Washington started this afternoon's affair with the Milwaukee Brewers in the midst of a six-game losing streak, having dropped two in San Diego, three straight in Los Angeles and the first game of their three-game set in Milwaukee, WI's Miller Park.
Nationals' left-hander Gio Gonzalez was winless in his last six starts before today's outing, with an (0-5) record and a 7.60 ERA, 14 walks, 43 Ks and a .309/.380/.489 line against in 34 ⅓ innings pitched over that stretch.
Neither streak ended today, as the Nationals dropped their seventh straight and Gonzalez took the loss and remained winless in his last nine starts.
For the 11th annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game, the Brewers wore the uniforms of the Milwaukee Bears, who called Milwaukee home for one season in 1923, while the Nats donned the uniforms of the Homestead Grays, who played in D.C. from 1940-50.
The Brewers jumped out to an early lead with back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the first and a two-out, three-run home run to left by Chris Carter, who demolished a 3-1 change from Gonzalez, sending his 19th of 2016 into the second deck for a 3-0 lead.
Daniel Murphy tripled and scored on an RBI single by Wilson Ramos in the top of the second as the Nationals cut into the Brewers' lead, 3-1.
It was a three-run lead for Milwaukee again the bottom of the second, however, after Keon Broxton walked with one out, moved up on a sac bunt by pitcher Matt Garza and scored on a two-out single to center by Jonathan Villar, 4-1.
Gonzalez hit two batters (Ryan Braun and Chris Carter) in the Brewers' half of the third inning, and gave up a ground-rule double to right by Hernan Perez that scored Braun, and a ground ball to second by Scooter Gennett that scored Chris Carter, who slid in safely ahead of a throw home by Daniel Murphy, 6-1 Milwaukee after three.
• Gio Gonzalez's Line: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 69 P, 43 S, 3/1 GO/FO, 2 HBP.
Ryan Zimmerman walked to start the fourth and went first-to-third on a double to center by Anthony Rendon before scoring on a sac bunt by Danny Espinosa, 6-2. Rendon scored on a sac fly to right by Clint Robinson, 6-3.
Zimmerman and Rendon hit back-to-back singles to start the sixth. Danny Espinosa stepped in next with runners on the corners and hit a sac fly to right that brought Zimmerman in, 6-4.
• Matt Garza's Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 81 P, 51 S, 10/4 GO/FO.
Yusmeiro Petit and Matt Belisle got the Nationals through six innings, with the score still 6-4 Brewers.
Jayson Werth walked and Daniel Murphy (3 for 4, 3B) and Wilson Ramos singled with one down in the Nats' half of the seventh, loading them up in front of Ryan Zimmerman... who hit a sac fly to center to make it a one-run game, 6-5, but that's all the Nationals got.
Milwaukee came close to adding some insurance in the bottom of the seventh when Ryan Braun tried to score from second on a single to right by Chris Carter, but Bryce Harper came up throwing and beat Braun to the plate. Still 6-5.
Sammy Solis kept it close with a scoreless bottom of the eighth, but the Nationals came up empty against Brewers' closer Jeremy Jeffress in the top of the ninth. 6-5 Brewers final.
Nationals now 43-32
- Washington started the three-game set in Milwaukee 38-38 against the Brewers in the all-time series since the Nationals brought baseball back to the nation's capital in 2005.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment, however, the Nats are 17-12 against the Brewers since 2012, with a 9-6 record in Miller Park.
- Even after dropping six straight, the Nationals still have the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (48-27) and Chicago Cubs (48-24).
- Milwaukee improved to 20-17 at home this season with last night's win. The Brewers are 13-23 on the road.
- This afternoon's game was the 11th annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game, so the Nationals were wearing the uniforms of the old Homestead Grays while the Brewers were wearing the uniforms of the Milwaukee Bears.
- Wilson Ramos, who went 4 for 5 in last night's series opener, started the second game of three in Milwaukee with the highest average (.341), OBP (.385) and SLG (.567) amongst all Major League catchers.
- Daniel Murphy started the day leading the majors with a .349 AVG, and he led the NL in hits (95) and multi-hit games (30, tied for 1st).
- In a bonus "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Jayson Werth, who sat out of the first game with the Brewers last night, is 21 for 54 (.389 AVG) with four doubles, a home run, 12 walks and nine run scored... since June 7th.
- Since May 29th, Werth is 26 for 76 (.342 AVG), with a .427 OBP and .566 SLG over that stretch.
- Nationals' hitters, as a team, have 99 home runs on the year, and if they hit the next within the next 19 games, they'll set the mark for the lowest amount of games it took for the team to reach 100 homers.
- Brewers' starter Matt Garza landed on the DL on April 5th with a right lat strain. This afternoon's outing was just his third of the season.
- Garza was making his ninth career start vs the Nationals, after going (0-4) with a 7.17 ERA in 37 ⅔ IP in the previous eight outings.
Nationals now 43-32