When they wake up Monday morning, the Milwaukee Brewers might be out of first place for the first time since April 4.
The Brewers blew a 3-1 lead Sunday at Nationals Park, came back to tie the game 4-4 in the top of the ninth, but then lost it on Jayson Werth’s walk-off double off reliever Rob Wooten in the bottom of the ninth.
The loss—Milwaukee’s 13th in its last 16 games—left the Brewers (54-45) a half-game behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who were playing at home Sunday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Milwaukee stole a couple of runs with some heads-up baserunning. Ryan Braun came around to score from second on a dribbled back to the pitcher by Jonathan Lucroy in the third inning and Jean Segura repeated the feat in the fourth when he scored from third base on a sharp grounder to a shortstop who was playing in.
But Rickie Weeks also got himself thrown out on the back end of a double steal in a tie game in the top of the ninth shortly after driving in the tying run—sort of a hero to goat situation.
Washington (53-43) scored first, getting an RBI single from Ian Desmond in the bottom of the second off Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo, who gutted out six innings despite allowing four runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out six.
The Brewers jumped ahead in the top of the third against Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez, who made it just 3.1 innings but needed 88 pitches to do so.
Milwaukee went up 3-1 in the fourth. Segura led off with a double to center, was sacrificed to third by Gallardo and scored when Carlos Gomez greeted reliever Craig Stammen with a rocket to Desmond at shortstop.
But Segura broke on contact and Desmond decided to take the sure out at first.
Gallardo ran into problems in the fourth, surrendering a long opposite-field homer to Ryan Zimmerman after walking the leadoff batter in the frame. Jose Lobaton blasted a double to the wall in right and moved up when Stammen, in just his sixth at-bat of the season, dribbled an infield single in front of the plate.
Gallardo then threw a 56-foot curveball that Lucroy blocked, but the ball caromed off to the side and Lobaton scored from third to give the Nationals a 4-3 lead.
Weeks followed with a ground ball up the middle, scoring pinch-runner Logan Schafer to tie the game.
Gomez broke for third, but Weeks was a step slow recognizing and got a late jump. Lobaton, instead of throwing to third as Weeks expected, threw through to second and nailed Weeks.
Braun flew out—what would have been a go-ahead sacrifice fly with one out—to end the inning.
Wooten (1-4) gave up a one-out single to Denard Span, who was erased on a force play. Werth then cracked a ball down the left-field line that scored Anthony Rendon all the way from first base to end it.
Weeks was 2-for-5 as the Brewers managed seven hits on the day.
The Brewers return home Monday to host the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park at 7:10 p.m. Wily Peralta (10-6, 3.72 ERA) starts Milwaukee’s first game at home in the second half against right-hander Mat Latos (2-1, 2.79 ERA).