Washington (52-38) at Milwaukee (44-46)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 16, 2005
  • TV: WDCA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Chris Capuano looks to win his sixth straight start when the Milwaukee Brewers continue a four-game series with the NL East-leading Washington Nationals at Miller Park.

Capuano earned his career-high fifth straight win Sunday, allowing four runs and seven hits over five innings of an 8-4 victory over Atlanta.

The left-hander walked two and struck out six, becoming the first Milwaukee pitcher to reach 10 wins prior to the All-Star break since Teddy Higuera in 1986.

“I just told myself to bear down and give it all I got,” said Capuano, who threw 100 pitches. “When I look back, it could have been a lot worse. In retrospect, I’m pleased.”

Washington, baseball’s biggest surprise in the first half, has dropped two straight since the break, including a tough 4-3 setback to Milwaukee on Friday night.

Making his first appearance for the Nationals since signing with the team on Wednesday, left-hander Mike Stanton balked in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Stanton was trying to pick off Rickie Weeks from first base before he even threw a pitch.

First base umpire Paul Schrieber immediately called a balk, allowing Chris Magruder to score from third.

“That is my typical move,” Stanton argued. “He said I went to the plate. No, I didn’t. It’s just unfortunate a game had to end this way.”

Manager Frank Robinson backed his new reliever.

“This is compared to a referee in the NBA with one-tenth of a second on the clock and he calls a touch foul and sends the guy to the free-throw line to win a ballgame,” Robinson said. “They don’t do it. This one shouldn’t have ended up like that.”

The defeat shaved the Nationals’ lead in the East to just 1 1/2 games over perennial division champion Atlanta.

Esteban Loaiza will try to help Washington bounce back Saturday. He allowed two runs and six hits over six innings, but didn’t receive a decision in the Nationals’ 5-4 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday.

It was just the second time in Loiaza’s last seven starts that he failed to register a victory.

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Starting Pitchers

E. Loaiza CWS vs. C. Capuano NYY
12-10 Record 18-12
3.77 ERA 3.99
173 K 176
55 BB 91
1.30 WHIP 1.38