|Milwaukee (79-73) «||0||0||0||2||0||0||3||1||0||6||15||0|
Washington -- The Milwaukee Brewers have little margin for error with a week and a half left in the regular season. On Sunday, a lot of hits kept them close in the playoff scramble.
Rickie Weeks had three hits while Aramis Ramirez had two doubles for Milwaukee, which twice benefited from outfielders losing fly balls in the sun. The Brewers (79-73) remained 2 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild-card berth.
|More on Brewers-Nationals|
"They're all crucial," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "We know that, but you've just got to go out and play. I thought that we played a good game today."
Milwaukee have won 25 of its last 32 games.
Washington leads the NL East by 4 1/2 games over Atlanta. The Nationals' magic number to clinch the division remains at six.
"It's fun. All these games are fun to watch from back there," Kintzler said of the bullpen. "Then suddenly you're in the ballgame. It's intense. It's something I've been thinking about the whole year, hoping I'd be a part of."
Ryan Mattheus (5-3) allowed three earned runs on four hits.
"I don't think we're fun to face right now, as exciting as we've been," said Corey Hart, who scored twice.
Milwaukee broke a 2-all tie in the seventh. Weeks singled and Ryan Braun grounded into a forceout. Ramirez doubled to right, putting runners on second and third.
After Hart was walked intentionally, Lucroy hit a grounder up the middle. Shortstop Ian Desmond made a diving stop, but couldn't make the play at second and the Brewers led 3-2 with the bases still loaded.
"It's a tough sun. There's no doubt about it," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
The Brewers added a run in the eighth on Braun's sacrifice fly.
Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Braun led off with a fly ball to straightaway center and when Bryce Harper lost the ball in the sun, it dropped in and Braun ended up on second with a double. The next batter, Ramirez, hit a fly that Harper had trouble with, but caught.
"You can't catch what you can't see. Nothing you can do about it. The sun monster got me," Harper said.
"When it's right down the middle of the sun it's kind of hard. So you try to go left or right, try to get below it. Tried to get below the first one, got below the second one and caught it."
Washington starter Chien-Ming Wang, making his first start since June 19, went four innings and gave up two runs on eight hits while striking out two.
Wang was starting because Tuesday's rainout and Wednesday's doubleheader meant Sunday's scheduled starter, Jordan Zimmermann, would have been working on three days' rest. Johnson chose to push Zimmerman back a day.
Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo entered the game having won his last eight decisions. He went five innings, allowing two earned runs and six hits. He walked two and struck out five.
"It was tough all around. They have pretty good hitters," Gallardo said. "They made me work a lot for sure, fouled off some pretty good pitches."
The Brewers have won Gallardo's last 11 starts.
"Yo battled, his command at times was really good, but overall he was a little off today," Roenicke said. "He certainly did a good job of keeping us in the ballgame."
Twice in the first three innings, the Nationals had runners on first and third with one out against Gallardo and didn't score.
|Ryan Braun and the Brewers simply won't go away, as they continue to close on the Cardinals in the wild-card race. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Norichika Aoki, RF||5||1||0||0||0||0||2||.290|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||5||0||3||0||0||2||0||.233|
|Ryan Braun, LF||3||2||2||1||1||0||1||.317|
|Nyjer Morgan, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.243|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||5||1||2||0||0||0||3||.299|
|Corey Hart, 1B||3||2||1||0||2||0||3||.277|
|Taylor Green, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.194|
|Jonathan Lucroy, C||5||0||2||2||0||1||3||.325|
|Logan Schafer, CF||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||.417|
|a- Carlos Gomez, PH-CF||3||0||2||1||0||0||0||.254|
|Jean Segura, SS||5||0||0||1||0||1||1||.256|
|Yovani Gallardo, P||2||0||1||0||0||0||2||.167|
|b- Yorvit Torrealba, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.229|
|Brandon Kintzler, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Travis Ishikawa, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.252|
|Francisco Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jim Henderson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Jeff Bianchi, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.183|
|Jose Veras, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|John Axford, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Schafer in the 6th|
|b-walked for Gallardo in the 6th|
|c-struck out for Kintzler in the 7th|
|d-struck out for Henderson in the 9th|
|2B - Ryan Braun (33, Wang), Aramis Ramirez 2 (49, Stammen, Mattheus), Logan Schafer (1, Wang), Carlos Gomez (17, Burnett)|
|SF - Ryan Braun (5)|
|RBI - Ryan Braun (108), Jonathan Lucroy 2 (55), Logan Schafer (4), Carlos Gomez (48), Jean Segura (12)|
|SB - Aramis Ramirez (8, 2nd base off Wang/Suzuki)|
|CS - Logan Schafer (1, 2nd base by Wang/Suzuki)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Hart, Segura-Weeks-Hart, Segura-Weeks-Hart|
|Brandon Kintzler (W,3-0)||1||1||0||0||2||1||0||2.61|
|Francisco Rodriguez (H,29)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||4.64|
|John Axford (S,33)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.66|
|IBB - Espinosa by Brandon Kintzler|
|Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 98-59, Brandon Kintzler 23-13, Francisco Rodriguez 10-9, Jim Henderson 17-14, Jose Veras 17-8, John Axford 4-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 4-3, Brandon Kintzler 1-1, Francisco Rodriguez 1-0, Jim Henderson 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 20, Brandon Kintzler 6, Francisco Rodriguez 3, Jim Henderson 3, Jose Veras 4, John Axford 1|
|Jayson Werth, RF||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.303|
|Bryce Harper, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.258|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.283|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.271|
|Michael Morse, LF||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.288|
|Sean Burnett, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ian Desmond, SS||2||1||2||0||2||0||0||.301|
|Danny Espinosa, 2B||2||1||1||0||1||0||2||.252|
|Ryan Mattheus, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Gonzalez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Roger Bernadina, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.294|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||4||0||0||0||0||3||6||.224|
|Chien-Ming Wang, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Craig Stammen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Chad Tracy, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.289|
|Eury Perez, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Zach Duke, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.277|
|a-singled for Stammen in the 5th|
|2B - Adam LaRoche (32, Gallardo), Ian Desmond (32, Kintzler), Danny Espinosa (36, Gallardo), Chien-Ming Wang (1, Gallardo)|
|SF - Jayson Werth (1)|
|RBI - Jayson Werth (27), Chad Tracy (14)|
|SB - Ian Desmond (19, 2nd base off Veras/Lucroy)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - LaRoche-Desmond-Wang|
|E - Bryce Harper (7, Misplayed grounder), Stephen Lombardozzi (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Ryan Mattheus (L,5-3)||1||4||3||3||1||1||0||2.89|
|IBB - Hart by Ryan Mattheus|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chien-Ming Wang 69-47, Craig Stammen 29-14, Zach Duke 13-8, Ryan Mattheus 21-13, Mike Gonzalez 18-10, Sean Burnett 12-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chien-Ming Wang 7-1, Zach Duke 1-2, Ryan Mattheus 2-0, Mike Gonzalez 1-3, Sean Burnett 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Chien-Ming Wang 18, Craig Stammen 6, Zach Duke 4, Ryan Mattheus 8, Mike Gonzalez 5, Sean Burnett 4|
|Attendance - 33111|
|Game Time - 3:42|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - D.J. Reyburn|