The Washington Nationals (62-61) were looking to take the three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers (55-72) this afternoon at Nats Park. After last night’s 6-1 win, the Nats offense kept the momentum going against Brewers’ starter Matt Garza (6-14, 5.26). Eight of the nine Nats players in the starting lineup recorded a hit in the game and provided Jordan Zimmermann (10-8, 3.54) with plenty of run support as they won the series with a 9-5 win over Milwaukee.
However, the Nats did not get off to a good start. After Scooter Gennett singled to center, Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-run homer to center field. Lucroy’s seventh of the season put the Brewers in front 2-0 right out of the gate. But, the Nationals would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning.
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Then, in the bottom of third, the Nats would put up a four spot against Matt Garza and all of the runs came with two outs. Anthony Rendon drew a walk and Bryce Harper doubled to left field. After a Zimmerman walk loaded the bases, Ian Desmond hit a groundball that bounced off the plate and was bobbled by Garza, which tied the game at two. Danny Espinosa would follow up Desmond’s hit with a bases clearing double off the right field wall to give the Nats their first lead of the game, 5-2.
Two innings later, Gennett would pick up another leadoff hit for the Brewers, but this one went over the fence in right field for his sixth home run of the year. The lead would be cut to two, but the Nats would add to it in the bottom of the fifth.
With one out, Wilson Ramos crushed a solo shot to center field to extend the lead to 6-3. It Was Ramos’ tenth home run of the season. Later in the inning, with Michael Taylor on second and Werth on first, Rendon broke the game open with a three run home run to left field against reliever Corey Knebel. Rendon’s third of the season and second in as many days made the score, 9-3. As for Garza, he went 4.2 innings, gave up seven runs on eight hits, struck out seven, and walked six in the loss.
Those nine runs would be all the runs that Jordan Zimmermann would need in this one. Even though Elian Herrera’s two-out RBI double in the sixth would cut the Nats lead to 9-4, Zimmermann did just enough to record his second straight win. He went 5.2 innings, gave up four runs on eight hits, struck out seven, and walked one on 116 pitches (79 strikes). Felipe Rivero would come in and strike out pinch hitter Jason Rogers to end the inning.
After Casey Janssen threw a scoreless seventh inning, Drew Storen would pitch the top of the eighth. The inning would not start out well for him as Khris Davis led off the frame with a solo shot to left center. His 16th of the season cut the lead to 9-5, but Storen would bounce back by striking out the next three batters he faced. Jonathan Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning in a non-save situation to finish the win.
Next Game: After a day off Monday, the Washington Nationals will begin a three game series against the San Diego Padres (61-62) at Nats Park. You can catch the game at 7:05 PM ET on MASN. Stephen Strasburg (7-6, 4.22) gets the start for the Nats against James Shields (9-5, 3.74) for the Padres.