Bryce Harper and Juan Soto both homered, and Tanner Roark threw eight shutout innings as the Washington Nationals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 in a Wednesday matinee at Miller Park.
The struggling Nationals came into the game at 49-51 and sitting 7½ games behind first-place Philadelphia in the National League East. In addition, Washington had lost two straight games — but nearly everything went right in this one.
It all started with Roark’s strong effort. The right-hander had lost six in a row, not winning since June 6, and his record slid to 3-12.
But Roark turned in a dominating performance and got the win to move to 4-12 on the season. He allowed just three hits and struck out 11 with only one walk in those eight frames, the kind of effort that Washington needs with closer Sean Doolittle out and its bullpen a bit taxed.
For Milwaukee, starter Freddy Peralta (4-2) took the loss. He gave up seven runs on just four hits in six innings, digging too deep of a hole for the Brewers to come back from.
Washington took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Daniel Murphy’s two-run single gave the Nationals a quick 2-0 edge, and they got one more run on a Peralta wild pitch in that inning.
Harper then stretched the lead in the fifth. Matt Wieters and Adam Eaton drew walks earlier in the inning before Harper belted his three-run shot for a 6-0 lead.
Harper felt better after being held out of Tuesday’s game — except to pinch-hit — due to a stomach bug. But he made the Brewers feel a bit sick with that homer as it broke the game open.
Soto added his homer when leading off the sixth for a 7-0 Washington lead. In fact, the Nationals finished with only four hits — three of which knocked in six runs.
Milwaukee could not do much on offense until Sammy Solis replaced Roark in the ninth. That’s when Hernan Perez hit a three-run homer for Milwaukee’s only runs of the afternoon. Kelvin Herrera came on for the Nationals and got the final out.
The loss ended a brief two-game Brewers’ winning streak.
—Field Level Media