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Washington Nationals drop 6-3 decision to Milwaukee Brewers: Gio Gonzalez has five-start win streak snapped...

Zach Davies held the Nationals in check for the second time this season and the Brewers took the series opener in Miller Park, 5-3.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Gio Gonzalez had a five-start win streak end tonight in Milwaukee’s Miller Park, giving up eight hits, three walks, and five runs in what ended up a 6-3 loss to the Brewers.

Meanwhile, Zach Davies picked up where he left off last time he faced the Washington Nationals.

Davies, 24, threw 7 23 scoreless innings in an 8-0 Brewers’ win in the nation’s capital in late July, and after giving up two runs in the third inning tonight, retired 11 of the last 15 batters he faced over seven innings of work as Milwaukee jumped out to a 5-2 lead.

Davies helped his own cause too, scoring a run after singling in the third, and walking in front of Jonathan Villar in the fifth before the Brewers’ infielder hit a hanging curve out to right for a two-run blast that ended up being the difference in the first game of four to be played this weekend between the National League East division leaders and current second-place team in the NL Central. 6-3 final.

Nationals now 81-52

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:

Milwaukee got on the board early in the series opener with Hernan Perez doubling into the left-center gap on an 0-1 fastball from Gio Gonzalez, stealing third and scoring on a foul pop down the first base line ahead of a throw home by Daniel Murphy that bounced off Matt Wieters, 1-0 in the bottom of the first.

Washington tied it up in the third with Michael A. Taylor reaching on an infield single, and taking second base on a sac bunt by Gio Gonzalez, before scoring on an RBI double to center by Trea Turner, 1-1.

Turner stole third (No. 37) with Jayson Werth up in the next at bat, and scored on a groundout, 2-1 Nationals.

Zach Davies lined an 0-1 fastball to center for a leadoff single in the Brewers’ third, and Daniel Murphy failed to get over to cover on a bunt by Jonathan Villar in the next at bat, so Milwaukee had two on with no one out to start the inning.

[ed. note - “Did the Brewers really tweet “gNat”? Be better at your jobs.”]

One out later, Villar was forced out at second, two down, but after a walk to Domingo Santana loaded the bases, Jesus Aguilar lined a two-out, two run single to left, 3-2, before Santana was caught too far off second on the play and tagged out to end the frame.

Gio Gonzalez walked the opposing pitcher in the first at bat of the Brewers’ fifth, and gave up a two-run home run by Jonathan Villar in the next at bat. Villar jumped on a hanging 0-1 curve up and out over the plate and sent it out to right field in Miller Park for his 11th home run of 2017 and a 5-2 lead.

Gonzalez worked around a two-out single and walk in a 26-pitch sixth inning that left him at 115 pitches overall and ended his night.

• Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 115 P, 65 S, 5/1 GO/FO.

Shawn Kelley took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh and worked around a two-out Ryan Braun single

• Zach Davies’ Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 96 P, 62 S, 13/0 GO/FO.

Trea Turner tripled to right off Anthony Swarzak to start the top of the eighth, and scored on a groundout to third by Jayson Werth, 5-3.

Matt Grace gave it back, however, with Jesus Aguilar doubling to start the eighth, moving up on a lineout to right and scoring on a Stephen Vogt single, 6-3.

Corey Knebel came on for the save opportunity in the ninth and retired the Nationals in order to end the series opener. Final Score: 6-3 Brewers.

NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:

  • Milwaukee starts the four-game set with Washington in Miller Park with a 43-42 record in the all-time series with the Nationals.
  • Washington is 41-24 on the road this season and the Nats’ .631 winning percentage on the road this season is the best road winning percentage in the NL and second-best in the majors, behind only the Houston Astros (42-22, .656).
  • Washington’s starters begin the series in Milwaukee with the lowest opponents’ batting average in the majors (.229), the third-most Ks (827), second-lowest opponents’ OBP (.297), second-lowest opponents’ SLG (.382), and second-lowest ERA (3.45).
  • Gio Gonzalez started the night with the third-lowest ERA in the majors (2.40), joining Max Scherzer (2nd, 2.21), and Stephen Strasburg (6th, 2.90) in the top six lowest ERAs in the majors.
  • Gonzalez started the night with a five-start winning streak, over which he’d given up just three earned runs in 34 13 IP.
  • Washington’s offense started the series in Milwaukee leading the NL in SLG (.460), runs scored (701), and extra base hits (468), and ranked second in AVG (.272), third in OBP (.337), and sixth in home runs (184).

Nationals now 81-52