Washington's Nationals turned to Tanner Roark this afternoon in Milwaukee, with Stephen Strasburg scratched from his second straight outing, as they tried to avoid ending their ten-game, three-city road trip with a third straight loss to the Brewers and an eighth-straight loss overall.
It took six innings for the Nats to record their first hit and seven innings until they scored their first run, on an opposite field home run to left by Jose Lobaton, but they went on to win, 3-2, taking the finale with the Brewers, and snapping their eight-game losing streak.
Roark tossed seven scoreless on 95 pitches to earn the win and send the Nationals home on a positive note.
Brewers' righty Jimmy Nelson held the Nationals scoreless and hitless through five innings, in spite of the fact that he issued five walks and had a runner reach on an error.
He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth when back-to-back-to-back, two-out walks loaded the bases in front of Bryce Harper, who hit a fly to center that fell just short of the center field fence, much to Harper's frustration.
Nelson was done after throwing 91 pitches in five hitless innings in Miller Park.
Roark worked around a leadoff double by Aaron Hill in the fifth, completing five scoreless of his own on 74 pitches.
• Jimmy Nelson's Line: 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 1 Ks, 91 P, 53 S, 6/6 GO/FO.
Jacob Barnes took over on the mound for Milwaukee in the sixth and gave up the Nats' first hit of the game on a single to center by Anthony Rendon with one down, but completed a scoreless frame to hold the Nationals off the board.
Roark worked around one and two-out singles for six scoreless on 84 pitches, giving up just six hits and one walk.
Lobaton stepped in against Barnes in the first at bat of the Nationals' seventh and hit a first-pitch fastball out to left for an opposite field blast and a 1-0 Nats' lead. #LOBATRON! Lobaton's first of 2016.
Aaron Hill doubled to start the Brewers' seventh and moved up on sac bunt, but he was stranded at third when Roark struck Alex Presley out and got a groundout to second out of Jonathan Villar.
Brewers' righty Michael Blazek walked Anthony Rendon with two down in the Nats' eighth and gave up a two-run home run to right on an 0-1 fastball to Clint Robinson. 3-0 Nationals. Robinson's 3rd.
• Tanner Roark's Line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 95 P, 63 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
Oliver Perez handed it off to Blake Treinen after recording the first out of the Brewers' eighth, but Ryan Braun tripled to right-center with one down and scored on a groundout by Jonathan Lucroy to make it 3-1 Nats. Shawn Kelley came on to get the final out of the eighth.
Kelley came back out for the ninth and retired the first two batters he faced before Martin Maldonado hit a solo shot to left to make it a 3-2 game. Jonathan Villar hit a fly to deep left that Jayson Werth lost in the sun, allowing the runner to speed around to third with two down. Scooter Gennett stepped in next and sent a fly to left for out No. 3. Ballgame.
Nationals now 44-32
- Saturday's win was Milwaukee's fourth straight at home in Miller Park. A win over Washington today would give the Brewers their first series sweep of the Nationals since May of 2011.
- Milwaukee improved to 21-17 at home this season with Saturday's win, though they're just 13-23 away from Miller Park so far in 2016.
- Washington and Milwaukee were tied at 38-38 going into this weekend set in Miller Park, but the Brewers now have a 40-38 lead in the all-time series between the two teams, going back to 2005.
- Since 2009, the Nationals are 9-9 in Miller Park and 17-13 overall against the Brewers.
- In spite of the fact that they've dropped seven straight, the Nationals still have the third-best record in the National League at 43-32, behind only the San Francisco Giants (48-28) and Chicago Cubs (48-25).
- Chris Carter's home run on Saturday was his 19th of the year and his 14th in Miller Park, which is the most home runs in a home park by any player in the majors this season.
- Going into today's start, Brewers' starter Jimmy Nelson was (1-1) in two career starts vs the Nationals with a 7.84 ERA (9 ER in 10 ⅓ IP.
- Nationals' second baseman Daniel Murphy started the series finale in Miller Park leading the majors with a .354 AVG, and leading the National League in OPS (.982), hits (98) and multi-hit games (31) after he added another multi-hit game on Saturday.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Nats' outfielder Jayson Werth is 27 for 80 (.338 AVG) with a .426 OBP, .563 SLG, six doubles, four home runs, 13 walks and 14 runs scored... since May 29th.
- In a bonus Nats-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Nationals' relievers, as a group, have a 0.63 ERA, one walk and 16 Ks... in the last six games, going back to June 19th.
- Washington's hitters remain one home run shy of a hundred on the year after 75 games. They were still on pace to shatter the mark for the fewest games to 100 home runs if they hit one more in the next 17 games... and they got two today, with Jose Lobaton hitting No. 100 and Clint Robinson hitting No. 101.
Nationals now 44-32