Washington (9-23) at Milwaukee (22-10)

Fair Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Tue May 8, 2007
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The Milwaukee Brewers have lost twice in their last 11 games, and Dave Bush had a hand in both.

The struggling right-hander will try to avoid a third straight loss and help the Brewers to a season-high fifth straight win Tuesday when they continue their home series with the lowly Washington Nationals.

Little has gone wrong for the Brewers (22-10) on their way to posting the best record in baseball and a 5 1/2-game lead in the NL Central. Geoff Jenkins’ three-run homer helped Milwaukee to a 3-0 win over Washington on Monday for its fourth straight win and eighth in its last nine contests.

Bush (2-3, 6.03 ERA), though, has suffered the loss in both defeats. Through the early part of the season, Bush has been the least effective member of the team’s starting rotation, posting the highest ERA and allowing the most earned runs (25).

Allowing the big inning seems to be his downfall.

In the Brewers’ most recent loss, Bush gave up all four runs in the seventh inning after allowing just one runner past second base in the previous six to take the loss in Milwaukee’s 4-2 defeat to Pittsburgh on Thursday. He also allowed four runs in an inning in a 10-1 loss to Houston on April 28 and six to the Chicago Cubs in the first inning of a 9-3 loss on April 6.

“I wish I had the answer for it,” Bush told the Brewers’ official Web site. “If I knew why it was happening, I would have fixed it already.

“It’s very frustrating. Mostly it’s just disappointing.”

Bush might get some motivation from Chris Capuano’s effort Monday. Capuano allowed seven hits in eight scoreless innings to put the Brewers 12 games over .500 for the first time since 1992.

J.J. Hardy had a fifth-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. Jenkins homered for the sixth time.

“It seems like there is somebody new every night doing something good, and that is the mark of a good team,” Jenkins said.

Washington (9-23) will try to avoid losing a season-high seventh consecutive game Tuesday. The Nationals have been outscored 28-13 during the skid and shut out twice.

“We’re struggling right now,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “We’re going to grind it out and keep working. We’re going to get out of it.”

The Nationals are getting healthier, as shortstop Christian Guzman (hamstring) and center fielder Nook Logan (foot) each came off the disabled list to start Monday for the first time since opening day.

Tuesday, the Nationals are expected to send Jason Simontacchi to the mound for his first appearance since 2004 and first start since 2003.

The right-hander, who was pitching at Triple-A Columbus, went 20-10 with a 4.77 ERA for St. Louis from 2002-04, then missed 2005 after undergoing shoulder surgery. He pitched as a reliever for Bridgeport of the independent Atlantic League in 2006.

He is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in eight games, including two starts, against Milwaukee.

“It’s has been a long road,’ Simontacchi told the Nationals’ official Web site. “It’s a good blessing from God (that I’m able to pitch).”

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Starting Pitchers

J. Simontacchi Was vs. D. Bush Tor
6-7 Record 12-10
6.37 ERA 5.12
42 K 134
23 BB 44
1.67 WHIP 1.40


Tuesday, May 8