After playing a 16-inning marathon on Tuesday night, the Nationals looked for a sweep of the Central leading Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday. The Brewers’ bats quieted those thoughts early, pulling away to defeat the Nats 9-2.
The Nats scored first, giving Stephen Strasburg (6-6) a 1-0 lead with a Nate McLouth RBI groundout in the second. The Brewers struck back quickly when Scooter Gennett’s grand slam in the bottom half of the inning put the Brewers ahead 4-1. After the Nats scored again in the fourth, Khris Davis’ home run made the score 5-2. The Brewers then added two more on Davis’ 2-RBI single in the fifth.
Davis’ second hit on the afternoon finished Strasburg’s. Strasburg completed just 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits and three walks with two strike outs. The seven runs allowed by Strasburg matched a career high. Strasburg has now allowed 4+ runs in back-to-back starts, something that he also did during the first two starts of the season.
Taylor Hill relieved Strasburg, making his Major League debut after having his contract purchased from Triple-A Syracuse earlier in the day, and after getting out of trouble in the fifth, the rookie struggled in the sixth. Gennett drove in his fifth run of the game with an RBI single, and then Carlos Gomez scored Gennett with an infield single. Hill struck out Davis for his first big league K, limiting any further damage, but after six the Brewers led 9-2.
Hill acquitted himself nicely after his one tough inning, completing 3 1/3 innings of work with two earned runs on five hits and a walk.
Playing into the wee hours of the morning, the Nats’ bats struggled to awake against former National Marco Estrada (7-4), who finished with 6 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits and three walks with four strike outs.
On the day, the Nats finished with two hits. Desmond, who finished 2-for-4 on the afternoon, had both. Desmond hit his tenth double of the season and also stole his eighth bag. Four players walked, which is nice. As a bonus, all players managed to make it to the park on time . . . sort of.
A little good news for the Nats is that Wilson Ramos is expected to return tomorrow.