The Milwaukee Brewers out-hit the Washington Nationals, nine to three, in the series opener in the nation’s capital. But the Brew Crew’s struggles with runners in scoring position continued as the offense could put up only one run against Nats’ starter Patrick Corbin.
Lorenzo Cain recorded a base hit to lead off the game in the first, but was stranded. Orlando Arcia hit a solo home run to lead off the third inning and score Milwaukee’s run. He was followed by a double from Adrian Houser and a single by Lorenzo Cain, then eventually Ryan Braun walked with two outs. Yasmani Grandal struck out to strand the bases loaded. In the fourth, Mike Moustakas singled and Arcia walked. They were stranded on second and third. Braun doubled and Yaz singled in the fifth but they were stranded, once again on second and third. Manny Pina and Cain were left hanging after drawing walks in the sixth. And that would be the end of the day for Corbin, who worked around seven hits four walks by striking out eight on his way to allowing the one run.
Adrian Houser got the start for the Cream City Nine, and he matched Corbin inning-for-inning. The only run that the rookie allowed was in the third inning, when Anthony Rendon doubled to plate Trea Turner. Otherwise, Houser was nails; he allowed only two hits and the one run across seven complete innings, striking out four while walking a pair.
Washington’s bullpen held on this one, with Daniel Hudson, Hunter Strickland, and Sean Doolittle all recording scoreless frames. Junior Guerra relieved Houser in the eighth inning, and Our Hero was saddled with the loss in this one. He walked Turner to start it, then after a successful sac bunt by Adam Eaton, Rendon lined a double off the wall to make it 2-1. Alex Claudio then came in to convert the final two outs.
The Cardinals walloped the Reds and are now two games ahead of Milwaukee for the division title, while the Cubs lost to Pittsburgh and remain a single game in front of the Brewers. The Nationals and Brewers will face off again in the second game of the series on Saturday evening, with first pitch set for 6:05 PM central. Jordan Lyles will toe the rubber against Anibal Sanchez.