Preview: Brewers at Nationals - July 26

The Sports Xchange The Milwaukee Brewers will try to string together consecutive wins for the first time in almost two weeks when they play the middle contest of a three-game series at the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. A three-run homer by T...

Manny Pina
Milwaukee Brewers catcher Manny Pina (9) is splashed with water in the dugout while celebrating hitting a home run against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning Tuesday night at Nationals Park. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange


The Milwaukee Brewers will try to string together consecutive wins for the first time in almost two weeks when they play the middle contest of a three-game series at the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. A three-run homer by Travis Shaw highlighted an 11-hit attack and starter Zach Davies spun 7 2/3 scoreless innings in the Brewers’ 8-0 win in the series opener.

It was just the second victory in the last nine games for Milwaukee, which stayed a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs atop the National League Central and hosts the Cubs after its 10-game road trip ends Thursday in the nation’s capital.

Shaw’s home run was his third of the trip and 23rd of the season, one behind team leader Eric Thames, who also went deep for the Brewers on Tuesday.


Bryce Harper extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 games for Washington but his club managed five hits overall in getting shut out for the third time in 12 games after it scored at least one run in the first 86 contests this season. A pair of 8-5 starters square off Wednesday night, as right-hander Jimmy Nelson goes for Milwaukee opposite southpaw Gio Gonzalez.


TV: 6:05 p.m., FSN Wisconsin


Pitching matchup

Brewers RH Jimmy Nelson (8-5, 3.43 ERA) vs. Nationals LH Gio Gonzalez (8-5, 2.83)

Nelson suffered his first loss in a span of five starts after allowing four runs and six hits over five innings at Pittsburgh on Thursday. That left the 28-year-old with a 4.96 ERA in nine road starts, compared to 2.39 in 11 outings at home. He spun five scoreless innings in his only matchup with Washington a year ago but has a 5.28 ERA in three career meetings.

Gonzalez entered Tuesday ranked third in the National League in ERA despite giving up four runs in 5 2/3 frames in a loss at the Los Angeles Angels his last time out. That outing ended a string of nine straight quality starts for the former first-round pick, whose team has lost each of his last five home starts, despite his 2.40 ERA in that span. Hernan Perez and Jonathan Villar are a combined 7-for-17 with a home run and four doubles against Gonzalez, who is 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in seven career starts versus Milwaukee.




1. Harper has reached base in 25 consecutive games, one shy of matching the longest streak of his career.

2. Brewers C Manny Pina also homered Wednesday and is 8-for-20 on the road trip.

3. Washington announced Tuesday that a nerve impingement caused RHP Stephen Strasburg to leave his start after two innings Sunday, and the club is hopeful he will take his next turn in the rotation.


Brewers Player Watch

* 3B Travis Shaw’s fourth-inning home run was his seventh three-run homer of the season. “I’ll take it. That’s 21 RBIs,” he said. Shaw now has a career-high 73 RBIs.


* RHP Zach Davies registered a career-high 7 2/3 innings of three-hit ball, while striking out seven, to pick up his 12th win of the season, second in the National League. “Being able to work the ball in and throw first-pitch strikes was something I needed to do,” Davies said.

* C Manny Pina was 3-for-4 with a walk, and his fifth-inning home run was his first since June 29.

* 1B Eric Thames was shifted to fifth in the lineup, the first time the slugger has not hit second or third all season. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the move is to split left-handers in his lineup, but Thames is slashing only .216/.331/.436 since May 1. “He’s perfectly capable of having a good streak again,” Counsell said. The move was rewarded as Thames hit his 24th homer Tuesday.

* OF Keon Broxton, who was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on July 22, reached base five times in his first minor league game, showing the kind of plate discipline manager Craig Counsell would like to see on a consistent basis. “This was a confidence thing -- let’s get him some confidence. If it happens there, in a different environment, that’s perfect,” Counsell said.

* RHP Jimmy Nelson has made a team-leading 11 quality starts entering Wednesday’s matchup with the Nationals, although he is coming off a loss against Pittsburgh on Thursday. Nelson is 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA in his last 15 starts.

* OF Ryan Braun continued to produce against Washington starter Edwin Jackson. Braun was 1-3 with an RBI against Jackson, keeping his average against the veteran pitcher to .333 (12-for-36).

* RHP Anthony Swarzak was acquired by the Brewers from the White Sox on Tuesday for OF/3B Ryan Cordell, multiple media outlets reported.

PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Brewers 3.

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