Milwaukee right-hander Kyle Lohse, right fielder Logan Schafer and Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lecroy helped the Washington Nationals out to an early 3-0 lead this afternoon in Miller Park. Lohse hit the first and third batters he faced, his first two HBPs this season, then Schafer missed/misplayed a fly to right by Steve Lombardozzi that loaded the bases with one down. Kurt Suzuki drove both hit batters in with a two-run single to right that put runners on first and third and Lecroy then misplayed a safety squeeze by Nats' starter Taylor Jordan, allowing the third run of the inning to score on what should have been an out at home.
The Nationals had opportunities to add to their lead. Ryan Zimmerman walked to start the third and a pop to right by Jayson Werth put two on with no out before Adam LaRoche K'd swinging and Ian Desmond grounded into an inning-ending double play. Lombardozzi doubled to start the fourth, but was stranded at third three outs later. Ryan Zimmerman singled to start the fifth but was quickly erased on a DP grounder off Werth's bat and Kyle Lohse left the game after five innings and 93 pitches, having allowed just the three runs in the first.
Adam LaRoche homered in the top of the sixth to make it 4-1 Nats, but the Brewers battled back against Taylor Jordan and Fernando Abad, putting together a five-run sixth that put them ahead 6-4 in a game that ended up an 8-5 Milwaukee win. The Nationals went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position in the third game of three in Wisconsin and lost the series finale after winning the first two games.
"We had plenty of opportunities to add on," Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters after the game. "We just didn't do it and that's been kind of the scenario all year. Getting runners in scoring position, don't swing the bat and get the big hit. But that was particularly tough. We've got a three-run lead late in the ballgame."
Taylor Jordan cruised through five, giving up just one run, but things got ugly quickly in the bottom of the sixth with the Brewers loading the bases and adding a run on a sac fly to right by Carlos Gomez before the Nationals' starter left the mound. An infield single by Khris Young off Abad scored another run to make it 4-3 and Juan Francisco followed with a controversial "double" down the first base line that appeared to actually be a foul ball.
Francisco's hit tied it up at 4-4, but Davey Johnson came out to have a word with first base ump David Rackley and home plate umpire Gary Darling. Neither ump was persuaded to change the call.
• Watch Juan Francisco's "Double" HERE.
"Everybody said it looked like it was hooking and it curved to the right of the bag on the replay," the Nationals' 70-year-old skipper explained, "I went to ask the home plate umpire. He thought it was fair."
"Is that a reviewable play?" a reporter asked.
"No" Johnson said, "I mean, you can ask him to get help, but he didn't feel he was blocked out or anything. It's just baseball."
Brewers' third baseman Jeff Bianchi followed with a bloop single over a drawn-in infield and Milwaukee went ahead 6-4 after six and added two more for the 8-5 win.
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