Nationals lower magic number to five

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 24, 2012
This time, the ''sun monster'' helped Jayson Werth's Washington Nationals and hurt the Milwaukee Brewers. A day after the Nationals misplayed a pair of fly balls in the midday glare, Werth wound up with a two-out, two-run double when Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez lost a ball in the sun to spark a six-run fourth inning Monday, and Washington beat Milwaukee 12-2 to cut its magic number for winning the NL East to five. Jordan Zimmermann (12-8) allowed one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, while delivering two hits and driving in a run as a batter. Ryan Zimmerman produced three hits and four RBI for the Nationals, who are a majors-best 93-60 and increased their division lead over the Atlanta Braves to five games with nine to play. Marco Estrada (4-7) lasted only four innings for the Brewers, who entered the day 2 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL's second wild-card berth. He allowed seven runs -- six earned -- and eight hits. The Nationals finished with 14 hits; five players had at least two apiece. In the bottom of the first, Bryce Harper reached on an accidental-swing infield single and moved to second when Zimmerman walked. With two outs, Estrada threw a changeup in the dirt, and Harper, already with a large lead at second base, took off for third. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy threw the ball past third baseman Aramis Ramirez and into left field, letting Harper score an unearned run, making it 1-0. Corey Hart tied the score immediately, hitting Zimmermann's first pitch of the second inning for his 28th homer. In the fourth, Danny Espinosa doubled and went to third on a balk, but was thrown out at home by Hart on Roger Bernadina's grounder. Later, Zimmermann's RBI single gave Washington a 2-1 lead. It grew to 4-1 moments later when Werth hit a high fly that could have been the third out -- but Gomez couldn't find it. Gomez paused and held his glove up to try to shade his view, then suddenly scrambled to his left and tried to make a diving catch. The ball smacked off the dark sweat band on his left wrist and trickled away for what was ruled a two-run double. After Harper walked and joined Werth in a double steal, Zimmerman sent a three-run shot to right-center for his 24th homer and a 7-1 lead. A sort of payback, perhaps: In Milwaukee's 6-2 victory Sunday, Werth and Harper each failed to catch a ball, leading to hits. Werth's misplay was on a shot by Gomez. Afterward, Harper joked about trouble dealing with the ''sun monster.'' Washington piled on against Milwaukee's relievers Monday, including Kurt Suzuki's two-run double in the fifth and three runs in the eighth. NOTES: The Nationals will throw three left-handed starters in their next series at Philadelphia, with Ross Detwiler (10-6) on Tuesday, John Lannan (3-0) on Wednesday, and Gio Gonzalez (20-8) on Thursday. ... Washington LF Michael Morse was out of the starting lineup because of a bothersome hand; he's had problems with both hands in the past month or so. When a reporter asked manager Davey Johnson whether it was Morse's right or left that was the issue now, he replied: ''I'm not really 100 percent sure. I know he came into the training room after (Sunday's) game. He was having trouble with his hand. I think he was looking forward to getting a shot or something.'' ... Harper slammed against the wall in deep center to catch a shot off the bat of Ramirez to end the first, then rolled onto his back and stayed down for a second or two. Eventually, he popped up and jogged to the dugout to loud cheers.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

WWE has record revenue despite perceived troubles

CC Sabathia declares himself ‘ready to go’ after alcohol rehab

Report: Suns still want to deal Morris before trade deadline

Report: Celtics could offer best deal for Dwight Howard

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hawks 'taking phone calls about everybody on the roster'

Philly mayor calls LeSean McCoy ‘cowardly'

Report: Price might not return this season due to knee injury

Matt Forte confirms he won’t be returning to Bears

Cardinals GM: ‘No doubt’ team wants Mathieu as fixture

Charles Barkley on Stephen Curry: ‘He’s just a great shooter’

Five reasons Oregon will be the sexiest team in March Madness

Was Derek Fisher involved with girlfriend of former Knick?

Steven Stamkos unforthcoming on his no-move clause

Antonio Cromartie's wife is 'definitely' getting her tubes tied

Ciara: It’s getting harder to stay abstinent with Russell Wilson

The top five millennial NBA All-Star moments

Cam Newton sends message with ‘I win my way’ shirt

26% of Denver students skipped school for Broncos parade

Eight surprises, letdowns entering NBA All-Star break

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker