Off stellar road trip, Brewers host Nationals

MLB

The Milwaukee Brewers learned Thursday night they can’t win every game. The Washington Nationals discovered earlier in the week they won’t lose every game.

A pair of teams headed in opposite directions despite their most recent results are scheduled to meet Friday, when the Brewers will host the Nationals in the opener of a three-game series.

Brett Anderson (4-6, 4.09 ERA) is lined up to pitch for the Brewers against Patrick Corbin (6-12, 6.04) in a battle of left-handers.

The Brewers missed a chance to finish a road trip with nine wins for just the third time in franchise history Thursday night, when their four-game winning streak was snapped with an 8-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Brewers appeared primed to finish their trip with a 9-1 mark when they raced out to a 4-1 lead while chasing Cardinals starter Jon Lester in the fifth inning. However, St. Louis responded by scoring five runs in the fifth off Brandon Woodruff, who gave up six runs in a start for the first time since June 1, 2019.

The comeback by the Cardinals cost the Brewers a chance at their first nine-win road trip since June 1980, when they went 9-5 on a five-city trip. Milwaukee’s best road trip was an 11-1, four-city jaunt in June 1973.

Of course, no one was complaining about going 8-2, especially when that success allowed the Brewers to increase their lead in the National League Central over the Cincinnati Reds from five games to 8 1/2 games.

“There’s no question it was a good road trip — we played well,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Three road series and you win all three series and throw a sweep in there — a good result, all in all. On to the next challenge.”

There is no shortage of challenges at the other end of the standings for the Nationals, who are 4-13 since July 30, when they capped a whirlwind trade-deadline period by dealing away stars Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.

The Nationals were off Thursday after completing a rare series sweep Wednesday, when they beat the visiting Toronto Blue Jays 8-5 in the finale of a two-game set.

The quick sweep was the Nationals’ first series win since they took two of three against the Miami Marlins from July 19-21 and their first sweep since they took two in another brief interleague set from the Tampa Bay Rays, June 29-30.

“I’ve told you guys before, it’s going to be a learning process,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said following a 12-6 win over the Blue Jays in Tuesday’s series opener. “And we’re going to have some bumps and bruises along the way. But I can tell you one thing: They’re going to go out there and they’re going to compete every night.”

Anderson and Corbin each took the defeat in their most recent start last Saturday.

Anderson gave up six runs over 3 1/3 innings as the Brewers fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-4 in the first game of a doubleheader. Corbin surrendered six runs in 4 2/3 innings in the Nationals’ 12-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Anderson is 0-1 with an 8.64 ERA in two career starts against the Nationals. Corbin is 2-6 with a 4.94 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) against the Brewers.

–Field Level Media

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