Jul 19, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Matt Garza (22) throws during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Brewers Lose Big as Matt Garza Can't Finish First Inning

The Brewers were back in action Saturday taking on the Washington Nationals in the second game of their three-game series. The Brewers took the first game behind a gritty performance by Kyle Lohse.

They sent Matt Garza (6-6, 3.69 ERA) to take on Tanner Roark (8-6, 3.01 ERA) in the game.

St. Louis beat Los Angeles earlier in the day so a loss by the Brewers would drop them back into a tie for first place in the National League Central.

Unfortunately for the Brewers, Garza had the shortest start for the club since Zack Greinke was ejected after just four pitches back on July 7, 2012.  Garza threw just 1/3 of an inning before being replaced by Marco Estrada.

The Brewers threatened a few times but they couldn’t climb their way out of the hole Garza dug and lost 8-3.

Roark put Milwaukee down in order in the top of the first. The Nationals got to Garza in their half of the first inning.

Denard Span led off with a single to right, and after a strike out to Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth doubled to put two on.  Adam LaRoche walked to load the bases for Ryan Zimmerman.

Zimmerman singled to center to bring in Span and Werth and give Washington the early 2-0 lead. Bryce Harper followed with Garza’s second walk to re-load the bases for Ian Desmond.

Desmond bounced to short for an infield hit; it wasn’t hit hard enough for Segura to make a play on anybody. LaRoche came in to score, and the bases were still loaded.

Wilson Ramos followed with a single to center, bringing in two more runs, making it 5-0 with one out in the first inning and that was the end of the night for Garza as Ron Roenicke called for Marco Estrada.

Roark bunted back to the mound and Estrada threw Desmond out at home for the second out of the inning. The play was reviewed to see if Jonathan Lucroy was blocking the plate without the ball, but the call was upheld.

Mercifully, Span flew out to Gomez in center to end the inning. The final line on Garza was 1/3 of an inning pitched, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks, he struck out one batter.

With one out in the top of the second Lucroy doubled (33) to the wall in right to give Milwaukee some life. Lucroy stole third (4) and came in to score on an errant throw by Ramos on the steal.

Khris Davis singled to left on the next pitch but he was erased on an inning-ending, double-play ground ball by Lyle Overball. Estrada put down Rendon, Werth and LaRoche in order in the bottom of the inning.

Gomez knocked a two-out single in the top of the third, but he was left stranded after a Scooter Gennett pop out to short ended the inning.

Harper popped a one-out double in the bottom of the third to start another threat for Washington. Desmond followed with a fly out, moving Harper to third.

Harper came in to score on a Ramos single. Roark grounded out to end the frame with Washington on top 6-1.

Lucroy drew a two-out walk in the top of the fourth for the only Brewer action in the frame.

Werth and LaRoche both drew walks with two outs in the bottom half of the frame ahead of a Zimmerman single to bring in Werth and make it 7-1.

Aramis Ramirez picked up a single in the top of the sixth but that was it for Milwaukee. In the bottom half of the frame, Rendon knocked a one-out single, and Werth followed with a double, moving Rendon to third.

LaRoche picked up a sacrifice on a fly ball to left to bring in Rendon. Zimmerman ended the inning with a long, loud out to deep center but Gomez tracked it down.

Roark put down Overbay, Segura and pinch-hitter Logan Schafer in the top of the seventh. That ended the night for Estrada. he threw 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two.

Tom Gorzelanny came on to pitch the bottom of the seventh for Milwaukee. He worked around a two-out single by Ramos for the only Nationals action in the inning. It was his only inning of work.

Jerry Blevins came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth for Washington. Roark threw seven innings and allowed just one run on six hits and one walk. He struck out five.

Blevins got Carlos Gomez for the first out of the inning. Martin Maldonado came on for Gennett and singled to center. Ryan Braun followed with a two-run home run (12) to narrow the lead to 8-3.

Ramirez followed with a single to left. Rendon made a leaping catch on a Lucroy liner for the second out. Davis grounded out to end the inning.

Brandon Kintzler came on to pitch the eighth inning for Milwaukee. Span led off with a double to right center but that was it in the frame.

Ross Detwiler came on to pitch the ninth for Washington. Mark Reynolds led off the inning, pinch-hitting for Overbay, and struck out. Segura popped out to first for the second out. Rickie Weeks struck out looking to end the game.

The loss dropped the Brewers to 54-44, and a tie with the Cardinals for first place in the central division.

Garza picked up the loss for Milwaukee, Roark earned the win for Washington.

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