The Nationals erased a 5-1 deficit against Corbin Burnes and Joel Payamps, but Mark Canha delivered the decisive blow with an eighth-inning grand slam that propelled the Brewers to a 9-5 victory on Saturday night.
Canha’s slam came a few minutes after the Nationals tied the game on a bloop single by Jake Alu against Payamps. That scored Joey Meneses, who reached on an infield single to lead off the inning.
The comeback seemed improbable after the Brewers worked Nationals starter Trevor Williams for 70 pitches across two innings, including a three-run first. Canha drove in the first run on a bases-loaded single up the middle. Willy Adames followed with a sacrifice fly, and Rowdy Tellez blooped a run-scoring hit into shallow center field.
Milwaukee added one run in each of the fourth and fifth innings. Tyrone Taylor continued his recent hot streak with a solo home run in the fourth, and Josh Donaldson delivered an RBI single the following inning to make it 5-1.
Burnes was locked in through the first five innings, striking out nine while limiting the Nationals to a solo home run by Luis Garcia.
Things unraveled in the sixth. Burnes scattered three singles and issued three walks, including a bases-loaded free pass to Garcia that made it 5-4. Elvis Peguero entered and induced a groundout to end the frame.
After the Nationals tied the game in the eighth, Taylor initiated the response with a one-out double. Sal Frelick reached on an infield hit and Carlos Santana walked, setting the stage for Canha’s big moment. He jumped on a middle-in splitter on Kyle Finnegan’s first pitch to give the Brewers a 9-5 lead.
Hoby Milner closed the door in the ninth with a three-up, three-down inning.
The Crew goes for the sweep on Sunday afternoon. Brandon Woodruff starts for the Brewers against veteran left-hander Patrick Corbin. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT.