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Sixth-inning surge powers Nationals over Brewers

Jul 8, 2007 - 10:34 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Nationals scored six runs in the sixth inning en route to defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-2, on Sunday.

The outburst was highlighted by a two-run homer from Ryan Zimmerman and a bases-clearing double by Ronnie Belliard.

Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Nationals sent 11 men to the plate and sent Brewers starter Chris Capuano (5-6) to the showers, having allowed all six runs and seven overall for the game in 5 1/3 innings.

Nationals pitcher Tim Redding (1-1), who allowed two runs in six innings, picked up his first win since September 26, 2004, when he was a member of the Houston Astros.

Following a leadoff walk to D'Angelo Jimenez - the first allowed by Capuano - Zimmerman blasted his 14th home run of the season over the left field wall to put the Nationals up 3-2.

"I think he was sitting changeup," said Capuano, who has dropped six straight decisions. "I thought I executed it the way I wanted, too. That's a case of not necessarily a mistake, just the wrong pitch."

Making his second start since being activated from the disabled list on July 1, Capuano suddenly lost control of the strike zone. He walked Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez with Tony Batista's single sandwiched in between to load the bases.

Ryan Church's sacrifice fly to center was the first out, but deep enough to score Kearns to make it 4-2.

After Jesus Flores singled to load the bases, Capuano was pulled for reliever Matt Wise. Belliard came on to pinch hit for Redding and sent a 0-1 pitch to the gap in left-center, sending all three runners home to give the Nationals a five-run lead.

"No offense to Jimenez, but you don't walk a guy who is hitting .045 (Jimenez' average starting the at-bat)," said Brewers manager Ned Yost, referring to the leadoff walk that started the rally. "Simple as that."

Despite the loss, their second in a row and four out of five, the Brewers (49-39) head into the All-Star break in first place in the NL Central. It is the first time they have been leading their division at the break since 1982, when they led the AL East.

"Our guys made good strides in a lot of areas on the field," Yost said. "I look forward to continuing that in the second half."

Milwaukee took the lead in the top of the sixth. Capuano opened the inning with a single to left and made his way to third on consecutive groundouts. Ryan Braun, who went 3-for-3, was then hit by a pitch.

Prince Fielder, who grounded in to a double play to stop a rally in the first inning, ripped a 1-1 pitch from Redding off the base of the left-center field wall. Capuano scored and Braun raced home from first to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead.

The win by Redding, who was injured much of 2005 and spent last season in the minors, combined with Saturday's victory by Jason Simontacchi marked consecutive wins from Nationals starting pitchers for the first time since June 8-9.

"It feels good to get the first one out of the way," said Redding, who suffered a loss in his July 2 start, his first since being recalled. "I got a few more groundballs today than I did the other day. I had a couple of key double plays."

Fielder, who will be making his first All-Star appearance Tuesday in San Francisco, finished the first half with a NL-leading 29 home runs and 70 RBI. He will be joined in the Bay area by shortstop J.J. Hardy and pitchers Ben Sheets and Francisco Cordero.

The Nationals, who finished the first half in the NL East basement, have won two straight and three out of five games. The back-to-back to wins were the first since they won three straight between June 12-14.

"We've been playing well the last three or four games", said Zimmerman, who finished 2-for-4. "Get a little break and hopefully keep it going."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 6 0
    WASHINGTON 0 1 0 0 0 6 0 0 x 7 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIL - CHRIS CAPUANO, MATT WISE (6TH), YOVANI GALLARDO (7TH) AND
    JOHNNY ESTRADA
    WAS - TIM REDDING, RAY KING (7TH), LUIS AYALA (7TH),
    CHAD CORDERO (9TH) AND JESUS FL

    Jul 8 4:14 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED TONY BATISTA, FELIPE LOPEZ
    AND JESUS FLORES.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, R BELLIARD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    WASHINGTON 7 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: N LOGAN (.229, 1-FOR-2, SAC)

    Brewers vs. NationalsJul 8 3:27 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN CHURCH SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, F LOPEZ ON FIRST, T BATISTA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    WASHINGTON 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: J FLORES (.225, 0-FOR-2)

    Brewers vs. NationalsJul 8 3:23 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN (14) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF CHRIS CAPUANO SCORED D'ANGELO JIMENEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, WASHINGTON 3
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.251, 1-FOR-2)

    Brewers vs. NationalsJul 8 3:14 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PRINCE FIELDER SCORED CHRIS CAPUANO AND RYAN
    BRAUN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, P FIELDER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    WASHINGTON 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: J ESTRADA (.295, 0-FOR-2)

    Brewers vs. NationalsJul 8 3:05 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY FELIPE LOPEZ (4) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF CHRIS CAPUANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0, WASHINGTON 1
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R CHURCH (.261, 7 HR, 36 RBI)

    Brewers vs. NationalsJul 8 2:02 PM
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    Brewers vs. NationalsJul 8 10:26 AM
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    Brewers vs. NationalsMay 24 6:53 PM