Fortunately for the Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman saved the day,
capping off a 3-for-7 effort with a two-run home run off
right-hander Mike Fiers in the 16th inning as Washington escaped
with a 4-2 victory at Miller Park.
"That was a big homer," Williams said. "If we didn't go ahead there,
it was going to be (LaRoche)."
Zimmerman's blast -- just his third of the season -- might not have
been possible without a herculean effort by the Washington bullpen,
which threw 10 shutout innings and held Milwaukee to just four hits.
Right-hander Ross Detwiler threw 46 pitches -- all of them fastballs
-- and allowed two hits and an intentional walk in four innings.
"He was above and beyond tonight," Williams said. "Going in, we had
some guys that weren't feeling it and we didn't want go to them but
it turned out we had to. 'Det' was fantastic."
It was the longest outing of the season for Detwiler, who hadn't
thrown more than 2 1/3 since going six innings in a September 2013
start against the Brewers.
"Our bullpen has been running a little short so it was good to go
out there as long as I can," Detwiler said. "I feel fine right now
but the real test is tomorrow though."
Right-hander Tyler Clippard (5-2) pitched the 15th, and closer
Rafael Soriano worked a perfect 16th inning for his 18th save of the
In the top of the 16th, LaRoche hit a one-out single off Fiers
(0-1), the sixth Brewers reliever of the night. Zimmerman,
Washington's left fielder, followed with a two-run shot to left.
"I just hit the ball hard," Zimmerman said. "My swing has been
feeling better the last two days -- it's been a rough few weeks but
you just have to keep grinding it out. I got myself into a good
count and put a good swing on a pitch."
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on right fielder
Jayson Werth's RBI groundout, but that would be Washington's only
run against Yovani Gallardo. The Brewers right-hander went six
innings and scattered four hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann retired his first 10
batters, but he put his team in a hole in the fourth when he allowed
a two-run single to right fielder Ryan Braun.
Milwaukee's lead held until the eighth, when left-hander Will Smith
gave up a home run to third baseman Anthony Rendon, who finished
with three hits.
The bullpens took over from there.
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Milwaukee lefties Zach Duke and Tom Gorzelanny combined for three
scoreless innings of work before Fiers, who worked a scoreless
inning the night before, came on.
"I just tried to give as many innings as I could, put as many
zeroes up in on the board as well," said Fiers (0-1), who threw 50
pitches. "They got me in the fourth inning I pitched and that was
Fiers retired the Nationals in order in the 13th inning.
After back-to-back one-out singles by Zimmerman and shortstop Ian
Desmond, he worked out of trouble in the 14th, then set Washington
down in order in the 15th.
"Fiers threw the ball well. He did," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke
said. "I know he gave up the home run but he threw the ball well. He
mixed up his speeds and had them out front, then he'd sneak a
fastball by them. He threw the ball well.
The Brewers put the winning run in scoring position in both the 13th
and 15th innings. Each time, the Nationals intentionally walked
catcher Jonathan Lucroy, then induced center fielder Carlos Gomez
make an inning-ending out on the first pitch.
"The two home runs, obviously, were big hits for those guys but we
had plenty of chances," said Roenicke, whose team was 1-for-9 with
runners in scoring position. "We had bad at-bats today. We've been
swinging the bat so well. Yesterday, we ran across a great pitcher
and today, same thing, Zimmerman is a great pitcher. But we had some
chances today and we just had some bad at-bats."
NOTES: Nationals OF Bryce Harper homered and played five innings in
center field Tuesday as he continued a rehab assignment with Class A
Potomac. ... The series concludes Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park
with RHP Marco Estrada (6-4, 5.22 ERA) facing off against Washington
RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-5, 3.24). Estrada struggled in his past
seven starts, posting a 7.59 ERA despite a 3-3 record. He allowed 14
home runs during that stretch.
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