Milwaukee at Washington

Scoreboard
Milwaukee (79-74)010000010282
Washington (93-60) «10062003x12140

Nats rock Brewers, magic number at 5

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

WASHINGTON -- According to Washington right fielder Jayson Werth, the way an intense, September afternoon sun turns fly balls at Nationals Park into adventures "borders on ridiculous."

Well, this time, that "sun monster" helped Werth's Nationals and hurt the Milwaukee Brewers.

A day after the Nationals misplayed a pair of fly balls in the midday glare, Werth wound up with a two-out, two-run double when Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez lost a ball in the sun to spark a six-run fourth inning Monday, and Washington beat Milwaukee 12-2 to cut its magic number for winning the NL East to five.

More on Brewers-Nationals
Related links
More MLB coverage

"I don't remember a worse sun field, worse sun conditions," said Werth, a major leaguer for a decade. "You almost don't have a chance out there as the game goes on."

Jordan Zimmermann (12-8) allowed one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings in the rare 1:05 p.m. weekday start. He also delivered two hits and drove in a run as a batter for the Nationals, who are a majors-best 93-60 and increased their division lead over the Atlanta Braves to five games with nine to play.

"We still have a little ways to go, but if we keep playing baseball the way we've been playing, hopefully it'll happen soon," said Ryan Zimmerman, who had three hits and four RBI.

Marco Estrada (4-7) lasted only four innings for the Brewers, who entered the day 2½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL's second wild-card berth. He allowed seven runs -- six earned -- and eight hits, and acknowledged that Gomez's problems on Werth's ball into the sun caused the righty to lose his composure "a little bit."

"It felt like it was a blink of an eye," Estrada said. "I looked up, the score was 2-1, and I was like, 'All right, let's get this guy out. Pop fly.' Next thing you know, it's 7-1. I couldn't believe it."

As Brewers manager Ron Roenicke put it: "It would've been a good game if that ball's caught."

Right after Zimmermann's RBI single broke a 1-all tie, Werth hit a high fly that could have been the third out -- but Gomez couldn't find it.

"It is just a matter of being lucky and not getting a ball hit to you when it's in your field of vision," Werth said. "Even then, if the ball is hit to your left early in the game, it goes into the sun. And if it goes to your right later in the game, it goes in the sun. And if it's hit right at you in the middle of the game, you are in trouble."

Gomez paused and held his glove up to try to shade his view, then suddenly scrambled to his left and tried to make a diving catch.

The ball smacked off the dark sweat band on his left forearm and trickled away.

"Nothing you can do," Gomez said.

Roenicke knew his player was having a hard time locating the ball.

"As soon as the ball went up, he was 10 feet off," Roenicke said. "I was watching the ball, where it was, and watching where he was, and I could tell he was off line."

After Bryce Harper walked and joined Werth in a double steal, Zimmerman sent a three-run shot to right-center for his 24th homer and a 7-1 lead.

"Once it gets out of hand, it's tough to keep everybody's intensity there," Roenicke said, "and because of it, a lot of things go wrong."

In Milwaukee's 6-2 victory Sunday, Werth and Harper each failed to catch a ball because of the sun, leading to hits. Werth's misplay was on a shot by Gomez. Afterward, Harper joked about trouble dealing with the "sun monster."

"Payback," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. "It's a tough sun. I mean, this time of year, that time of day."

Notes

  • Nationals SS Ian Desmond stole second in the fifth, giving him 20 steals to go along with 24 homers, making him the team's first 20-20 player since Alfonso Soriano in 2006.
  • Brewers 1B Corey Hart hit his 28th homer in the second inning.
  • The Nationals will throw three left-handed starters in their next series at Philadelphia, with Ross Detwiler (10-6) on Tuesday, John Lannan (3-0) on Wednesday, and Gio Gonzalez (20-8) on Thursday.
  • Washington LF Michael Morse was out of the starting lineup because of a bothersome left hand.
  • The Brewers open a three-game series at NL Central champion Cincinnati on Tuesday, with RHPs Mike Fiers (9-8), Shaun Marcum (5-4) and Wily Peralta (2-1) set to start for Milwaukee.
  • Harper slammed against the wall in deep center to catch a shot off the bat of Aramis Ramirez to end the first, then rolled onto his back and stayed down for a second or two. Eventually, Harper popped up and jogged to the dugout to loud cheers.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
With a convincing win over the Brewers, the Nationals' magic number for clinching the division drops to five.  (Getty Images)
With a convincing win over the Brewers, the Nationals' magic number for clinching the division drops to five. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
Washington

J. Zimmermann
IP 6.2
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 7
 

Related Video

December 21, 2014
TOPS: Bart Scott talks NFL headlines (12/21) (7:01)
December 17, 2014
Eagles at Redskins Preview
(2:26)
December 17, 2014
Fantasy Update: Robert Griffin III
(0:41)
December 16, 2014
Jim Rome: Right call to bring Jay Gruden back?
(1:59)
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Norichika Aoki, RF4000021 .288
Rickie Weeks, 2B3000120 .232
    Logan Schafer, LF0000000 .417
Ryan Braun, LF4120011 .318
    Jeff Bianchi, 3B0000000 .183
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4011002 .298
    Taylor Green, 1B0000000 .194
Corey Hart, 1B4111002 .277
    Eric Farris, 2B0000000 .000
Jonathan Lucroy, C3010100 .325
Carlos Gomez, CF4010011 .254
Jean Segura, SS4020002 .264
Marco Estrada, P1000011 .108
   a- Travis Ishikawa, PH1000011 .250
    Kameron Loe, P0000000 .000
    Josh Stinson, P0000000 .000
   b- Nyjer Morgan, PH0000000 .243
   c- Martin Maldonado, PH1000011 .276
    Manny Parra, P0000000 .000
   d- Yorvit Torrealba, PH1000001 .228
Totals3428229  
a-struck out for M. Estrada in the 5th
b-announced for Stinson in the 7th
c-struck out for Morgan in the 7th
d-grounded out for Parra in the 9th
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (50, Clippard)
3B - Jean Segura (3, Zimmermann)
HR - Corey Hart (28, Zimmermann)
RBI - Aramis Ramirez (98), Corey Hart (78)
2-OUT RBI - Aramis Ramirez (37)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Segura-Weeks-Hart, Segura-Weeks-Hart
E - Norichika Aoki (3, Misplayed grounder), Jonathan Lucroy (7, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Marco Estrada (L,4-7) 4876231 3.87
Kameron Loe 0.1222100 4.48
Josh Stinson 1.2100110 0.00
Manny Parra 2333310 4.81
Pitches-Strikes - Marco Estrada 81-50, Kameron Loe 19-10, Josh Stinson 34-21, Manny Parra 48-26
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Marco Estrada 2-7, Kameron Loe 1-0, Josh Stinson 1-2, Manny Parra 3-1
Batters Faced - Marco Estrada 22, Kameron Loe 4, Josh Stinson 6, Manny Parra 11
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jayson Werth, RF4122101 .306
Bryce Harper, CF3210104 .258
   a- Eury Perez, PH-CF1110000 .500
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4234112 .286
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000105 .269
    Chad Tracy, 1B0000000 .289
Ian Desmond, SS3000222 .299
Danny Espinosa, 2B5131000 .255
Roger Bernadina, LF3200000 .290
   b- Tyler Moore, PH-LF2000013 .264
Kurt Suzuki, C4122000 .227
Jordan Zimmermann, P3121011 .200
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
   c- Mark DeRosa, PH-3B0100100 .173
Totals3612141075  
a-singled for Harper in the 8th
b-grounded into a double play for Bernadina in the 7th
c-walked for Clippard in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jayson Werth (19, M. Estrada), Danny Espinosa (37, M. Estrada), Kurt Suzuki (19, Loe)
HR - Ryan Zimmerman (24, M. Estrada)
RBI - Jayson Werth 2 (29), Ryan Zimmerman 4 (93), Danny Espinosa (54), Kurt Suzuki 2 (38), Jordan Zimmermann (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jayson Werth 2 (11), Ryan Zimmerman 3 (33), Jordan Zimmermann (3)
SB - Jayson Werth (8, 3rd base off M. Estrada/Lucroy), Bryce Harper 2 (16, off M. Estrada/Lucroy, 2nd base off M. Estrada/Lucroy), Ian Desmond (20, 2nd base off Loe/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Espinosa-Desmond-Tracy
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann (W,12-8) 6.2411271 2.90
Sean Burnett 0.1000010 2.48
Tyler Clippard 1211010 3.67
Drew Storen 1200000 2.49
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 106-72, Sean Burnett 5-3, Tyler Clippard 28-17, Drew Storen 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 6-7, Drew Storen 2-0
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 26, Sean Burnett 1, Tyler Clippard 5, Drew Storen 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25302
Game Time - 3:26
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - D.J. Reyburn, Third Base - Ted Barrett