Zuckerman: Nats can't afford any more bad losses
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jeff Bianchi lofted a single that dropped just behind Washington's drawn-in infield, breaking a tie and capping a five-run sixth inning in the Milwaukee Brewers' 8-5 win over the Nationals on Sunday.
With the score tied 4-4 and runners at second and third, Bianchi's soft bloop off Fernando Abad (0-3) dropped in back of second base as Anthony Rendon raced back to make a play. It allowed Khris Davis to score easily from third and Juan Francisco to just beat the throw home with a perfect slide, giving the Brewers the lead for good.
John Axford (5-4) allowed a home run to Adam LaRoche in the top of the sixth, but nothing else and earned the win. Jim Henderson pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 18 chances.
Milwaukee snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Brewers had managed only two runs and nine hits in the first two games of the series, and were trailing 4-1 against Washington starter Taylor Jordan until breaking through in the sixth.
Logan Schafer hit an infield single, Jean Segura doubled and Jonathan Lucroy walked on five pitches to load the bases with no outs. Carlos Gomez hit a sacrifice fly that scored Schafer to pull the Brewers within 4-2.
Abad replaced Jordan, and pinch-hitter Khris Davis greeted him by hitting a high chopper in front of the plate that bounced over third baseman Ryan Zimmerman for a single, scoring Segura and making it 4-3.
Juan Francisco, batting .111 (3-for-27) against left-handers, was allowed to hit and doubled down the right-field line, scoring Lucroy to tie the score.
Bianchi then lofted the ball over the infield for his tie-breaking single.
Anthony Rendon led off the seventh with a homer off Mike Gonzalez, hit fifth of the year, but Washington couldn't score the rest of the way.
Schafer scored from a third on a groundout by Lucroy to make it 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh.
Bianchi executed a perfect squeeze bunt in the eighth that scored Davis from third to give Milwaukee an 8-5 lead.
Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits and a walk while striking out two in five innings.
The Nationals took a 3-0 lead in the second. Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond were hit by pitches, and Steve Lombardozzi singled to load the bases. Kurt Suzuki then singled to right-center to score Werth and Desmond and make it 2-0.
Jordan attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Lucroy misplayed the ball for an error, allowing Lombardozzi to score for a 3-0 lead.
Notes: LaRoche's homer was his second in two games and 16th this year. ... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said 3B Aramis Ramirez should return sometime during the team's nine-game road trip, which begins Monday night at San Francisco. ... Washington RHP Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday, retroactive to Thursday, due to right shoulder inflammation. LHP Xavier Cedeno was recalled from Triple-A Sycracuse to take his spot on the roster.