Adam LaRoche’s superb clout sent a surging Washington through in a defensive contest in Milwaukee.
Matt Williams’ men top the table in the National League East and can take heart in a return to top form by Gio Gonzalez. The wily left-hander soon proved fit in his second start following a month’s rest due to shoulder injury. Having endured a dispiriting season Gonzalez was elated by the day’s result, with a sparkling off-speed ball helping him to a well-deserved clean sheet.
Central leaders Milwaukee battled gamely on their home pitch but the Nationals were clearly the better side. Whilst Gonzalez opened play masterfully with a mix of clever changeups and well-placed fastballs, his counterpart Matt Garza quickly found trouble as two heroic strikeouts were needed to parry a Nationals buildup in the second. No such joy awaited Ron Roenicke’s hurler in the third, as a canny walk by Anthony Rendon and a smartly knocked single by Jayson Werth set the table for LaRoche’s magnificent strike.
A daring run by Jean Segura then produced a decent chance for the Brewers, but the disappointing Ryan Braun could only flail half-heartedly at the ensuing balls and by inning’s end Gonzalez had the match well in hand.
Tempers had flared briefly in the second as an indignant Matt Williams was sent off following a dodgy strike call by the Minnesotan referee. Yet it seemed Washington were only emboldened by their manager’s departure and it was in the following frame that they opened the scoring in fine style.
Late sub Tyler Clippard turned heads with three neat punchouts, but by then the result was in little doubt as a disorganized Milwaukee side had failed to piece together a convincing attack.
Print This Post