Bryce Harper’s latest foray into leadership hung on the back of each chair in the Washington Nationals’ clubhouse Friday afternoon hours before their 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The red-and-black camouflage T-shirts carried a message – borrowed from the movie “Red Tails” – chosen as an impassioned reminder to a team in free-fall: “To the last minute. To the last second. To the last man: We FIGHT!”

“Harper made them” reliever Fernando Abad said sitting in the Miller Park visitor’s dugout. “I like it. I’m going to wear it every day.”

After the Nationals’ beatdown Wednesday in Detroit Harper had waded into team-spokesman territory when he pleaded for the Nationals to play with “heart” and “like a family” urging them not to give up on the season. He delivered another message Friday like any 20-year-old might: with a T-shirt order.

Slogans and speeches only go so far and Harper also delivered in the manner that truly matters. He went 2 for 4 and laced a solo home run into the upper deck off Burke Badenhop providing one of many contributions that halted the Nationals’ losing skid at two games.

“It’s not that we needed a jolt” Manager Davey Johnson said. “We just need some hits. With some runners in scoring position.”

Pitching three hours from his tiny home town of Auburndale Wis. Jordan Zimmermann gutted through six scoreless innings. Jayson Werth left behind his torrid July with three hits in his first game of August. Ian Desmond created the Nationals’ first run when he doubled to center field stole third base and scooted home as catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s throw got past third baseman Jeff Bianchi and into left field.

Other than Desmond’s self-made score the Nationals were shut down for four innings by Alfredo Figaro a journeyman long reliever pressed into service after Werth’s line drive drilled Brewers starter (and former National) Tom Gorzelanny on the left elbow. But Zimmermann’s performance and just enough offense gave the Nationals their fifth victory in 14 games since the all-star break.

Zimmermann punched up a 7.81 ERA over five July starts and battled a pinched nerve his neck that prevented him from pitching in the All-Star Game. Friday night he still lacked his sharpest stuff. He allowed four doubles yielded four walks and hit a batter. He allowed a base runner in every inning and a Brewer reached second base in four of six innings. And still none crossed the plate.

With one out in the fifth Rickie Weeks smoked a double to the gap in left-center. Zimmermann typically stoic crouched on the mound and swiped at the dirt with his right hand. And then he sandwiched a walk around two grounders to short the second of which extricated him from a first-and-third jam.