue to put a 19-31 start behind them.

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”When we started enjoying the game and started joking in here, it’s like everything changed,” cleanup hitter Juan Soto said of Washington’s turnaround. ”The game. Dancing with the homers. Dancing after the games. It’s amazing.”

Following his home run, Zimmerman joined the dance craze with what looked like an old man using a walker.

”I don’t know, man. Just…I’m old,” he said. ”Dancing’s not really my thing but got to do it.”

During a pitching change later that inning, the ”Simba-cam” showed parents in the stands holding up their babies. When it panned to the Washington dugout, Victor Robles was seen lifting Adam Eaton in a similar manner.

On the field, Soto and Anthony Rendon each homered for the second consecutive game, while Yan Gomes also had a home run.

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RHP Joe Ross (3-3, 5.36) is 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA over his past five starts. He pitches the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Mets on Monday.

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