Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 7/4/13
After the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to tie the game in the seventh inning Thursday, Ron Roenicke would have loved to turn the game over to John Axford, Jim Henderson and Francisco Rodriguez. But because short starts by starting pitchers have caused Roenicke to turn to his main bullpen cogs quite a bit lately, the Brewers were trying to stay away from the trio. Instead, Roenicke turned to Brandon Kintzler with two outs and one on in the seventh inning, and the right-hander walked Anthony Rendon before hanging a slider that Wilson Ramos hit for a three-run home run. Just an inning after rallying back from a three-run deficit, the Brewers couldn't recover in an 8-5 loss, leaving Washington with a series split and a 2-5 record on the seven-game road trip. "I like the way we played," Roenicke said. "We didn't pitch well in the bullpen today, which we've been outstanding at. Out of the bullpen, we didn't pitch the way we've been pitching." Trailing 5-2 in the top of the seventh inning, Yuniesky Betancourt cut the deficit to 5-3 with his first home run since May 7. Following a one-out single by Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez launched a two-run home run off Drew Storen to even the score at 5-all. Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny stayed in to start the bottom of the seventh, retiring Ryan Zimmerman on a fly ball to center field and Adam LaRoche on a fly ball to Segura. Jayson Werth extended the inning with a single to left, and Roenicke turned to Kintzler. "Sometimes you can do things about it, sometimes you can't," Roenicke said. "We are at a place in our bullpen right now where I don't have a lot of options on who I'm going to. Usually in a tight ballgame like that, it's Ax, Henderson and Frankie. We tried to stay away from those guys today." In his first game back from the disabled list, Ramos jumped on a hanging slider from Kintzler and hit it out to left field. "He threw a first pitch slider he hung up to him also," Roenicke said. "Then he came back with it and same thing, he hung it again. "They did a nice job of battling, too. We'd catch up and then they'd have some nice at-bats to go back ahead. We'd catch up again and they'd turn it around. That's a nice team over there and we aren't always going to shut down their offense like we did the last two days." Making his third career start, Donovan Hand wasn't nearly as sharp as he had been in the first two. Hand allowed six hits and three runs in five innings, but was able to work out of further damage by striking out four and getting the Nationals to hit into a pair of double plays. Throwing a career-high 86 pitches, Hand kept the Brewers in the ballgame and gave them a little depth in a spot start. "It was a struggle," Roenicke said of Hand's start. "Command was not the same, ball-strike ratio was not the same, behind in the count all of the time, and he still kept us in the ballgame. They could have blown open that game, and he made some nice pitches to keep it there at three. That's his job. When these starters aren't on their game and they don't have the command they are used to, if you can just hold them down to give us a chance. I think Don did that." Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter
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