Washington Nationals: Gonzalez Rocked, Losing Streak Now 7
By Ricky Keeler
The Washington Nationals comeback fell short as Gio Gonzalez’s early struggles led to a loss against the Brewers
This afternoon, the Washington Nationals were looking to get back on the winning track against the Milwaukee Brewers. Unfortunately, Gio Gonzalez had another bad outing as he puts the Nats in an early hole. The Washington Nationals attempted to come back from a 6-1 deficit, but it fell short as the Nats lost 6-5 and their losing streak is now at seven games.
Right out of the gate, the Brewers scored three in the first against Gonzalez. Jonathan Villar and Aaron Hill began the inning with back-to-back singles. Three batters later, Chris Carter hit a 3-1 changeup over the wall in left field for a three-run home run, his 19th of the season.
Washington got one back in the top of the second when Wilson Ramos drove in Daniel Murphy on a single to right (Murphy tripled to begin the inning and went 3-for-5 today). But, the Brewers got that run back in the bottom of the inning when Villar hit a ball that went off Murphy’s glove and into right to score Keon Broxton.
One inning later, after Gonzalez hit two batters, Hernan Perez extended the Brewers lead to 6-1 when he hit a ground-rule double to right. Gonzalez’s day ended up being over after three innings. He went three innings, gave up six runs on six hits, struck out five, and walked one on 69 pitches as he has now lost six straight decisions.
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Trailing 6-1, the Washington Nationals comeback began in the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman walked and Anthony Rendon doubled to begin the inning. They would both come around to score on sacrifice flies by Espinosa and Clint Robinson (pinch-hitting for Gonzalez).
Espinosa would tack on another sacrifice fly in the sixth that scored Zimmerman to cut the deficit to 6-4. That would be the last run scored against Brewers starter Matt Garza. Garza went six innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out one, and walked three on 81 pitches (51 strikes) in the win.
Against the Brewers bullpen, the Nats would tack on one more run in the top of the seventh when Ryan Zimmerman hit a sacrifice fly to center to cut the deficit to one. But, Anthony Rendon ended up grounding out to second to end the inning. The clutch hitting didn’t get much better today as the Washington Nationals were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and they stranded nine base runners.
Even though Gonzalez didn’t go deep into the game, the Washington Nationals bullpen did a good job of holding the Brewers scoreless for the final five innings. The trio of Yusmeiro Petit, Matt Belisle, and Sammy Solis combined to give up five hits and strike out five.
The Washington Nationals had one more chance to tie the game in the ninth when Bryce Harper led off with a single, However, Ramos would ground into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play as Jeremy Jeffress picked up his 21st save of the season.
Next: Takeaways From 5-3 Loss To Brewers
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (43-32) will look to avoid their eighth straight loss and the sweep tomorrow afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers (34-40) at Miller Park. You can catch the game at 2:10 p.m ET on MASN2. Tanner Roark (6-5, 3.18 ERA) will start for the Nats against Jimmy Nelson (5-6, 3.80) for the Brewers. It was supposed to be Stephen Strasburg that started tomorrow, but according to Dan Kolko of MASN, he is being scratched from his start: