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Instant Analysis: Nats 12, Brewers 2

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Instant Analysis: Nats 12, Brewers 2

Nats 12, Brewers 2

Game in a nutshell: With the Braves off for the day, the Nationals came into Monday with a chance to create some separation. The game was tied at one until the fourth inning when the Nationals exploded with six runs. They then added two in the fifth inning off a two-RBI double by Kurt Suzuki to go up 9-1. Three more runs scored in the bottom of the eighth completed the 12-run day. Jordan Zimmermann pitched in with two hits and an RBI along with 6 23 innings with just one earned run allowed.

Hitting highlight: The Nationals blew the game open thanks to some two-out hitting in the fourth inning. Roger Bernadina started the rally by reaching first on a fielders choice. He was then moved to second on a Kurt Suzuki single. Zimmermann scored Bernadina on his second hit of the day and then both the pitcher and catcher came home on a fly ball to center by Jayson Werth. Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez lost the ball in the sun and disaster for Milwaukee ensued. Bryce Harper joined Werth on base with a walk and then both were batted in on a three-run homer by Ryan Zimmerman, his 24th of the season.

Pitching highlight: It seems every time Jordan Zimmermann gives up a run early he then settles in with a gem of a start. Against the Brewers he gave up a home run on the first pitch of the second inning but after that pitched four straight scoreless innings. In the fourth inning he needed just ten pitches to set down Milwaukees three, four, and five hitters. He kept the Brewers in check until being hooked after his 106th pitch of the day, in the seventh inning with two outs.

Key stat: After giving up eight earned runs to the Cardinals on September 1st, Zimmermann has gone at least five innings allowing two earned runs or less in four straight games.

Up next: A trip to Philadelphia for a three game series. The Nats play Philly in six of their last nine games and could clinch the division at the home of their most heated rival. Ross Detwiler will look for the Nats 94th win of the season.

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Nats hit 8 HRs to blast Brewers 15-2

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USA TODAY Sports

Nats hit 8 HRs to blast Brewers 15-2

The Washington Nationals tied a franchise record with eight home runs, including two apiece by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, and Max Scherzer pitched six innings of three-hit ball in a 15-2 rout of the fading Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.

Washington matched two major league records in a seven-run third inning: Most consecutive home runs (four) and most home runs in an inning (five).

After Harper connected off Michael Blazek (0-1) in the first inning, Brian Goodwin started the long-ball barrage in the third with a two-run drive. Wilmer Difo, Harper and Zimmerman followed with long home runs.

MORE NATIONALS: Watch the Nats hit back to back homeruns 

The streak was interrupted when Daniel Murphy flied out, after which some of the fans reacted with good-natured booing.

Anthony Rendon resumed the fun with a shot to dead center that finally chased Blazek, whose first major league start was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Zimmerman and Jose Lobaton both homered off Wily Peralta in the fourth for a 15-1 lead.

The eight home runs tied the franchise mark set in July 1978 by the Montreal Expos against Atlanta.

Scherzer (12-5) allowed one run and struck out nine to bring his total this year to 201 -- his sixth consecutive season with at least 200, the longest active streak in the majors.

The right-hander had plenty of offensive support, most notably from Harper, who had three hits and four RBIs while extending his career-best hitting streak to 19 games.

Travis Shaw and Lewis Brinson homered for the Brewers, who have lost nine of 11 to drop from first place in the NL Central.

Blazek gave up seven hits, six of them home runs, in just 2 1/3 innings. Peralta allowed seven runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings, a performance that raised his ERA to 7.85.

MOVE OVER, HONDO

Zimmerman's two home runs upped his total with the Nationals to 237, tied with Frank Howard for most in Washington history.

Known affectionately as "Hondo," the 6-foot-7 Howard played with the expansion Senators from 1965-71.

ROSTER MOVE

The Brewers added RHP Anthony Swarzak to the roster after obtaining him Wednesday in a trade with the White Sox.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (10-3, 3.25 ERA) was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an elbow impingement. Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to miss only one start. ... OF Michael Taylor (oblique strain) is almost ready to begin baseball activities, Baker said. Taylor has been on the DL since July 7.

UP NEXT

Brewers: Brent Suter (1-1, 2.84 ERA) takes the mound Friday night in the opener of a three-game showdown with the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Nationals: Tanner Roark (8-6, 4.83 ERA) helps Washington launch a three-game series at home against the Colorado Rockies.

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Watch the Nationals hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back HRs against the Brewers

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Watch the Nationals hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back HRs against the Brewers

Bryce Harper was thrown out in the eighth inning of Wednesday's win over the Brewers.

Apparently, he needs to be thrown out of games more.

Harper's second home run of the game Thursday against the Brewers, was part of a four straight home run barrage the Nationals put together in the third inning.

First it was Brian Goodwin homering to right to start things off.

Then it was Wilmer Difo's turn.

Harper was next, which by the way was already his second of the game.

Ryan Zimmerman made sure he kept the streak going after Harper.

And now all four at once, just for emphasis.

The Nats weren't done in the inning either. After Daniel Murphy would fly out to center and end the streak, Anthony Rendon would add another home run to the inning. 

The Nationals became the eighth team in MLB history to hit four straight home runs. The Diamondbacks were the last back in 2010.