Game in a nutshell: The final game of this year's Battle of the Beltways featured a taut pitcher's duel, with the Nationals plating one early run (via a Ryan Zimmerman RBI single, of all things) and then hoping beyond hope baseball's best pitching staff could make that one run hold up all afternoon. They very nearly pulled it off, with Ross Detwiler tossing five scoreless innings in his return to the rotation and Craig Stammen tossing two scoreless innings of relief. But Sean Burnett, who had given up just one home run over his last 50 appearances, served up a towering, two-run shot to Matt Wieters in the bottom of the eighth. And just like that, the Nationals were subjected to a crushing, 2-1 loss that clinched the season series for Baltimore (4-2).
Hitting highlight: Barely 24 hours after finally admitting his shoulder is bothering him and affecting his performance, it was only fitting that Zimmerman delivered his first two-hit game in weeks and drove in the Nationals' lone run. Yes, his shoulder is not 100 percent. But how bad can it be if Zimmerman can still drive a 95-mph fastball over the shortstop's head for a solid base hit? Obviously, things haven't gotten so bad that Zim is incapable of starting a major-league game and producing in some manner.
Pitching highlight: Detwiler earned a spot back in the rotation because of his ability to attack opposing hitters and get quick outs. And he brought that same approach to today's start ... at least for three innings. Detwiler mowed through the Orioles the first time through their lineup, needing only 39 pitches to record nine outs. But then he began to nibble in the fourth and fifth, and he didn't appear to take kindly to plate umpire David Rackley's strike zone. An inability to deal with negative factors has been Detwiler's bugaboo throughout his career, but he managed to emerge from this one unscathed, tossing five scoreless innings before handing things over to his bullpen.
Key stat: With a 1-6-3 comebacker in the third inning today, Bryce Harper grounded into his first double play in 268 total plate appearances this season between Class AAA and the majors.
Up next: The Nationals went straight from Camden Yards to BWI Airport for an evening flight to Denver. They'll open a four-game series against the Rockies Monday at 8:40 p.m. EDT, with Stephen Strasburg seeking his 10th win of the season against struggling lefty Jeff Francis.