Rivera, Kapler lead Crew past Nats in 13
Eric Gagne didn't blow a save this time, but rather a hold. In a game that was dominated by pitching early, the Nats and Brewers combined to score six runs in the eighth inning, three apiece.
Milwaukee southpaw Manny Parra pitched seven innings allowing only one run. The lefty gave up six hits and struck out nine Washington batters.
Nationals' starter John Lannon went six innings as he struck out six, but walked five Brewers.
Washington started the scoring in the sixth when Lastings Milledge singled to center to score Christian Guzman. The run ended the Nationals' scoreless streak of 27 2/3 innings.
Bill Hall responded for Brew City in the bottom half of the sixth with a sac fly to right to score Gabe Kapler, who started in place of Ryan Braun. Braun is listed as day-to-day with tightness around his ribs.
Then Gagne came on in the eighth. He made quick work of the first two batters as he got Emiliano Bonifacio to strike out and then got Guzman to pop out to short. But, Gagne let up a double to Ryan Zimmerman on the twelfth pitch of the at-bat. Then with a 1-2 count to Austin Kearns, Kearns hit the first of back-to-back homers by the Nationals, his sixth of the year. Milledge hit the second round-tripper, his twelfth of the season. Gagne got catcher Jesus Flores to line out to short to end the inning.
Milwaukee responded nicely in the home half of the eighth though. Prince Fielder drew a walk with one out. With two out, Hall hit an infield single to third to advance Fielder to second. Mike Cameron followed the Hall single with a walk of his own to load the bases. Back-up catcher Mike Rivera then drilled a bases-clearing double to deep left to tie the game at four.
Mike Rivera then led off the tenth inning when he drew his third walk of the day. Craig Counsell followed Rivera with a walk of his own, the Brewers' eleventh walk of the day. Rickie Weeks then hit a hard shot good for an infield single to second to load the bases with one out. It would all go for naught though as Gabe Kapler would line out to left.
Kapler would make up for it though. He was 0-6 and had reached base on an error in the sixth entering the 13th inning. Kapler led off with a blast to left to end the game, his sixth of the year.
The real story of the day though was Mike Rivera. The back-up catcher made his first appearance and start today since July 27th. He went 2-3 in six at-bats with a single, double and three walks to go with three RBI's.
The Nationals will send Garrett Mock (0-2, 4.91 ERA) to the mound to square off against Dave Bush (6-9, 4.50 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. in the finale on Monday afternoon.
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