Nationals 4, Brewers 3
Fantasy Baseball: Soriano is this season’s surprise
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Washington catcher Brian Schneider was just looking to tie the game when he came up in the ninth inning.
He did more than that, hitting a two-run homer off Milwaukee closer Derrick Turnbow to lift the Nationals to a 4-3 victory Saturday night.
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard,” Schneider said. “I knew when I hit it I at least got the job done. When it went out, it was definitely a bonus.”
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Bray said.
Ryan Zimmerman singled to lead off the ninth and reached second when Turnbow (2-3) threw an errant pick off attempt.
It proved costly when a ground ball by Marlon Anderson could have been a double play. Instead, Zimmerman reached third and Schneider’s one-out blast cleared the right field fence.
“They don’t come much bigger than that, against a tough pitcher,” Nationals manager Frank Robinson said.
Chad Cordero pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.
Milwaukee has lost seven in a row.
Turnbow, who has blown three of his last four save opportunities, was booed after finishing the ninth, and his performance ruined Doug Davis’ great outing.
Davis gave up two runs and six hits while striking out a career-high tying 11 in eight innings. He wanted to go one more.
“I tried to rally, tried to talk the manager into it,” Davis said. “But he has last say, obviously, and that’s how you play the game.”
Brewers manager Ned Yost called the slide a “bad week.”
The Brewers have been outscored 56-17 in the stretch, but took a 3-2 lead in a bizarre sixth inning.
Brady Clark’s bases-loaded single scored two after a six-minute delay by second base umpire Joe West. The umpire used the Brewers’ bullpen phone and waited for ballpark officials to try and take care of an advertisement sign that was too white and obstructed the infielders’ ability to see the ball.
“It just jumped out at me,” West said. “I didn’t think it was fair with the visiting team in the field.”
Nationals starter Mike O’Connor was pulled after allowing men on first and second and running a 2-1 count on Corey Hart. Reliever Saul Rivera walked Hart to load the bases and set up Clark, who is now hitting .392 in his last 25 games.
In the eighth, Soriano, who finished 3-for-4, reached third with one out, but Davis struck out Jose Vidro and Johnson to end the inning, with the left-hander pumping his fist for his career-tying 11th strikeout.
“You could see the fire and intensity in his eyes,” Yost said. “He was going to get out of that hole with a one-run lead.”
Davis, second in the majors with 46 walks, gave up a run early because of his control problems in the third when he walked O’Connor with two outs. Soriano and Royce Clayton each hit weak singles just over the infield to put the Nationals on top 1-0.
Meanwhile, O’Connor’s funky, lefty delivery baffled the Brewers. Relying on a changeup that hovered around 75 mph, he did not allow a hit until the fourth, when Hart singled in Hall, who had reached on a walk and was at third after a steal and a ground out, to tie the score.
O’Connor gave up three runs and three hits with six walks and six strikeouts in 5 1-3 innings.
“It seemed like I’d have a quick inning, then I’d have a long inning,” O’Connor said. “I was definitely behind on too many guys.”
Milwaukee last lost seven in a row in April 15-21, 2005. … Davis also struck out 11 on July 24, 2005 against Cincinnati. … Hart made his first start at the year at first base for Prince Fielder. Fielder took just his second game off of the season, while Hart last played first base regularly in 2002. … RHP Allan Simpson and LHP Zach Jackson are the 23rd and 24th pitchers that have been on the Brewers’ 25-man roster this season after both were called up on Friday.