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Johnson brings team together before Game 1 victory

WASHINGTON -- Saturday night's extra-innings loss to the Twins left Nationals manager Davey Johnson frustrated. The Nationals had scored 14 runs in their past seven games, and they hadn't scored three runs in any of them. So Johnson said it was time for a team meeting.

"It wasn't much of a speech," right-hander Jordan Zimmermann said. "It was more just story time."

Whatever it was, it worked. After Johnson spoke Sunday morning, the Nationals put up seven runs and 14 hits en route to a 7-0 shutout. They hadn't scored seven runs in a game since May 28.

"He just told a story from back when he was playing, just to relax and have fun and just go out there," Zimmermann said. "We've been hitting the ball, [we] just haven't been driving runs in and we were able to do that today."

When asked about the content of the speech, second baseman Anthony Rendon (2-for-3, three RBIs) said it was pretty simple.

"Swing," Rendon said. "I mean, just be aggressive. That's basically what he was trying to say. Go out there and try to hit."

Johnson rarely has team meetings. He has only had one other such meeting this year, before the Nationals' 5-4 win against the Pirates on May 4.

"I'll have one every day if we get 14 hits and seven runs," Johnson said. "It wasn't much of a meeting. Just about three minutes. Just cheered 'em up. … I don't get mad at those guys."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Tom Schad is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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