WASHINGTON -- If the Nationals are going to stay in the pennant race, they have to start playing well in all facets of the game. That wasn't the case Friday night as the Brewers pounded the Nationals, 10-3, at Nationals Park.
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the second inning against right-hander Jimmy Nelson on an RBI single by Jose Lobaton. But it was all Brewers the rest of the way as they scored two runs off left-hander Gio Gonzalez in the third inning and added three more in the fifth inning. Domingo Santana, Milwaukee's No. 4 prospect who was promoted to the big leagues earlier in the day, highlighted the scoring with a two-run homer.
Bryce Harper and Michael Taylor hit solo homers, but it wasn't enough as the Nationals dropped to five games behind the Mets in the National League East race.
"It's important to be competitive in all aspects. Tonight, it wasn't that way," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "Tonight is over, we have to get them tomorrow. Certainly, we want to be out there playing clean and getting outs we should get. We can't give them extra [outs]. We pay for it eventually."
The Brewers, meanwhile, climbed out of the National League Central cellar for the first time all season, moving a half-gam game ahead of the Reds. They'd been alone or tied for last place every day since a 10-0 loss to the Rockies on Opening Day.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED First impression: Santana was one of six prospects acquired by the Brewers in the run-up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and the first to make it to the Majors with Milwaukee. After going 0-for-2 on three pitches in his first two plate appearances, he engaged Gonzalez in a nine-pitch battle in the fifth inning that ended with a line-drive home run that just cleared the fence in left field. It was Santana's 21st home run in 110 games this season between the Majors and Minors, and his third in the big leagues (he hit two for Houston). Santana was one of four players acquired from the Astros on July 30 for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. More >
Turner makes his debut: Nationals shortstop Trea Turner came in as a defensive replacement in the top of the seventh inning. He would hit in the bottom of the seventh and grounded out to shortstop on a close play. In the ninth inning, Turner ended the game by grounding out.
"I would like to say that you can't have a bad debut no matter how you play," Turner said. "It was just fun to be out there. I'm excited to go back out there tomorrow. Hopefully, get a chance to play and keep doing it." More >
Long time coming: In his 445th Major League appearance, Kyle Lohse logged his first save. He earned it by pitching effectively over the final three innings, and earned praise from Brewers manager Craig Counsell for sparing other bullpen arms in a blowout.
"I didn't even think about it until [catcher Jonathan Lucroy] said something about it after the last out," Lohse said. "It was pretty cool. It's a stat I had a zero in for all these years. I finally put a one in there. Now I just need a homer and a triple and a stolen base."
Poor defense hurts Nationals: The Nationals made their share of misplays and errors. Jayson Werth misplayed a double by Lucroy and Lobaton had a passed ball that led to two runs in the third inning. In the seventh inning, the Brewers scored five runs and two were unearned because of a catcher's interference called against Lobaton and a throwing error by Harper.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
From the "fun with small samples" department: At the moment Santana connected for his laser beam home run, he had a homer and two RBIs in three plate appearances with the Brewers. Gomez, meanwhile, had one home run and four RBIs in his first 75 plate appearances with the Astros.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the seventh inning, Turner hit a ground ball to shortstop Jean Segura and was thrown out on a close play. Williams challenged the call, but the ruling was upheld.
"I never had replay in any game I've ever played, so at first when I was called out, I go, 'All right, I'm out,'" Turner said. "And then everyone was yelling at me to stay on the base. So it was a little bit different. You wish you could have it. You could take any hit you could get. It went the other way, but you get after it tomorrow."
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers: Coming off a win over the Phillies in which he set a career high with nine strikeouts, Taylor Jungmann will draw another National League East opponent when he starts Saturday against the Nationals at 6:05 p.m. CT. The big Brewers righty took a loss to Washington at Miller Park on June 14, when he was on the other end of Max Scherzer's near-perfect game.
Nationals:Joe Ross will take the mound at 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday against the Brewers. In his last start against the Giants, Ross was in the zone during the first three innings, striking out six batters. But he decided he couldn't pitch the same way to the Giants and made, as he put it, adjustments in the fourth inning and was touched for three runs.