Saturday, July 16, 2005

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers 4, Nationals 3 (10 innings, July 15)

WP: Julio Santana (2-3)
LP: Luis Ayala (7-6)

WAS: 52-38 (1st in NL East, 1.5 ahead of Atlanta)
MIL: 44-46 (4th in NL Central, 13.5 behind St. Louis)

The Nationals struggles continued in an odd way last night.

The Nats and Brewers played to a 3-3 tie for nine innings, with both teams scoring a pair of runs in the first inning. Preston Wilson gave Washington the lead in the fifth with an RBI double that scored Jose Vidro, but the Brewers tied it on a Carlos Lee homer in the eighth.

In the bottom of the tenth, manager Frank Robinson brought in Mike Stanton for his Nationals debut with men on first and third. Stanton, who has a good pickoff move, used it to pick off Rickie Weeks from first, but the first base umpire said Stanton stepped toward home before throwing to first, ruling it a balk that forced in the winning run. Stanton did not appear to have stepped toward home.

To make matters worse, the Braves beat the Mets 2-1 and are now only 1.5 games behind the Nats.

The Nationals play game three of the four game set with the Brewers tonight at 7:05. Esteban Loaiza (5-5, 3.57 ERA, throws right) goes for the Nationals against Chris Capuano (10-6, 3.63 ERA, throws left).

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