WP: Brandon Woodruff (3-0)
LP: Jefry Rodriguez (2-2)
HR: Keon Broxton (3), Christian Yelich (27), Wilmer Difo (6)
For the fifth straight game, the Brewers got the early lead. The Brewers started off the game with two straight walks from Curtis Granderson and Christian Yelich. Eric Thames then singled with one out to load the bases, and Mike Moustakas hit a single that scored both Granderson and Yelich, giving the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Junior Guerra to give up that lead. After allowing just a single in the first inning, Guerra allowed a home run to Wilmer Difo in the bottom of the second to close it to a 2-1 game. It all unraveled for Guerra in the third, as he allowed three singles and two walks. A Juan Soto single tied the game at 2-2, and then Mark Reynolds singled to give the Nationals a 4-2 lead.
On another day, the Brewers might have tried to ride Junior Guerra for a few more innings. Today, though, Craig Counsell had a short leash. Guerra’s day ended after three innings, allowing four runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Brandon Woodruff came in to start the fourth and provided some much needed scoreless innings for the team. He pitched four scoreless, just allowing three hits while striking out five.
Woodruff’s scoreless innings were important as the Brewers rallied in the fifth inning. The inning didn’t start out too well, with Eric Thames doubling but Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas flew out for two outs in the first three batters. Manny Piña got on base with a single to follow that, putting runners at first and third for Keon Broxton. He gave the Brewers the lead right there.
That wasn’t it for the Brewers. Orlando Arcia singled and Brandon Woodruff drew a walk on four pitches to put two more runners on base. That ended Jefry Rodriguez’s day, and Tim Collins came in relief. Collins threw four balls to Hernan Perez to start and load the bases. Then, Christian Yelich took two more balls. Collins started with six balls thrown. On the seventh pitch, Christian Yelich blew the game wide open.
The Brewers offense just had the Nationals figured out today. They recorded ten hits and eleven walks in the game. Seven runs came off of Jefry Rodriguez, with the other two coming off Tim Collins. Christian Yelich reached base three times to lead the offense, along with that grand slam that made it a huge lead. Keon Broxton only had one hit, but that hit put the Brewers ahead for good.
Meanwhile, the Brewers bullpen preserved the Brewers lead after Woodruff stabilized things following a rough start from Junior Guerra. After Woodruff’s four scoreless innings, Xavier Cedeño made his Brewers debut with a scoreless inning, allowing just a hit and a strikeout. Corey Knebel made his first appearance back with the team, and added on a scoreless inning with two strikeouts to finish the game.
The Brewers have a bit of a hot streak going on right now. They have now won 9 of their last 13 and have also won 4 straight series. It’s moved them to 16 games over .500 and gave them a 4-2 road trip. It’s not the most exciting record, but the Brewers are winning series, and that’s what is important.
With a loss from the Cardinals, the Brewers pull ahead of the Cardinals in the standings and currently have a 1⁄2 game lead on the first Wild Card spot, as well as 2 games ahead of the Dodgers and Diamondbacks for a Wild Card spot (both teams are playing right now). They remain five games behind the Cubs, but the Brewers chance to cut into that starts tomorrow.
It’s a bit of a quick turnaround as the Brewers come back to Miller Park for a Labor Day matinee tomorrow. It’s also the start of a critical three-game series against the Cubs, and the Brewers will need to at least win the series to stay in the conversation to win the division. Zach Davies will make his return tomorrow, facing Cole Hamels of the Cubs. First pitch is at 1:10 pm.