The Milwaukee Brewers’ right-hander notched his sixth straight quality start and made one mistake, surrendering a three-run homer to Adam LaRoche in the third inning, and that was enough as the Washington Nationals took down a 3-0 win at Miller Park.
Garza (4-5) allowed just the three runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in seven inninfs of work, but Gonzalez (4-4) and three Nationals relievers teamed up on a three-hit shutout to halt Milwaukee’s winning streak at four games.
The St. Louis Cardinals shut out the Colorado Rockies Monday night to move back to within 4½ games of the Crew (47-31).
The battle of first-place teams was broadcast nationally on ESPN and featured ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian participating in the sausage race in the middle of the sixth inning.
Kurkjian, running as the Hot Dog (No. 4) did not fare well:
Gonzalez, making his second start since returning from the disabled list, did.
He was in trouble a few times, but Milwaukee never got the big hit when it needed it. The Brewers had runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the third, but Gonzalez got Carlos Gomez to fly out to left.
Gomez was 0-for-4, bringing an end to his 18-game hitting streak and his Major League-high string of 35 consecutive games reaching base.
That was the Brewers’ last hit. It was the first time Milwaukee had been shut out since an 8-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on May 31 and their three hits matched their second-lowest output of the season and their fewest hits since getting three in a 4-2 loss at Chicago on May 18.
Garza got into trouble in the third, issuing a one-out walk to Anthony Rendon and a single to Jayson Werth before LaRoche got into a slider and drove it over the wall in straightaway center field to give Washington (40-35) its only runs of the game.
Washington manager Matt Williams picked up his first ejection as the Nationals skipper in the top of the second. He was tossed by home plate umpire Mark Wegner after arguing a called third strike on Danny Espinosa.
The series between the two first-place clubs continues Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Miller Park. Yovani Gallardo (5-4, 3.34 ERA) takes the bump for the Brewers, while the Nationals counter with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (5-4, 2.95), an Auburndale native who also pitched at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.