WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Frank Robinson is seeing a fast change in the way Washington scores runs.
"Speed has been a difference on this ballclub," he said after Sunday's 6-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. "You can't always outslug a team."
Recently promoted Bernie Castro legged out an infield single in the seventh by beating pitcher Doug Davis to the bag, then scored the tiebreaking run from second base on a bloop single by Austin Kearns.
Kearns also homered as the Nationals overcame a strong performance by Davis (10-11).
Four Nationals relievers combined for five hitless innings, with Saul Rivera (3-0) pitching the seventh to earn the win.
Nationals starter Mike O'Connor, who had a 75-pitch limit, allowed one run and three hits before being pulled after four innings and 69 pitches. Chris Schroder relieved O'Connor and struck out all six batters he faced before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.
Davis was perfect for the first 4 1/3 innings before Kearns hit his 23rd home run.
"He was tough, hitting his spots," Kearns said. "He was just carving us up. I was just happy to get something."
In the seventh, Castro singled, moved to second on a sacrifice by Lopez and scored when Kearns looped a single to shallow right field.
Those three hits were the only one that Davis allowed. He struck out seven and walked none in seven innings.
The Brewers matched a season low with three hits.
"Doug was doing everything he could do to keep the score down and give us a chance to win the ballgame," manager Ned Yost said. "We couldn't get anything going."
After Kearns' single gave the Nationals the lead in the seventh, Washington added four runs in the eighth.
Brandon Harper led off with a single, Logan bunted for a single and Alfonso Soriano was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out against Derek Turnbow.
Harper scored when Castro hit a grounder to Bill Hall, whose throw home sailed high.
Lopez followed with a single to right, scoring Logan, Soriano and the speedy Castro, who ran right through a stop sign from third-base coach Tony Beasley. Castro easily slid home because of a slow relay from right fielder Corey Hart to first baseman Prince Fielder.
"I knew he had a big lead," Lopez said of Castro. "He just went right when the ball was hit."
O'Connor hit Fielder with the first pitch of the second inning, then allowed singles to Kevin Mench and David Bell. Fielder scored the game's first run when Damian Miller hit a sacrifice fly.
After the second inning, only three more Brewers runners reached base, and all three were wiped out by double plays.
|Players of the Game|
New Era Washington Nationals Fitted Hat
$34.95 Shop Now!
|Brady Clark, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.262|
|Derrick Turnbow, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brian Shouse, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dennis Sarfate, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tony Graffanino, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.276|
|Corey Hart, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.283|
|Bill Hall, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.259|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.280|
|Kevin Mench, LF||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.266|
|David Bell, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.265|
|Damian Miller, C||1||0||0||1||1||1||0||.247|
|Anthony Gwynn, PR-CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.294|
|Doug Davis, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.049|
|a- Geoff Jenkins, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.264|
|Mike Rivera, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|a-fouled out for Davis in the 8th|
|SF - Damian Miller (5)|
|SH - Doug Davis (11)|
|RBI - Damian Miller (38)|
|SB - Brady Clark (3, 2nd base off O'Connor/Harper)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|E - Bill Hall (17, )|
|Doug Davis (L,10-11)||7||3||2||2||0||7||1||4.87|
|HBP - Soriano (by Derrick Turnbow)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Doug Davis 94-58, Derrick Turnbow 13-9, Brian Shouse 2-1, Dennis Sarfate 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Davis 7-7, Derrick Turnbow 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Doug Davis 24, Derrick Turnbow 5, Brian Shouse 1, Dennis Sarfate 2|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||3||1||0||0||0||2||0||.286|
|Bernie Castro, 2B||4||2||1||0||0||1||0||.239|
|Felipe Lopez, SS||3||0||1||3||0||0||0||.278|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.280|
|Austin Kearns, RF||4||1||2||2||0||1||1||.265|
|Jose Vidro, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.287|
|Jon Rauch, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Wagner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Brandon Harper, C||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.333|
|Nook Logan, CF||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.294|
|Mike O'Connor, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.069|
|Chris Schroder, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- George Lombard, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.143|
|Saul Rivera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Nick Johnson, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.291|
|a-struck out for Schroder in the 6th|
|HR - Austin Kearns (23, Davis)|
|SH - Felipe Lopez (9)|
|RBI - Felipe Lopez 3 (49), Austin Kearns 2 (83)|
|2-OUT RBI - Austin Kearns (33)|
|SB - Felipe Lopez (39, 2nd base off Sarfate/Rivera)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|Outfield Assists - Austin Kearns 1|
|DP - F. Lopez-Castro-Vidro, Zimmerman-Castro-Vidro, Kearns-N. Johnson|
|Saul Rivera (W,3-0)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||3.78|
|Jon Rauch (H,17)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||3.52|
|HBP - Fielder (by Mike O'Connor), Fielder (by Mike O'Connor)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike O'Connor 69-46, Chris Schroder 31-20, Saul Rivera 11-7, Jon Rauch 10-5, Ryan Wagner 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike O'Connor 2-9, Saul Rivera 1-0, Ryan Wagner 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Mike O'Connor 16, Chris Schroder 6, Saul Rivera 3, Jon Rauch 3, Ryan Wagner 3|
|Attendance - 26128|
|Game Time - 2:32|
|Temperature - 84|
|Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Paul Schrieber|