Brewers end losing skid but lose Peralta

David Driver, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- The Milwaukee Brewers were without two of their top hitters. And their starting pitcher left the game with a left hamstring strain while pitching a shutout in the sixth inning.
But Milwaukee exploded for four runs in the top of the eighth to beat the Nationals 4-0 on Tuesday. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak; the Brewers also had lost their last five away from home.
Carlos Gomez (sore shoulder) and Jean Segura (day off) were out of the starting lineup but starting pitcher Wily Peralta held the Nationals at bay before he left in the sixth with the hamstring injury. He is listed day-to-day.
"It tightened up on him. It wasn't like he felt something pull," manager Ron Roenicke said of Peralta, who lowered his ERA to 5.27. "It was a real nice game for us. He threw some good pitches. I hope this isn't a (hamstring) pull."
The Milwaukee (33-49) bullpen got the last 11 outs as the Nationals left 10 runners on base.
"The bullpen has been doing this all year," said reliever Michael Gonzalez, who pitched a scoreless eighth against his former team. "It was a great start by Wily."
Juan Francisco, who struck out with the bases loaded in his previous at-bat, broke up a scoreless game with a two-run double in the eighth inning off reliever Drew Storen.
"If he keeps doing that, he will be a good hitter," Roenicke said of Francisco, who took walks in his first two at-bats.
Two batters after the Francisco hit, Martin Maldonado hit an RBI double that bounced off the glove of left fielder Bryce Harper on the warning track. Jeff Bianchi followed with a single to left to score Maldonado, who got a big jump from second on a steal try, for a 4-0 lead.
Washington (42-41) has not been three games above .500 since May 18 as Storen fell to 2-2 while giving up four runs in the eighth.
"It is definitely frustrating," said Washington catcher Kurt Suzuki, whose team was shut out after scoring 23 runs in the previous two games. "It definitely was a bummer tonight."
Stephen Strasburg lowered his ERA to 2.24 with seven scoreless innings but again was the victim of little offensive support.
"That was my first time seeing him live," Roenicke said. "You don't see many curveballs like that."
"He had a good one today," Suzuki agreed.
The winning pitcher for the Brewers was Jim Henderson (3-2). Francisco Rodriguez came on in the ninth to nail down the save despite allowing two singles to start the inning.
Peralta was visited on the mound by medical staff after he appeared to slip on a pitch to Ryan Zimmerman with one out in the sixth.
Peralta threw one warm-up pitch before facing Zimmerman again. But after the next pitch, Roenicke came to the mound and Peralta left the game with a 2-2 count to Zimmerman.
Peralta gave up three hits and no runs in 5 1/3 innings. John Axford, who has not allowed a run in 23 outings, retired Zimmerman and walked Adam LaRoche, who was thrown out trying to steal for the third out.
NOTES: Washington manager Davey Johnson thinks Harper should take part in the All-Star Game if chosen, even though Harper has missed 37 games. "I think it is a great honor. I think you go," Johnson said. ... Milwaukee SS Jeff Bianchi, batting eighth in the starting lineup, is from Lancaster, Pa., less than three hours from the nation's capital, and said he had family in the stands. He entered the game with a .254 average and had made just two errors in 38 games. Bianchi made his first career appearance in the outfield (in left) on Monday. ... Washington C Wilson Ramos (left hamstring) was retired in his first three at-bats Tuesday in a rehab appearance with Class A Potomac. Johnson said he hopes to have Ramos join the Nationals later this week. Suzuki has started nearly every game while Ramos has been on the DL.

What to Read Next