After Lastings Milledge's RBI single gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth, DC starter John Lannan took a no-hitter and the one-run lead into the bottom of the frame, where he got one out and let two on, on an error and a walk, before Corey Hart's pop-up behind second fell in for a single to load the bases in spite of a sliding Emilio Bonifacio's best efforts. Bill Hall followed with an RBI sac fly to tie it at 1-1, erasing Washington's first lead of the afternoon.
The Nationals, whose first run of the evening ended a 27.2 inning scoreless streak, exploded for three runs in the eighth off Brewers' reliever Eric Gagne. Ryan Zimmerman got it all started when he battled Gagne to a full count and then doubled with two down in the inning. Austin Kearns let Zimmerman walk home with a two-run blast to left for a 3-1 Nationals' lead, followed by Lastings Milledge's solo shot to center to make it 4-1 DC. But in the bottom of the frame, Milwaukee once again mounted a comeback, and the Brewers tied it with a base-clearing double by backup catcher Mike Rivera, after Saul Rivera handed a bases loaded two-out jam to DC closer Joel Hanrahan, who surrendered the hit that sent the game into extra frames.
Four innings later, in the bottom of the thirteenth, Gabe Kapler hits a leadoff walk-off HR to left off Luis Ayala to end a long Sunday afternoon ballgame. 5-4 final.
John Lannan threw 6.0 innings of one-hit baseball against the Brewers, walking 5 with 6 K's, and he was replaced by pinch hitter Ryan Langherhans after throwing 101 pitches and allowing Milwaukee to tie it at 1-1 in the bottom sixth. Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera was charged with all the runs that scored in the Brewers' eighth when Mike Rivera doubled in three runs with Hanrahan pitching to tie it at 4-4. Hanrahan returned for a scoreless ninth, and Jesus Colome and Charlie Manning kept it tied through twelve, (with Colome even working out of a bases loaded one-out jam in the tenth), before Luis Ayala served up the meaty pitch that Kapler destroyed to left for the game winner.
Brewers' starter Manny Parra surrendered just the 1 run in the Nationals' sixth, (the Nationals' first run of the series), and allowed 6 hits while striking out 9, but the lefty received no decision for his 7.0 innings of work. The Brewers' bullpen (after Gagne's implosion) held the tie for 5.0 innings over which they allowed just 2 hits between Salomon Torres, Carlos Villanueva and the eventual winning pitcher, Guillermo Mota, who improved to (3-5) on the season with the W. Luis Ayala takes the loss to drop to (L, 1-8) with a 6.04 ERA in 59 games and 53.2 innings pitched.
Lastings Milledge was (3 for 6) with a HR and 2 RBI's, his 42nd and 43rd of the season, and he's now hit in 11 straight games ending the night with a .257 AVG. Austin Kearns, (1 for 6), made the most of the one hit, smacking the two-run blast, his 5th HR of the season, and his first long ball since July 20th in Atlanta. Ryan Zimmerman was 3 for 6 with a double and a run scored, and Ronnie Belliard and Cristian Guzman each had two hits, with Belliard doubling.
The finale of the four game series takes place tomorrow at 2:05 pm EST.
Federalbaseball.com's Line Of The Day...
"Poor Lannan. The bullpen serves up another big dish of FAIL...
...and the usually-dependable Saooool with the off day this time. Oy."
- "When in doubt, blame PLoD." - Doghouse
Runner-Up Line Of The Day...(After the Walk-off HR)...
"drops head" happy football's around the corner."
- "I'm worried about the beer supply. After this case, and the other case, there's only one case left- Barney Gumble." - CptChaosSidekick
For The Completists, the Full Game Report is after the jump...
New Nationals now 6-4.
Nationals now 44-74. (Countdown to 100 Losses Stands At...26.)
Check-swing ground ball down the first base line, Brewers’ lefty Manny Parra fields and tags DC’s leadoff batter Emilio Bonifacio for the first out of the afternoon tilt. Cristian Guzman hits a weak grounder to second. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to shortstop J.J. Hardy who throws Zim out to end the top of the first....Rickie Weeks swings over a two-strike slider for the first K of the day by John Lannan. J.J. Hardy chases a high 85 mph two-strike fastball for the second swinging K. Gabe Kapler grounds back to the mound, no score after one...
Manny Parra paints the inside corner with a two-strike fastball that has Austin Kearns lifting his arms out of the way as it’s called strike three. Lastings Milledge sends a weak grounder out to second. Jesus Flores swings over an 82 mph change to give Parra his second scoreless...Prince Fielder swings a good foot over Lannan’s two-strike slider in the dirt. Corey Hart works back from a 1-2 count to earn a one-out walk off Lannan. With Bill Hall up, Lannan catches Hart leaning off first, but Belliard’s throw to second hits Hart in the back, and he’s safe at second. Guzman throws out Bill Hall on a broken-bat grounder to short. John Lannan sneaks a 3-1 curve in the back door on Mike Cameron, and pops him up on the full-count pitch. 0-0 after two.
Ronnie Belliard drives a single to the gap in left center for a leadoff hit in the third. Willie Harris pops a 1-0 pitch out to Bill Hall at third. With Lannan squared to bunt, Manny Parra throws a fastball for a wild pitch, Belliard takes second. Lannan’s called out looking. Emilio Bonifacio flies out to Hart in short right, three scoreless for Parra...Mike Rivera takes a full-count fastballl outside for a leadoff walk. Manny Parra gets down a successful sac bunt. Lannan walks Rickie Weeks. Two on for J.J. Hardy. Lannan sneaks a two-strike slider inside under Hardy’s bat. Gabe Kapler pops up a high 0-2 fastball that Belliard grabs to end the third.
Guzman flies out to right on a 2-0 pitch. Ryan Zimmerman punches a single through second for the Nationals’ second baserunner. Bill Hall fields Austin Kearns’ grounder, throws to Weeks at second, to first...but the throw pulls Fielder off the bag, Kearns is safe. Lastings Milledge fights off a few 1-2 pitches, but swings over a 2-2 change to end the top of the frame...Prince Fielder hits a sharp grounder into the dramatic shift for the first out of the Brewers’ fourth. Corey Hart goes down swinging. Bill Hall reaches out but can’t connect with a two-strike change on the outside edge. Lannan matches Parra with four scoreless.
Jesus Flores pops out behind short to start the fifth. Ronnie Belliard blasts a line drive over Mike Cameron’s head in center, off the track and over the wall, ground rule double. Willie Harris throws his bat at a two-strike fastball outside that keeps falling away for a swinging strike three. Lannan swings through a 92 mph fastball inside for third strike and final out of the DC fifth...Mike Cameron tests Zimmerman’s backhand and gets thrown out by two steps at first. Lannan walks Mike Rivera in front of the pitcher. Parra bunts too hard back to the mound, allowing Lannan to cut down Rivera at second. Rickie Weeks rips a liner to third, Zimmerman catches it in his gut but throws to first, in time, to end the fifth.
Emilio Bonifacio grounds out to short. Cristian Guzman hits a hard chopper to third, Hall snags it, but fires wide of first, infield single with one down. Ryan Zimmerman beats J.J. Hardy up the middle with a single to center. Austin Kearns can’t hold up on a two-strike splitter in the dirt. Lastings Milledge lines a single to center, Guzman scores from second. 1-0 New Nationals. Jesus Flores K’s swinging to end the top of the sixth...John Lannan gets a groundout from Hardy to start the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman robs Gabe Kapler on a screaming liner to third, but Zim throws a curve over to first that Belliard can’t handle. Kapler takes second. Prince Fielder takes a full-count curve for a one-out walk. Corey Hart pops up behind second, Bonifacio slides but can’t catch it, bases loaded. Bill Hall lifts one deep enough to center to score Kapler from third. 1-1 ballgame. Lannan pops up Mike Cameron to end the sixth.
Ronnie Belliard swings at two-strike junk for the first out of the seventh. Willie Harris flies out to left. Pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans grounds out to second. Lannan’s done...Saul “Sa-ool” Rivera’s on for the bottom of the frame. Mike Rivera, (no relation), lines a single over short to start the Brewers’ seventh. Pinch hitter Ray Durham replaces Parra. Durham swings over a full-count fastball that sinks low in the zone. Austin Kearns catches the second out off Rickie Weeks’ bat. J.J. Hardy’s up, Rivera steals second without a throw, but gets stranded there on Hardy’s groundout.
Eric Gagne starts the eighth for Milwaukee. Emilio Bonifacio gets called out on a two-strike change high in the zone. Cristian Guzman pops out to short. Ryan Zimmerman battles Gagne to a full count and finally doubles to the corner in left. Austin Kearns takes Gagne deep to left on a 1-2 change, and...GONE! Two-run blast. 3-1 DC lead. All with two outs. MILLEDGE! Deep to center and GONE! Back to back HR’s off Gagne. 4-1 Nationals. Flores lines out to short to end the top of the eighth...Saul Rivera’s back out. Gabe Kapler gets called out on strikes. Prince Fielder takes a free pass. Corey Hart gets called out on a two-strike slider on the outside corner. Bill Hall reaches on a ground ball to third that bounces off Zimmerman’s glove and into foul territory. Mike Cameron up with two on, two out. Cameron walks on a full-count pitch inside. Bases loaded. DC Manager Manny Acta calls “Wild” Joel Hanrahan in from the pen to try for the four out save. Mike Rivera clears the bases, lining a 2-2 fastball to left to tie it at 4-4. Hanrahan issues the intentionals to pinch hitter Russell Branyan. Rickie Weeks grounds out to second to end the eighth. Brand new ballgame...
Brewers’ righty reliever Salomon Torres walks Ronnie Belliard to start the top of the ninth. Willie Harris gets a sac bunt down to advance Belliard. Wil Nieves grounds to Fielder, who bobbles but tosses to the pitcher covering for the second out. Emilio Bonifacio pops out to the infield...Hanrahan vs Hardy? 4-pitch walk to Hardy to start the Brewers’ ninth. Gabe Kapler pops up a bunt attempt on a 1-1 sinker, and he’ll have to swing. Hanrahan gets a swinging K from Kapler on a high heater. Prince Fielder grounds into a force at second, but beats the throw to first, sort of (he was out). Corey Hart singles over short. Fielder to second. Hanrahan gets Bill Hall swinging to end the ninth.
Cristian Guzman grounds to first, Fielder fields and tosses to Torres covering. Ryan Zimmerman goes down hacking. Kearns lines out to end the top of the tenth...Jesus “Everyday” Colome’s up for the bottom of the frame. Mike Cameron pops out. 3-1 fastball high in the zone, Colome walks Mike Rivera. Pinch hitter Craig Counsell works the count full and draws the second-straight walk. Emilio Bonifacio dives to rob Rickie Weeks of the game-winning RBI, but it’s bases loaded, one out for J.J. Hardy. Colome slips a slider under Hardy’s bat for a swinging strike three. Gabe Kapler lines to left, right into Harris’ glove.
Carlos Villanueva gets Milledge to chase strike three outside. Kory Casto with a pinch hit appearance, gets called out looking at a high strike three. Ronnie Belliard flies out to right to end the top of the frame...Charlie Manning pops up Prince Fielder for the first out of the Brewers’ eleventh. Corey Hart takes a one-out walk, and steals second with Bill Hall at bat. Manning walks Hall. Mike Cameron with two on, one out. Manning pops Cameron up for the second out. Mike Rivera takes a 2-2 pitch outside for a full count, and then flies out to left to end the eleventh.
Willie Harris grounds out to second. Carlos Villanueva’s back out for the twelfth. Wil Nieves pops out to second. Emilio Bonifacio K’s swinging but takes first when the pitch gets by catcher Mike Rivera. Cristian Guzman chops a single up the middle, both runners are safe. Ryan Zimmerman with the two-out chance. Zimmerman grounds to third, Fielder picks the throw from Hall out of the dirt at first for the third out....Charlie Manning’s back for the tweflth. Craig Counsell flies out to Harris in left. Jason Kendall hits for Villanueva, and pops out to first. J.J. Hardy grounds out to short, on to number thirteen...
Guillermo Mota will start the thirteenth on the mound for Milwaukee. Lastings Milledge smacks a one-out single through second. Pete Orr swings through a two-strike fastball outside. Ronnie Belliard pops up to the infield...Bottom of the thirteenth, heart of the Brewers’ order. Luis Ayala’s up on the mound. Gabe Kapler at bat. Kapler takes Ayala...deeeep to left...and...GONE! Solo shot, walk-off winner. Kapler gives the Brewers three straight over DC.
New Nationals now 6-4.
Nationals now 44-74. (Countdown to 100 Losses Stands At...26.)