Garza's struggles vs Nationals, hit hard again as Brewers lose 9-5



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WASHINGTON — Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Matt Garza can't explain why his last two starts have gone so poorly.

Then again, the Washington Nationals often leave him frustrated.

Garza gave up seven runs over 4 2-3 innings in his shortest outing since May 16 and the Brewers fell 9-5 to the Nationals on Sunday.

In eight career starts against Washington, Garza is now 0-4 with a 7.17 ERA.

"There are no words," said Garza (6-14), whose season ERA rose to 5.26 after allowing 12 runs in his last two starts. "I attacked and I got too desperate at times and I put myself in holes."

Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos homered, and Danny Espinosa hit a three-run double to help the Nationals win the three-game series.

Khris Davis hit his 16th home run, and Jonathan Lucroy and Scooter Gennett also connected for Milwaukee, which finished 3-4 against Washington on a day it had a chance to win the season series for the first time since 2010.

Jordan Zimmermann (10-8) allowed four runs over 5 2-3 innings for Washington despite allowing Lucroy's two-run drive and Gennett's solo shot. He left after Elian Herrera's RBI double, allowing eight hits, striking out seven and walking one over 116 pitches.

"I don't think he was as crisp," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We put some runs on the board and made him pay for mistakes."

It was still enough to defeat Garza on a day six of the seven runs he was credited with crossed the plate with two outs.

After Lucroy's blast gave Milwaukee an early 2-0 lead, Ryan Zimmerman's two-out double off the top of the wall in center closed it to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning.

Then Washington took a 5-2 lead in the third, scoring four times after Garza had retired two batters.

"The worst part is that everything was with two outs," Garza said. "I'm a veteran and I know how to finish innings, but I didn't. I kept dragging them out and that's no acceptable on any level. I felt I had good off-speed stuff, but got too aggressive."

Rendon walked, Bryce Harper doubled down the third base line away from the shift and Zimmerman walked on four pitches to load the bases.

Ian Desmond's chopped single to the mound scored a run and Espinosa cleared the bases with a double off the very top of the out-of-town scoreboard in right center.

"We had some tough-luck stuff go their way," Lucroy said. "They had a chopper on the plate and then the swinging ground ball double down the line. It's part of the game, those things happen."

Washington chased Garza in a four-run fifth to make it 9-3. Ramos drove his 10th homer of the season to center and Rendon hit his third, a three-run shot against reliever Corey Knebel, including the final run charged to Garza.

THE SIX SPOT

Harper recorded his sixth defensive assist of the year in the first inning, throwing out Ryan Braun at second base following his single to the right field warning track.

DAVIS' DRIVES

Davis' eighth-inning shot off reliever Drew Storen was his ninth home run in August and marked his 22nd RBI. Davis, who missed 35 games with right knee injury, has 16 round-trippers this season.

UP NEXT

Brewers RHP Wily Peralta (4-7, 4.48) looks for his third consecutive victory Tuesday against Cleveland as Milwaukee begins its final interleague series of the year ag. The Indians will start RHP Josh Tomlin (1-1, 2.03 ERA).

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