The Nats are finally back in the win column.
On Thursday, the club snapped four-game losing streak and avoided a seven-game losing streak at home with a victory against the Reds.
Now, the challenge is to stay there and eventually move past the first-place Braves in the National League East standings.
But, first things, first.
Jordan Zimmermann will take the hill against Cincinnati's Homer Bailey on Friday looking to build on an inconsistent outing against the Mets in his last start.
Zimmermann's problem against New York was a simple one: He didn't throw enough first-pitch strikes and fell behind in the count often. The result was predictable. Zimmermann threw 96 pitches in only five innings before he was replaced, and was eventually tagged with the loss.
"I had to battle all day, and I was behind in the count most of the day, and when you do that, you are going to throw a lot more pitches," Zimmermann said.
As for Bailey, he gave up two runs over six innings against the Marlins despite pitching into several jams and running up his pitch count. The Reds went on to win the game after Bailey's departure, in large part because of first baseman Joey Votto, who hit his second home run in as many days in the victory.
Much has been made about Votto's lack of power this season -- he has just four home runs and nine RBIs -- but the All-Star slugger remains among the league leaders in slugging and on-base-percentage.
"I told you everybody is going to worry about Joey more than we were, even Joey," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Reds: Marshall nearing return
• Sean Marshall, who has been on the disabled list since April 10 because of tendinitis in his left shoulder, re-joined the Reds in Washington on Thursday after making two rehab appearances for Triple-A Louisville, and he could be activated from the disabled list soon.
• Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has already been hit by 10 pitches this month. It's the most HPB in a month since Houston's Craig Biggio was hit by 10 pitches in August 1997.
• Before Thursday, Reds starting pitchers hadn't allowed more than two runs in an outing since April 14 at Pittsburgh, when Mat Latos gave up three runs.
Nationals: Harper on a roll to start year
• Bryce Harper went 2-for-3 Thursday, including his eighth home run of the season, a new club record for April. He has 16 RBIs this month and needs one more RBI to tie the club record for April.
Harper has 11 multi-hit games this season.
• The Nats have scored 43 runs during the last 13 games and have gone 4-9 during that span.
• Injured catcher Wilson Ramos will begin a rehab assignment Friday for Double-A Harrisburg and could come off the disabled list by Monday.
• Five of the last 12 games between the Reds and Nationals have gone into extra innings.
• The Reds used just six starting pitchers all season in 2012. Tony Cingrani became the sixth different starting pitched used this season when he made a start last Thursday.
• Military Appreciation Day at Nationals Park is scheduled for Sunday. The club is offering 3,000 complimentary tickets for members of the military, which includes active duty, dependents, reservists, and retirees. Additional tickets will also be available at a 50-percent discount for members of the military.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.