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Miller's two-run double caps Brewers' rally over Nationals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Damian Miller's timing is impeccable.

On a day dedicated to fans from his hometown of La Crosse, Wisc., Miller capped his three-RBI performance with a two-run double in the eighth inning that gave Milwaukee a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday.

"Yeah, that's always nice to get a big hit with 40 busloads of fellow cheeseheads from western Wisconsin on hand," Miller said. "I tried to give them some props when I was standing on second."

Miller's big hit off Gary Majewski came one inning after he was caught trying to score from third on a comebacker to the mound off the bat of Rickie Weeks.

After Russell Branyan drew an intentional walk to set up the double play in the eighth, Miller sent a full-count pitch to the gap in left center to break a 2-2 tie.

"He left the ball up in the zone where I could get some air under it," Miller said. "I didn't hit it all that great. He's got pretty good stuff."

Said Majewski: "If the pitch would've broke, it would've been a groundball to the shortstop."

Miller almost ended up the goat because of his aggressive baserunning in the eighth.

With runners at the corners and one out, Weeks sent Luis Ayala's 10th pitch of the at-bat bouncing back to the mound. Ayala jumped and snared the comebacker at full extension, then whirled and had Miller caught about 35 feet off third base with no chance to get back safely or break for the plate.

"I was in no man's land. It's one of those where you've got to go," Miller said. "And we were two inches away from scoring a run," Miller said. "The pitcher just made a great play. When you read it, you think it's going to go over his head and then it's not, so you get caught in between."

Majewski (2-1) got the final out of the seventh inning when he struck out All-Star Carlos Lee, who tied a career high with four strikeouts for the second time in a week.

Matt Wise (3-2) picked up the win with one hitless inning of relief and Derrick Turnbow pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances.

Both starting pitchers took advantage of the rare series-opening day game and the resulting shadows that crept across the infield.

Nationals right-hander John Patterson struck out a career-high nine, including the side twice, in six innings. Brewers left-hander Doug Davis tied his career high with nine strikeouts in seven stellar innings.

Patterson allowed seven hits and one walk, while Davis allowed four hits and two walks.

Preston Wilson hit his first homer for the Nationals, a solo shot in the second that gave Washington a brief 1-0 lead. He was acquired Wednesday from Colorado, where he led the Rockies with 15 homers and 45 RBI.

"It's a great opportunity to come to a team that's playing great baseball," Wilson said. "I think anybody who plays the game wants to be a part of something like that."

Wilson could be just what the NL East-leading Nationals need for a lineup that has produced the fewest runs in the major leagues and is tied for the fewest homers. With cleanup hitter Nick Johnson on the disabled list, the Nationals were reduced to using utility players such as Carlos Baerga and Wil Cordero in the No. 4 spot in the order. Jose Guillen batted cleanup Thursday and struck out three times.

The Brewers manufactured a run in the bottom of the second to tie it at 1. Bill Hall singled, stole second, took third on Branyan's flyout and scored on Miller's sacrifice fly to right.

Jose Vidro's groundout scored Brad Wilkerson from third base in the third inning to give Washington a 2-1 lead, and the Brewers tied it again when Geoff Jenkins hit his 10th homer in the sixth inning.

Jenkins started the game-winning rally in the eighth with a single.

"It was nice to see Damian come up with the big hit," Jenkins said. "It seemed like he had a million people here to see him."

Notes

Brewers GM Doug Melvin said the status of manager Ned Yost won't be determined until later in the season. The club holds the option for 2006. Melvin also has a year left on his contract and it's likely his deal would be extended before Yost's. ... Told before the game he had used 61 different lineups in his first 88 games, Nationals manager Frank Robinson said, "I would have guessed 88."

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Milwaukee

G. Jenkins
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Milwaukee

D. Miller
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, 1B2100110 .269
Marlon Byrd, LF3010000 .259
   a- Ryan Church, PH-LF1000001 .323
Jose Vidro, 2B4001011 .279
Jose Guillen, RF4000031 .306
Preston Wilson, CF4111010 .258
Vinny Castilla, 3B3010100 .254
Brian Schneider, C3010011 .264
Cristian Guzman, SS3000012 .198
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
John Patterson, P2000020 .040
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Joey Eischen, P00000001.000
    Jamey Carroll, SS0000100 .249
Totals292423106 
a-flied out for Byrd in the 8th
Batting
HR - Preston Wilson (16, Davis)
SH - Brad Wilkerson (2)
RBI - Jose Vidro (19), Preston Wilson (48)
SB - Marlon Byrd (2, 2nd base off Davis/D. Miller)
CS - Brad Wilkerson (8, 2nd base by Davis/D. Miller)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Guzman-Wilkerson
Washington Nationals
John Patterson 6722191 2.92
Luis Ayala 0.2200000 3.02
Joey Eischen0000100 4.91
Gary Majewski (L,2-1) 1.1222110 3.53
IBB - Branyan by Gary Majewski
Pitches-Strikes - John Patterson 115-74, Luis Ayala 19-13, Joey Eischen 5-1, Gary Majewski 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Patterson 4-4, Luis Ayala 2-0, Gary Majewski 3-0
Batters Faced - John Patterson 25, Luis Ayala 4, Joey Eischen 1, Gary Majewski 7
Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF5030001 .321
Rickie Weeks, 2B3010101 .266
Lyle Overbay, 1B3010123 .274
Carlos Lee, LF4000045 .265
Geoff Jenkins, RF4231012 .264
Bill Hall, SS-3B3110011 .280
Russell Branyan, 3B3100112 .267
    J.J. Hardy, SS0000000 .187
Damian Miller, C3023011 .271
Doug Davis, P2000000 .143
   a- Trent Durrington, PH0000000 .400
    Matt Wise, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Magruder, PH1000001 .231
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000 .000
Totals31411431017 
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Davis in the 7th
b-grounded out for Wise in the 8th
Batting
2B - Brady Clark (20, Patterson), Lyle Overbay (17, Patterson), Damian Miller (15, Majewski)
HR - Geoff Jenkins (10, Patterson)
SF - Damian Miller (1)
SH - Bill Hall (1), Trent Durrington (1)
RBI - Geoff Jenkins (34), Damian Miller 3 (23)
SB - Rickie Weeks 2 (6, 2nd base off Patterson/Schneider, 2nd base off Patterson/Schneider), Bill Hall (12, 2nd base off Patterson/Schneider)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Branyan-Overbay
E - Russell Branyan (3, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Doug Davis 7422291 4.03
Matt Wise (W,3-2) 1000100 2.87
Derrick Turnbow (S,18) 1000010 2.35
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Davis 116-68, Matt Wise 18-10, Derrick Turnbow 19-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Davis 7-4, Matt Wise 1-2, Derrick Turnbow 2-0
Batters Faced - Doug Davis 26, Matt Wise 4, Derrick Turnbow 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30611
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Andy Fletcher