7-run inning pushes the Nationals past the Brewers

Another tough night for the Milwaukee bullpen helped Washington get past the Brewers 8-5 on Wednesday night.

Starter Jimmy Nelson was relieved following a four-pitch walk to open the eighth inning, exiting with a 2-1 lead after seven strong innings of work where he allowed just one run on four hits and struck out 10. But a pair of hits, including a two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman off Jacob Barnes, cost the Crew the lead. After Josh Hader came on to strikeout Bryce Harper, manager Craig Counsell went to Jared Hughes, who proceeded to give up four runs before getting the final out.

“Jacob did a nice job. He got two ground balls. Jacob’s been our eighth-inning guy, and to me, he did his job tonight,” Counsell said. “Unfortunately, [the ground balls] found holes. Josh did his job. I thought we had it setup kind of the way we wanted to with [with Hughes] and some matchups. It just didn’t work.”

Milwaukee nearly got the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth thanks to a two-run homer from Lewis Brinson, the organization’s top prospect who had been called up earlier in the day. Hernan Perez also had a run scoring double in the frame.

The loss dropped Milwaukee out of first place, and they are now ½ game back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

The Brewers and Nationals will play their rubber match on Thursday, with first pitch coming at 11:05 a.m.

LISTEN: Top prospect Lewis Brinson on how he’s handling being called up

Garza Struggles, Brewers Fail to Complete Sweep of Nats

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Matt Garza struggled with control, allowing three long balls and seven earned runs over four and a third innings in a 7-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon.

The Nats were spotted an early 4-0 advantage thanks to a first inning bomb from Bryce Harper and a solo homer from Jose Lobaton in the second. The Brewers fought back quickly and valiantly to put up their own four-run inning in the third to tie the game. However, that tie score would be short lived, as Stephen Drew’s RBI double in the bottom of the third and Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run home run in the fifth produced the game’s final and deciding three runs.

Garza’s ERA ballooned up to 5.54 with the loss, and he is just 1-2 since his return to action from the DL last month.

After losing a 4-0 lead early on, Washington starter Tanner Roark settled in and went seven innings deep before turning it over to the Nationals bullpen, which allowed just one baserunner over the final two innings.

The Brewers take Thursday off before commencing a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park beginning Friday.