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05/12/09 3:43 AM ET

Zimmerman pushes streak to 29

Nats third baseman singles off Johnson in first frame

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman didn't wait long to extend his hitting streak to 29 games, drilling a single to center field in his first at-bat in Monday night's game against the Giants.

With Nick Johnson on first base, Zimmerman lined a 1-1 slider from Randy Johnson to center field. The streak is the longest in baseball this season, and he is now more than halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak.

"Obviously a tremendous hitter," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before the game. "Twenty-eight games is impressive. I know it's halfway to the record, and that shows you how impressive what DiMaggio did."

Not only did Zimmerman extend his hitting streak, he also went 4-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs on the night. Zimmerman drilled a solo shot in the sixth inning off Johnson and then knocked another one out in the ninth off reliever Osiris Matos.

"I'm just trying to do the same stuff I've been doing all season," said Zimmerman after the Nationals' 11-7 loss to the Giants. "I'm keeping the same routine before the game and trying to keep the same approach at the plate."

Nationals manager Manny Acta couldn't say enough about his slugger. Acta continued to praise Zimmerman's relaxed approach even as the streak is beginning to gain nationwide coverage.

"He's been pretty amazing for us throughout this streak," Acta said. "He's the same today as he was 28 days ago. Nothing really bothers him or excites him. He knows what's going on, but he just keeps the same approach."

Even with Johnson, a future Hall of Famer, on the mound, Zimmerman took the same approach to the plate as he would against anybody else.

"I was just looking for something good to hit, a ball I could handle and put a good swing on it," Zimmerman said. "[Johnson] is a large guy and you got arms and legs coming at you, so it's tough to hit him. I just brought the same approach out there."

Jayson Addcox is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.