Dan Haren With Seven Scoreless In 3-0 Nationals' Win Over The Brewers

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Davey Johnson expressed confidence after Dan Haren's last start that the 32-year-old right-hander had figured things out and he was strong again tonight in the Washington Nationals' 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos went yard in the win.

Donovan Hand, Milwaukee's 27-year-old rookie right-hander, threw a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the first inning against the Washington Nationals in the second of three in Miller Park tonight in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dan Haren's 20th start of 2013 began with Brewers' second baseman Rickie Weeks doubling to left on a 2-1 cutter from the Nats' right-hander, but Norichika Aoki bunted Weeks over to third/gave up an out and Jean Segura K'd swinging on a 1-2 cutter for the first two outs of the opening frame. The Nationals' 32-year-old, 11-year veteran walked Jonathan Lucroy to put runners on the corners with two down, then got a line drive to short out of Carlos Gomez that Ian Desmond caught to end a 23-pitch bottom of the inning. 0-0 after one.

Jayson Werth collected his fourth hit in five at bats in Milwaukee in the first AB of the Nationals' second. Adam LaRoche was 1 for 12 one at bat into the fourth game on the current road trip after grounding weakly to first with Werth on the move. Ian Desmond worked the count full and took the first walk of the night from Donovan Hand and he and Werth pulled a double steal on the Brewers' right-hander to put two in scoring position for Anthony Rendon, whose sac fly to right was deep enough to bring Werth in, in spite of a strong throw in by Norichika Aoki. 1-0 Nationals after one and a half in Miller Park.

Khris Davis singled through short to start the home-half of the second, but a 2-2 cutter got Jeff Bianchi swinging for out no.1 and Haren's second K. Yuniesky Betancourt started his first at bat of the night 11 for 27 (.407/.414/.407) in his career against Dan Haren, but was 11 for 28 when flew out to left for the second out of what ended being a 22-pitch second when Donovan Hand K'd swinging through a 1-2 fastball. 1-0 Nats after two. 45 pitches for Haren.

Dan Haren singled to right on an 0-1 fastball to start the top of the third, but Denard Span K'd swinging for an unproductive first out of the frame, Bryce Harper popped up on a 3-1 pitch and slammed his bat in the batter's box before running it out and Ryan Zimmerman flew to deep left-center where Kris Davis made a leaping catch at the wall to pull down a potential extra base hit. 1-0 Nats after two and a half. Haren was up to 57 pitch overall after a quick, 12-pitch bottom of the inning.

Jayson Werth was 2 for 2 tonight and 5 for 6 two at bats into his second game in Milwaukee after singling to the right side of second to start the fourth, but a fly to left by Adam LaRoche and a 6-4-3 DP followed in a scoreless top of the inning for Donovan Hand. Dan Haren retired Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez on five pitches for the first two outs of the Brewers' fourth, but he walked Khris Davis with two down before Jeff Bianchi's fly to Denard Span in center ended a 14-pitch inning that had Haren up to 71 pitches overall. Still 1-0 Nats.

Make that 2-0. Wilson Ramos hit home run no.7 of 2013 out to left field on a 1-0 slider from Donovan Hand to put the Brewers in a two-run hole in the top of the fifth. Khris Davis and Carlos Gomez converged on Ramos' blast, but had it sail over their gloves and the wall for a one-out solo blast. 2-0 Nationals after four and a half. Yuniesky Betancourt was 12 for 29 career vs Haren after singling to left to start the Milwaukee fifth, but he got greedy and got himself thrown out at second on a strong throw in by Bryce Harper. Haren needed just five pitches to get the next two outs for a six-pitch frame that had him at 77 overall after five.

Adam LaRoche took a first-pitch fastball to left field for an opposite solo blast, his first home run since July 22nd and his first hit of the series against Milwaukee in Miller Park. LaRoche's two-out home run, no. 15 of 2013 for the first baseman, put the Nationals up 3-0 after five and a half in the Brewers' home. Dan Haren retired the Brewers' batters in order in the bottom of the inning, and the 14-pitch frame had him up to 91 pitches total after six scoreless.

Donovan Hand was up to 92 pitches overall when he was done setting the Nationals down in order in the top of the seventh. An 0-2 fastball to Carlos Gomez got Dan Haren his 6th K in 6 1/3 IP. Khris Davis hit a weak grounder to third that got Haren two quick outs on four pitches. Jeff Bianchi got sharp grounder by Ryan Zimmerman's backhand for a two-out single in the bottom of the inning, but Yuniesky Betancourt was 12 for 30 career vs Haren after he lined out to left to end an 11-pitch seventh that had Haren at 102 overall, up 3-0.

Brewers' right-hander Rob Wooten threw a quick, 1-2-3 top of the eighth against the Nationals.

Dan Haren's Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 102 P, 70 S, 5/3 GO/FO.

Tyler Clippard threw a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the eighth, striking Norichika Aoki out for just the 25th time in 463 plate appearances this season.

Roger Bernadina K'd looking for the first at bat of the ninth. Adam LaRoche's groundout made it two quick outs for Rob Wooten. Ian Desmond singled to right with two down and Anthony Rendon did the same before Wilson Ramos grounded out to end the top of the ninth.

Cue his music... "Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Srike him out, Soriano!" Rafael Soriano came out for the bottom of the ninth looking for save no. 28 of 2013. Jean Segura grounded back to the mound and Soriano made the play. ONE! Jonathan Lucroy grounded out to third. TWO!! Carlos Gomez flew out to center. Ballgame.

Work's done! Untuck that jersey, son!!

Nationals 54-56

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