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Nationals drop series opener to Brewers, 10-3, fall to 60-61 on the year

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The Washington Nationals dropped the series opener with the Milwaukee Brewers, 10-3, in an ugly outing in the nation's capital and fell to 60-61 on the year with the loss. Meanwhile, out in Colorado, the New York mets were pounding the Rockies...

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

5. G.I.O. in D.C.: Washington Nationals' left-hander Gio Gonzalez had an eight-start unbeaten streak snapped last time out in a brief appearance on the mound AT&T Park which saw him give up five hits, two walks and six earned runs in 2 ⅔ innings pitched in a 12-6 loss which left the Nats at 58-58 overall to that point.

Gonzalez was asked how everyone was taking the loss and the rough stretch they were going through?

"I don't know how everyone else feels," Gonzalez said. "I feel like crap because I took the momentum out of our hands.

"It was just me trying to pound [Jose] Lobaton's glove, trying to be aggressive with them and have them put the ball in play..." -Gio Gonzalez on throwing eight scoreless vs the Dodgers in LA

"Falling behind on everyone, it doesn't help and especially when we needed a big bounce back, and then falling behind on everyone didn't give us a chance to do anything."

The brief outing followed a strong game against the Dodgers in LA, which saw the lefty throw eight scoreless innings in Chavez Ravine in his longest start of the season.

"I felt like everything [Jose] Lobaton was putting down was working," Gonzalez said after that start.

"It was just me trying to pound Lobaton's glove, trying to be aggressive with them and have them put the ball in play and let our boys do all the work."

Tonight he was back in the nation's capital, where the southpaw was (5-1) in nine starts with a 2.60 ERA, a 2.91 FIP and a .252/.316/.333 line against in 55 ⅓ innings pitched.

Gonzalez's first start of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers began with a scoreless, 15-pitch first in which he worked around a one-out single by Jonathan Lucroy.

Hernan Perez doubled off the wall in center on a 1-0 fastball with two down in the top of the second, but Brewers' second baseman Elian Herrera popped out to right end an 11-pitch inning that left Gonzalez at 26 pitches.

Given a 1-0 lead to work with, Gonzalez gave up a one-out infield single by Jean Segura, who stole second base with Jonathan Lucroy at the plate and scored on a line drive to left that got over Jayson Werth's head. 1-1.

Lucroy took third on a passed ball when Jose Lobaton and Gonzalez got mixed up and scored on a sac fly to right by Ryan Braun. 2-1 Milwaukee. 26-pitch frame, 52 pitches total.

Gonzalez issued a two-out walk to Elian Herrera in the Brewers' fourth, and Jimmy Nelson hit a slow roller toward second that Danny Espinosa got to (after a long run) but couldn't play.

Both runners were stranded, however, when Jean Segura went down swinging at an 0-2 curve. 15-pitch frame. 67 total.

Jonathan Lucroy lined a leadoff single back to the mound and off Gonzalez's foot in the top of the fifth, and took third one out later on a double to left field and over Werth's head by Adam Lind. Khris Davis lined out to center in the next at bat, bringing Lucroy in for a 3-1 lead. Domingo Santana stepped in next and battled for nine pitches before he tore into a 3-2 fastball, hitting a two-run home run to left. 5-1 Milwaukee. 24-pitch frame. 91 total after five.

Gio Gonzalez's Line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 91 P, 59 S, 4/1 GO/FO.

4. Jimmy in Washington: Milwaukee Brewers' right-hander Jimmy Nelson gave up 10 hits and seven runs in five innings of work on the mound when he faced the Washington Nationals in Miller Park back in June.

"He just never really got into a rhythm," manager Craig Counsell told reporters after what ended up a 7-2 loss to the Nats.

"There are going to be ups and downs to his season. I've said pretty consistently, he's learning every time he goes out there. He's got to apply lessons that he learns." -Craig Counsell on Brewers' starter Jimmy Nelson

"I thought he made really good pitches in the first inning," Counsell said. "They hit some good pitches in the first inning, I thought."

But Nelson issued walks to Anthony Rendon in the third and Bryce Harper in the fifth, before giving up two-run home runs in each case, with Yunel Escobar and Wilson Ramos hitting two-run blasts in each of the at bats after the free passes.

"He made some good pitches to Harper," Counsell said, "when he walked Harper, when he had two outs, and didn't get him to bite and then he made a mistake, just kind of a middle-ball to Ramos."

The second of the two home runs he allowed put the Brewers behind 6-2 after five.

"There are going to be ups and downs to his season," Counsell said. "I've said pretty consistently, he's learning every time he goes out there. He's got to apply lessons that he learns."

In 11 starts since the Nationals last saw him in Wisconsin, Nelson, a 2010 second-round pick, has put up a 2.52 ERA and a .232/.294/.346 line against in 71 ⅓ innings pitched.

He took the mound tonight with a six-start unbeaten streak going, over which he was (3-0) with the Brewers' 5-1 in his outings, in which he had a 1.99 ERA and a .199/.272/.288 line against over 40 ⅔ innings.

Nelson's second start of the year against the Nationals began with a quick, 15-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.

Ian Desmond worked the count full and walked with two down in the Nats' second, then stole second base with Jose Lobaton at the plate and scored on a blooper over the left side of the infield. 1-0. 24-pitch frame. 39 total after two.

Jayson Werth popped one up to right that Ryan Braun lost in the lights. One-out "single". But he got caught trying to steal second in the next at bat and Anthony Rendon's fly to center ended a 16-pitch third. 55 total.

Clint Robinson worked a two-out walk out of Nelson in the Nationals' half of the fourth, and moved up on a hard-hit single through the left side by Ian Desmond, but both runners were stranded when Jose Lobaton popped out to left. 27-pitch frame, 82 total.

The Nationals, including pinch hitter Max Scherzer, went down in order in a 10-pitch fifth that left Nelson at 92 pitches.

• Bryce Harper cut into the Brewers' lead with a one-out home run in the bottom of the sixth, crushing a first-pitch fastball for his 31st home run of the season. 5-2. A single to right by Danny Espinosa ended Nelson's night...

Jimmy Nelson's Line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 102 P, 65 S, 6/3 GO/FO.

3. Random Game Notes: The Brewers started their three-game stint in D.C. tonight, 24-32 overall on the road this season.

• Between July 24th and August 9th, Brewers' starter Jimmy Nelson put together a streak of 25 ⅔ scoreless innings, the fifth-longest in a single season by a Milwaukee starter.

• Nelson entered the 2014 campaign as the Brewers' top pitching prospect according to Baseball America.

• Brewers' closer Francisco Rodriguez has converted 35 straight save opportunities, and he's 30 for 30 this season.

• The Nationals called their top infield prospect up this afternoon. Trea Turner's wearing the no.7. Turner was ranked 9th overall on Baseball America's prospect list and 12th overall on MLB.com's.

• For tonight's "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Ian Desmond is 32 for 107, .299 AVG, with four doubles, a triple, eight home runs, 11 walks and five steals in his last 28 games, going back to July 20th.

• The Nationals started this series tied for the MLB lead in leadoff home runs, with seven...

2. Turning Point(s): Brewers' right-hander Jimmy Nelson was cruising with two out in the second when Ian Desmond worked the count full and walked on a 3-2 curve too far inside. Desmond promptly stole second, taking his 11th base of the season, then scored when catcher Jose Lobaton hit an opposite field blooper over short for an RBI single that put the Nationals up early, 1-0 after two.

• Things got ugly in the top of the third, however. Jean Segura reached first safely on a one-out infield single, then stole second base before scoring on a liner to left by Jonathan Lucroy that Jayson Werth misread and missed.

A mix-up between Gio Gonzalez and catcher Jose Lobaton resulted in a passed ball that moved Lucroy to third, and a sac fly to right by Ryan Braun brought the second run of the inning in as Milwaukee took a 2-1 lead.

• The Brewers added to their lead in the fifth with a sac fly to center by Khris Davis and a two-out, two-run home run by Domingo Santana making it 5-1 Brewers after four and a half.

1. The Wrap-Up: Doug Fister took over on the mound in the top of the sixth, and worked around a leadoff single in a scoreless, eight-pitch frame.

Brewers' lefty Neal Cotts took over for Jimmy Nelson with a runner on and one out in a 5-2 game in the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman came on to hit for Clint Robinson against the southpaw, but took a 3-2 fastball for a called strike three and out no.2. Right-hander Corey Knebel came on to face Ian Desmond and struck him out with a high fastball.

Fister came back out for another inning of work in the seventh and walked Ryan Braun before Adam Lind and Khris Davis hit back-to-back singles to load'em up with no one out. Fister threw a 3-2 fastball inside by Domingo Santana for out no.1. Scooter Gennett came on to pinch hit and hit a grounder back to the mound and off Fister for an infield single that brought in a run, 6-2. Fister out.

Tanner Roark came on for Fister with the bases loaded and one down and Trea Turner took over at short on the double switch. Elian Herrera lined a first-pitch fastball through the right side for an RBI single that made it 7-2.

Catcher's interference on a swing by Shane Peterson let run no.8 of the game score. 8-2. And two more scored on a liner to left by Jean Segura when Bryce Harper's throw in got by the plate. 10-2.

Kyle Lohse gave up a one-out home run to left on a 3-2 fastball to Michael Taylor. No.12. 10-3 Milwaukee. Trea Turner grounded out to short in his first MLB at bat... or did he?

The Nationals challenged the close play at first but the call was upheld. Sorry, Trea. Jayson Werth lined out to center to end the frame.

Tanner Roark worked around an error in a scoreless eighth. Lohse issued two walks in a scoreless bottom of the inning.

Felipe Rivero threw a scoreless top of the ninth. Lohse finished the Nats off in the ninth. Ballgame.

Nationals now 60-61