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Washington Nationals drop series opener to Milwaukee Brewers, 4-1 final in D.C.

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Tanner Roark gave up three home runs in six innings on the hill in what ended up a 4-1 loss to the Brewers in Nationals Park.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark gave up just six hits in six innings of work on the mound in Washington, D.C.’s Nationals Park tonight, but three of the six hits were home runs that brought in four for the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, who took the series opener 4-1, behind a solid-ish start by right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 1 ER).

Roark vs Milwaukee: Tanner Roark struck out a season-high 11 batters over eight scoreless on the mound in Milwaukee’s Miller Park back on July 25th in what ended up a 7-3 win over the Brewers, and went on a six-start unbeaten streak after that outing, going (5-0) in that stretch, with a 1.63 ERA, five walks, 29 Ks, and a .206/.236/.270 line against in 38 23 IP.

A loss to the New York Mets last time out snapped that streak, though he gave up just one run on four hits in six innings on the mound in Citi Field in that start.

Facing the Brewers again tonight in the nation’s capital, Roark fell behind early in the series opener, giving up a one-out single by red-hot hitting Christian Yelich and a two-out, two-run home run on a 1-1 fastball to Travis Shaw that Shaw sent out over the center field fence, 2-0.

It was 2-1 in the second when Erik Kratz hit an absolute bomb of a home run to left on a first-pitch fastball that sailed out to left, 3-1, and Jesus Aguilar hit a solo shot off Roark in the top of the third to make it 4-1.

Roark managed to hold it there through six innings and was done for the night at that point.

Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 3 HRs, 95 P, 58 S, 5/4 GO/FO.

Chacin in D.C.: Jhoulys Chacin held the Nationals to a run on two hits in 5 23 innings when he faced Washington on July 23rd in Milwaukee. The Brewers’ 30-year-old righty went (4-2) in six starts that followed before he faced the Nats again tonight, with a 3.72 ERA, 12 walks, 32 Ks, and a .218/.297/.406 line against in 36 13 IP over that stretch.

He gave up a run in the bottom of the first tonight, with Adam Eaton and Trea Turner both singling before Bryce Harper walked to load the bases with no one out, and a grounder to second by Anthony Rendon brought in one, a half-inning after the Brewers jumped out to a 2-0 lead, 2-1.

Chacin held the Nationals to one run through six, in spite of the fact that he gave up six hits and two walks, as the Nats stranded seven and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position against the right-hander through six.

Chacin returned for the seventh and retired the first batter, Michael A. Taylor, before he was done...

Jhoulys Chacin’s Line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 102 P, 64 S, 6/2 GO/FO.

Random Notes: Adam Eaton had hit safely in four of five games before tonight, going 9 for 21 (.429 AVG) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, two walks, and three runs scored over that stretch, and he singled to start tonight’s game (10 for 22 in his last six) and came in on a bases-loaded force at second to score the Nationals’ first run after he’d moved around to third base.

Soto Good: Juan Soto bunted against the shift for his first hit of the night, after he struck out swinging with two runners on the first time up.

He was 2 for 3 on the night with two singles after he lined a 3-2 slider from Jhoulys Chacin to right to lead off the Nationals’ half of the sixth.

The multi-hit game was Soto’s second straight and his fifth in the last ten, over which he was 13 for 39 after the second hit tonight.

Turn, Turn, Turner: Trea Turner singled off Brewers’ lefty Dan Jennings with two down in the seventh, after going 2 for 3 against Milwaukee’s starter, Jhoulys Chacin, and he was balked over to second with Bryce Harper at the plate in the next at bat before he was stranded (1 for 11 w/ RISP, 8 LOB to that point). Turner was 3 for 4 on the night when he walked to load the bases in the ninth.

BULLPEN ACTION: Matt Wieters got tossed for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout in the bottom of the sixth, so Spencer Kieboom came on to catch as Koda Glover took over on the mound for the Nationals in the top of the seventh.

Lefty Dan Jennings took over on the mound for Jhoulys Chacin with one out in the seventh, and gave up a two-out single by Trea Turner, then balked Turner into scoring position with Bryce Harper at the plate, before finally popping Harper up, though he got the Nationals’ dugout hopping mad as they contended he was actually balking on every pitch he threw.

Jimmy Cordero needed just three pitches to get three outs in a super-efficient top of the eighth.

Jacob Barnes gave up a single (by Anthony Rendon) and a walk (to Juan Soto) in the first two at bats of the Nationals’ eighth, but Ryan Zimmerman sent a grounder to second to start a 4-6-3 DP, and Spencer Kieboom grounded out to end the threat.

Matt Grace needed eight pitches in a quick, 1-2-3 top of the ninth with rain falling steadily in the nation’s capital.

Jeremy Jeffress took the mound for Milwaukee in the bottom of the ninth.

Wilmer Difo reached on an error by Brewers’ shortstop Orlando Arcia, and out later, Adam Eaton singled with one down.

Trea Turner walked to load the bases in front of Bryce Harper, who fell behind 0-2, got to 3-2, and K’d swinging over a curve. Two out.

Anthony Rendon stepped in next and grounded into a force at second to end it.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 4-1 Brewers

Nationals now 67-68