Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Juan Francisco broke a scoreless tie with a
two-run double in the eighth inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers blanked the
Washington Nationals, 4-0, in the second installment of a four-game series.
Martin Maldonado added an RBI double and scored on Jeff Bianchi's single after
Francisco put the Brewers on top, and four relievers -- John Axford, Jim
Henderson, Michael Gonzalez, and Francisco Rodriguez -- combined to shut down
the Nationals over the final 3 2/3 innings to snap the club's six-game slide.
Drew Storen (2-2) gave up four runs in relief of Stephen Strasburg, who did
not factor in the decision despite scattering three hits and four walks while
striking out eight over seven scoreless inning.
Wily Peralta matched Strasburg pitch for pitch before having to exit due to a
left hamstring injury with one out in the sixth inning. Peralta had given up
just three hits and two walks while fanning five.
Axford finished the sixth, Henderson (3-2) pitched the seventh and the Brewers
finally broke the deadlock with a four-spot in the eighth.
Logan Schafer led off with a single, Rickie Weeks worked a walk and both came
around to score when Francisco hit one deep into the right-field gap.
Francisco crossed the plate on Maldonado's two-out double, and Bianchi capped
the big inning with an RBI single.
Gonzalez stranded a pair in the bottom half, and Rodriguez shook off two
singles in the ninth to close out the win.
Both starters got out of bases-loaded jams, with Peralta inducing a groundout
off the bat of Ian Desmond to escape the first inning and Strasburg striking
out Francisco and Sean Halton to survive the sixth unscathed.
Washington had combined for 23 runs in its previous two games ... Strasburg
has allowed two or fewer earned runs in nine consecutive starts to lower his
ERA from 3.45 to 2.24 ... Washington, which did not record an extra-base hit,
went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 baserunners.
The Sports Network