(Sports Network) - After a thrilling series opener on Friday night, the Washington Nationals and the Kansas City Royals continue their weekend set on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals grabbed an early 6-0 lead after two innings on Friday, but the Nationals rallied back with a seven-run fourth inning, highlighted by a two- run home run off the bat of Jayson Werth.
Washington took a comfortable four-run lead into the ninth inning, but while Kansas City made things interesting with three late runs, the Nats managed to hold on for the 11-10 victory.
"We never give up," Nationals' manager Davey Johnson said after the marathon contest. "We never shut it down. We go hard."
Bryce Harper had a double and three RBI and added his seventh stolen base for good measure. Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore each collected three hits in the win.
After Gio Gonzalez was smacked around for six earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings, Tanner Roark (4-0) picked up the slack in a big way, pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit and one walk.
After Drew Storen failed to record an out in the ninth, Rafael Soriano extinguished the threat to earn his 33rd save.
Bruce Chen (5-2) had a rare poor outing for the Royals, yielding six hits, five walks and seven earned runs while failing to make it out of the fourth inning.
Eric Hosmer shined despite the loss, going 3-for-3 with three RBI, three runs scored and his 15th home run of the season. Jason Maxwell finished 2-for-5 with three RBI as well, while Alex Gordon tallied three hits and scored four runs out of the leadoff spot.
The Nationals will send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound on Saturday. The 26- year-old is in the midst of an outstanding season, boasting a 3.37 ERA 14 wins.
Despite Zimmermann's stellar campaign, he's been underwhelming over the past few weeks, going just 2-4 in seven starts since July 11. He's coming off his worst start of the season, allowing seven hits, three walks and eight earned runs over five innings in an Aug. 19 loss to the Cubs.
"My stuff's been good all year," Zimmermann said following his latest outing. "Fastball's been good, slider was good tonight. Just the location was off tonight and it's something I've got to work on."
Zimmermann has not fared well away from Washington this year, sporting just a 4-5 record with a 4.23 ERA in 10 road starts.
Kansas City will counter with Wade Davis, who, in his first season with the Royals, has struggled mightily in 23 starts, going 6-9 with a 5.43 ERA. Davis is just one year removed from sporting a 2.43 ERA as a member of Tampa Bay's bullpen in 2012.
The right-hander failed to make it out of the fourth inning of his latest outing, surrendering eight hits, two walks and four earned runs in a no- decision versus Detroit on Aug. 17. He had given up two earned runs or less in each of his previous four starts.
The silver lining for Davis is that he's pitched slightly better at home (4.40 ERA) than on the road (6.52) this season.