Brewers: Matt Garza can’t overcome self-inflicted wounds


Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Matt Garza couldn’t get out of his own way Sunday at Nationals Park, allowing seven runs on eight hits and six walks in just 4.2 innings as the Washington Nationals took the rubber game of the three-game series, 9-5.

Garza (6-14) struck out seven, throwing 101 pitches to record just 14 outs.

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The Brewers (53-72) got off to a quick start against Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmerman, taking a 2-0 lead just eight pitches into the game. Scooter Gennett led off with a single and Jonathan Lucroy followed with a two-run homer to center field, his fifth long ball of the season.

The Nationals (62-61) got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first. Jayson Werth led off with a double to left and with two outs, Ryan Zimmerman doubled to center to cut the Milwaukee lead to 2-1.

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The two-out runs were an unfortunate theme for Garza all afternoon.

In the bottom of the third, Garza struck out the first two hitters before walking Anthony Rendon. Bryce Harper followed with a double just over the bag at third base—beating the Brewers’ defensive shift—and Garza walked Zimmerman to load the bases before Ian Desmond was awarded a single on a high-chopper off the plate that Garza couldn’t field cleanly.

Danny Espinosa wasted no time breaking the tie, lining a double to right to clear the bases and give the Nationals a 5-2 lead.

Gennett belted his sixth homer of the season to lead off the fifth to bring Milwaukee back to within 5-3, but the Nats put the game away in the bottom of the inning.

Wilson Ramos crunched a one-out homer to center field and Garza walked Michael Taylor. After Zimmermann sacrificed Taylor to second, Garza was given the hook.

“Those types of balls, they always find me in this yard,” Garza told “Harper hits a double that somehow jumps over the bad and I’m just like, ‘Wow, OK, let’s go.’

“But I did it to myself. Two-out walks killed me. I walked six guys. That is absurd. I punched out seven guys, so I was around the strike zone. Just, I put myself in holes and I couldn’t get out of them. …

“The worst part is everything was with two outs. I know how to finish innings and I didn’t finish them. I kept dragging them out. That’s not acceptable at any level.”

Aug 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) rounds second base after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Right-hander Corey Knebel came on and walked Werth before Rendon lined a homer to left-center to make it a 9-3 game.

In the sixth, Domingo Santana reached when he was hit by a pitch and Elian Herrera doubled to right to score the run, chasing Zimmermann.

In the eighth, Khris Davis hit the first pitch of the inning from right-hander Drew Storen into the left-center field seats for his 16th homer—his ninth this month, which is tied with Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies for the most in the NL. Davis’ 22 RBI are the most in the National League this month.

Aug 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun (8) congratulates Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett (2) after hitting a home run against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners has hit 10 homers in August, while Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays has 27 RBI.

Knebel was charged with two runs on a hit and a walk with a strikeout while getting just one out. Tyler Thornburg struck out four in two perfect innings and Jeremy Jeffress worked around a walk in the eighth.

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