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Washington Nationals take opener with the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-1, win third straight...

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Patrick Corbin pitched into the seventh, and left with a 4-1 lead that held up in a Nationals’ win in the opener with the Brewers.

Washington Nationals v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Patrick Corbin gave up a one-out home run in the bottom of the seventh inning tonight in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s American Family Field, but that was the one run that Washington’s left-hander allowed in a strong outing for the Nationals’ starter, who left the mound with a 3-1 lead over the Brewers in what ended up 4-1 win...

Corbin vs the Brewers: Patrick Corbin took the mound tonight winless in his last six starts, over which he’d put up a 7.83 ERA, 10 walks, 27 Ks, and a .301/.347/.588 line against in 33 13 IP, with 10 home runs allowed over that stretch.

Last time out on the mound before tonight, the left-hander gave up seven hits, and six runs, in 4 23 IP against the Braves, and he talked afterwards about not really knowing how to turn things around.

“I don’t really have an answer,” Corbin told reporters. “I feel like the ball is coming out pretty good, I think my slider the last three games has been better, I know the results aren’t great, but I feel like I’m getting some more swings and misses on that ... and that’s who I am, so, I don’t know.”

Washington Nationals v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Tonight in Milwaukee, he was taking on the Brewers for the second time this season, after he gave up four hits, two walks, and four earned runs in five innings of work in a 4-1 loss in the nation’s capital back on May 29th.

Corbin retired the Brewers in order in two scoreless, striking out three of six batters in 15- and 10-pitch frames, but Lorenzo Cain doubled to left to start the third, then stole third an out later, before the Nationals’ starter struck the opposing pitcher out for out No. 2, and a grounder to second ended a 13-pitch frame which left the left-hander at 38 total in three scoreless.

Corbin took the mound in the fourth with a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a two-out, two-run triple to right field by Lane Thomas, and retired the Brewers in order in a 16-pitch frame, adding two strikeouts, for six total from 13 batters faced in a 54-pitch effort to that point.

A 17-pitch fifth, in which he worked around a leadoff single left Corbin at 71 pitches overall, with seven Ks from 17 batters faced.

It was 3-0 in the sixth when the southpaw returned to the mound with a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 frame, and Corbin came back out for the seventh at 80 pitches total and he got out No. 1 after battling Eduardo Escobar for 11 pitches, then gave up a solo shot to right on a first-pitch sinker to Avisaíl García, who hit one into the second deck for his 24th HR of 2021 and the first run off the Nationals’ lefty, 3-1 Nats.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 92 P, 61 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

Anderson vs the Nationals: Brett Anderson, 33, took a loss last time out on the mound, in a 3 13-inning outing in which he gave up eight hits and six runs, all earned, but before that he was unbeaten in five starts, with a 1.40 ERA, four walks, 13 strikeouts, and a .191/.223/.281 line against in 25 23 IP.

Tonight, at home in Milwaukee, the left-hander, who gave up four hits, three walks, and two runs, one earned, in 3 13 IP when he faced Washington in Nationals Park, was taking on the Nats for the second time this season.

Anderson, tossed three scoreless on 39 pitches to start the series with the Nats in American Family Field, but Alcides Escobar bunted his way on to start the fourth, and with a runner on first (Carter Kieboom) and Escobar on third with two down, Lane Thomas lined an opposite field triple to right on a 1-1 changeup outside and got the visitors on the board first, with a 2-0 lead after three and a half.

With the Nationals still up 2-0 in the fifth, Anderson issued leadoff and one-out walks to Juan Soto and Carter Kieboom, respectively, before manager Craig Counsell lifted him.

Brett Anderson’s Line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 82 P, 45 S, 11/0 GO/FO.

A Shady Lane, Everybody Wants One: Lane Thomas got another start in left field in the first of three in Milwaukee, with his new manager saying he wanted to get a good look at the 25-year-old outfielder acquired by Washington in the trade that sent Jon Lester to St. Louis last month.

Thomas went 2 for 4 with two walks in three games (one start) after he was called up to the majors earlier this month.

“He got an opportunity to start,” Martinez said, “he had some good at bats, got a couple of base hits, but I love — he’s a good outfielder, and he gives us a little bit more speed out in the outfield and on the bases, so I wanted to give him a chance to play against left-handed pitching and see what he can do, so he’s getting a chance to start today.”

Thomas, of course, tripled in the fourth, to drive in the first two runs of the game for either team.

Bullpen Action: Hunter Strickland was the first arm out of the pen for the Brewers, with two on and one out in the top of the sixth, and he struck out Lane Adams for out No. 2, but then Riley Adams stepped in and singled to left on a 1-2 fastball, driving Juan Soto in ahead of a throw home by Jace Peterson on a close play at the plate, 3-0 after five and a half.

Daniel Norris came on for the Brewers in the top of the seventh and worked around a two-out walk to Alcides Escobar in a scoreless frame.

With the score 3-1 Nationals with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Mason Thompson took over and got the second and third outs in quick succession on just 10 pitches to keep it a two-run lead.

Norris tossed a scoreless eighth as well.

Thompson returned to the mound in the Brewers’ half of the eighth, but a leadoff walk to Lorenzo Cain ended his night.

Andres Machado took over with a runner on first and no one out and got two outs with one pitch to pinch hitter Christian Yelich, who sent a grounder back up to the middle, to start a 6-3 DP, then a groundout to third got Machado three outs on three pitches.

Jake Cousins walked Luis García to start the top of the ninth, and Yadiel Hernández singled before Victor Robles bunted both runners over in front of Alcides Escobar, who sent a fly to shallow left for out No. 2. Juan Soto got a base-loading intentional walk, then Josh Bell took an unintentional walk to force in a run, 4-1.

Kyle Finnegan came on for the save opportunity and locked down the Nationals’ third win in a row (after issuing a leadoff walk). Ballgame.

Final Score: 4-1 Nationals

Nationals now 53-68