WASHINGTON (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers knocked out Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez out, scored just the fifth run of the year against closer Rafael Soriano, and stole two runs with aggressive base running.
They still couldn’t stop their downward slide.
Jayson Werth hit a game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the ninth after the Brewers tied it in the top of the inning, and Washington beat Milwaukee 5-4 on Sunday.
The Brewers fell to 3-12 in July as they headed home to start a three-game series Monday against Cincinnati, against whom they’re 3-7 this season.
“We gotta quit making so many mistakes,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said testily. “We’re not always going to swing the bat great. We’re not always going to pitch great, but you should at least be (able to) make solid plays. Close games, that’s what it comes down to. If we do things right, maybe (All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez) is in the ballgame with a one-run lead and (Rob) Wooten’s not in there.”
However, it was Wooten on the mound in the ninth after Rickie Weeks singled off Soriano to score pinch runner Logan Schaefer, tying the game in the top of the inning. And it was Wooten who allowed Werth’s walk-off double into the left field corner that scored Anthony Rendon from first with two outs.
“I threw a backdoor sinker to Werth and it came back over the middle,” Wooten said. “I made a mistake and he’s a pretty good hitter and he took advantage of it.”
Roenicke, who praised Ryan Braun and Jean Segura, respectively, for scoring on fielder’s choices in the third and fourth innings — the former from second base on a dribbler — wasn’t happy that Braun missed cutoff man Segura on Werth’s winning hit.
“If he hits the cutoff man, (Rendon’s) out,” said Roenicke, also upset that Weeks was thrown out on an attempted double steal in the top of the ninth. “We did a nice job of coming back and tying it, but we let an opportunity go . there.”
Instead, those late mistakes ensured the Brewers would fail to overcome another poor outing from starter Yovani Gallardo.
Staked to a 3-1 lead, Gallardo allowed four runs and eight hits over six innings. He hasn’t won since June 19 and is 0-2 with 7.33 ERA in his last four starts.
Gallardo started the fourth by walking Adam LaRoche after Milwaukee had taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the inning. The next batter, Ryan Zimmerman, homered to right field. Before Gallardo got out of the inning, he had allowed a double to light-hitting backup catcher Jose Lobaton, a swinging bunt single to reliever Craig Stammen, and a two-out wild pitch that tied the game.
“It stinks. Any time you have the lead and (don’t hold it),” exclaimed Gallardo, who added that Zimmerman’s home run came on a hanging curveball. “You always want to start on a good mode coming out of the break. This was a tough game. You’ve gotta forget about it. We’re going home.”
Gonzalez allowed three runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts on 88 pitches over 3 1-3 innings. He left in the fourth with a runner at third and trailing 2-1. Gomez’s RBI groundout against Stammen gave the Brewers 3-1 lead.
NOTES: Khris Davis and Jonathan Lucroy also drove in runs for Milwaukee. …The Brewers fell to 29-21 on the road, and are just 25-24 at Miller Park. … Wily Peralta (10-6, 3.72) faces fellow RHP Mat Latos (2-1, 2.79) in Monday’s series opener with the Reds.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.