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Nats 9, Brewers 5: Offense explodes to secure series win

Aug 23, 2015, 4:39 PM EST

USA Today

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It had been nearly two months since the Nationals won consecutive series, and it finally came against two of the worst teams in baseball, but the Nats’ performance to finish the weekend was a convincing sign of progress, nonetheless.

After dominating the Brewers on Saturday night, the Nats followed suit with a 9-5 victory in front of 28,039 people on a beautiful afternoon on South Capitol St. The Nationals have scored six runs or more in consecutive games for the first time since June 20-21 (vs. Pittsburgh).

Wilson Ramos hit his 10th homer of the season, Anthony Rendon homered for the second straight game and Danny Espinosa came within inches of a third-inning grand slam. It was an offensive explosion and nearly every Nats player got involved.

Starter Jordan Zimmermann was not sharp and he ran into major trouble early, but he was good enough to take advantage of a disaster of an outing for Brewers right-hander Matt Garza. Garza gave up seven earned runs on eight hits and six walks, the latter of which tied a career-high.

Zimmermann allowed two runs in the first inning on a homer to Jonathan Lucroy and another homer to Scooter Gennett in the fifth. He moved to 10-8 on the season and now holds a 3.54 ERA in 26 starts.

The Nationals have won two straight series for the first time since June 23-28. They moved to 62-61 with the victory and will now wait for the Mets’ result as New York plays Colorado this evening.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: The Nationals’ 9-5 victory was powered by two huge innings, the third and the fifth. The third inning saw four runs scored all with two outs.

After Zimmermann and Jayson Werth struck out, Rendon walked to begin the rally. Bryce Harper then beat a shift with a groundball to left field that resulted in a double and put both runners in scoring position. Ryan Zimmerman walked and Ian Desmond followed that with an infield single to score Rendon. Espinosa then smoked a double off the wall in right-center to clear the bases and make it four runs in the two-out surge.

The fifth inning was where the homers took place. Ramos blasted his to straightaway center with one out. It smacked off the front edge of the upper deck, an absolute bomb. Rendon then homered to left field with two outs. The Nats’ infielder had one homer in his previous 43 games before Saturday, when he also homered and reached base four times.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: Zimmermann entered Sunday hoping to move past one of his worst outings of the season, a game that the Nats were still able to win. But again he struggled against a bad team and was bailed out by his offense. Zimmermann allowed two homers and has now given up multiple home runs in consecutive games and in three of his last five outings.

The problems for Zimmermann surfaced right away on Sunday. Gennett led off the first with a single and Lucroy followed with a two-run homer. Ryan Braun then roped a line drive off the wall in right field, but Harper threw him out at second for his sixth outfield assist of the season.

Zimmermann finished with an uneven line of: 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 7 SO, BB, 2 HR on 116 pitches.

Drew Storen also had a rough outing, as he pitched the eighth inning. He gave up a homer to Khris Davis on his first pitch and has now allowed at least a run in five of his last six appearances.

KEY STAT: Zimmermann has allowed multiple homers in five of his 26 outings this season. He did that just once in 32 starts in 2014.

UP NEXT: The Nationals are off on Monday with the San Diego Padres coming to town for a three-game series beginning Tuesday. Stephen Strasburg (7-6, 4.22) will face his hometown team, as James Shields (9-5, 3.74) will pitch for San Diego.

  1. abqnatsfan - Aug 23, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    Good win. 9 runs is a lot for 9 hits, can’t count on that run per hit rate but it helped make the game manageable. A day off, rest, and take on the surging Padres.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 23, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      They also collected 9 walks, which several of them resulted in scores.

  2. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 23, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    One of the better wknd at the ball park… had a great time… good to see Tony 2 bags get ‘on’… definitely hope it is sustained.

    Hate off days but I think they need 1 tomorrow. Enjoy it and then let’s get ready to kick the Pads in the butt!

    • natsjackinfl - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:17 PM

      I hate off days after a loss because I want get on to a win and I really hate off days after 2 wins in a row because I want to ride the momentum.

      Ok. I just hate off days.

      • Another_Sam - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:54 PM

        My oft-stated feeling about off days is similar, Jack. Lol

    • natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      I like that it’s an off day after a win. Fun day at the park for sure.

  3. Candide - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    Texas boy with a bit of a New York sarcastic sense of humor. Cunegonde needs to talk with him; she’s a native Texan who totally doesn’t get my jokes.

    • stoatva - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:48 PM

      You gotta get sick to death of those stupid “how important was it” “how awesome was it” “what did you think when””how did you feel when” pseudo questions after every game.

    • natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:32 PM

      Now, that’s funny, Anthony!

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 24, 2015 at 12:33 AM

      I love this kid.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 24, 2015 at 12:36 AM

        And in that “‘Score more runs than the other team” spirit, what do the Nationals need to do for the season? Win more games than the other team. NB: It doesn’t matter which games.

  4. veejh - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    Didn’t watch the past 2 games. Great, I guess I’ll sacrifice watching the Nats for the good of the team.

    • virginiascopist - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:42 PM

      Same here. And I’ll continue not watching as well, “for the good of the team.”

      • veejh - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:44 PM

        As long as the Mets keep winning, it doesn’t matter. Hey, wait, maybe I’ll start watching the Mets.

    • Candide - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:43 PM

      “Greater love hath no man…”

    • Candide - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:44 PM

      I watched both. Good thing for me they’re done visiting the west coast for a while…

    • natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:32 PM

      Thanks for your sacrifice, fellas.

  5. Section 222 - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    Great win, and I’ll have a few thoughts later. But Mets about to finish their sweep of the Rocks. Magic No. will be down to 35 with 39 games left.

    • Candide - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:55 PM

      We have six games left with the Mets. We need to win a couple more than they do before those six games, then win five or six against them.

      If they keep playing like they did the last two days, it’s totally do-able.

    • natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:32 PM

      Dang, those Mets just don’t quit.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:53 PM

        And tomorrow we have to say, “Go, Ph” – ick…ptooey…Ahem, let’s try that again. “Go, Phi”…er, um, you know, “Go, that team from the City of Brotherly Love.” Yeah. That’s right. I said that.

  6. stoatva - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:54 PM

    Mets skip Harvey start and live to tell the tale. It’s their world, here in August.

  7. raleighnat - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    Good to see them play a little better but they need help and mets aren’t doing their part. No one to blame but themselves.

  8. oldtownatsfan - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:01 PM

    I didn’t think Storen’s outing was “rough.” He gave up a first pitch home run to a good hitter, then proceeded to strike out the side. Obviously I’d like to see a scoreless outing, but after his last few outings I thought this was a step in the right direction.

    • unkyd59 - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:26 PM

      +3Ks
      (Had to check…def a Chase comment…)

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