WASHINGTON -- Most of the Brewers' good moments in Wednesday's 7-4 loss at Nationals Park came in a four-run third inning punctuated by the team's first steal of home in nearly three years. Scooter Gennett's dash on a delayed double steal briefly tied the game before it got away from Matt Garza.
"It's not a play you use every day, certainly," manager Craig Counsell said. "It's rare."
It was set up by a rally against Nationals starter Tanner Roark fueled by singles. Five of the Brewers' first six batters in the inning knocked singles, starting with Hernan Perez leading off the frame. Gennett delivered the fourth of those base hits with the bases loaded for two runs, cutting Washington's lead to 4-2, and Jonathan Lucroy followed with another RBI single on a hit and run.
With Lucroy at first, Gennett at third and one out, Lucroy broke for second base on Chris Carter's swinging third strike. When the throw went down to second base, Lucroy froze and Gennett scampered for home. He beat second baseman Daniel Murphy's off-target throw, knotting the game at 4.
"It's a timing thing," Gennett said. "We practice that kind of stuff in Spring Training all the time, and we're taught that when you see the catcher's back, that's when you go."
Third-base coach Ed Sedar and first-base coach Carlos Subero earned accolades from Counsell on the play.
"It's really just a lot of credit to Eddie and Carlos and their communication out there on the bases," Counsell said. "I think they're getting to a spot where their communication is really helping us. I give them a lot of credit for getting that run."
It was the Brewers' first steal of home since Aug. 13, 2013, when Jean Segura scored against the Rangers on a similar double steal.
The tie was short-lived. The Nationals reclaimed the lead from Garza in the bottom of the inning, dashing Milwaukee's hopes for a three-game sweep.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.