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Nats' Morse hits tying HR, go-ahead double in 11th

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Nats' Morse hits tying HR, go-ahead double in 11th

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Michael Morse hit a tying, two-run homer in the ninth inning, then delivered a two-run double in the 11th that sent the Washington Nationals over the Milwaukee Brewers 11-10 on Sunday. Bryce Harper drew a leadoff walk from Jose Veras (3-4) in the 11th and Ryan Zimmerman singled. One out later, Morse doubled down the left-field line for an 11-9 lead. Morse's homer with one out in the ninth off John Axford made it 9-all. The opposite-field shot barely made it over the wall in right. The NL East-leading Nationals rallied for four runs in the eighth to tie it at 7. The Brewers have lost nine of 10. Milwaukee's beleaguered bullpen duo of Francisco Rodriguez and Axford each allowed three runs in failing to protect another late lead. Craig Stammen (4-1) pitched 2 1-3 hitless innings for the victory. Tyler Clippard allowed a solo home run to Corey Hart to open the bottom of the 11th, but earned his 20th save in 22 chances. Washington reliever Ryan Mattheus gave up four runs in just 1 2-3 innings, including home runs to Rickie Weeks, Norichika Aoki and Carlos Gomez. Milwaukee opened a 7-3 lead on Weeks' 11th home run of the year in the seventh, but Rodriguez gave up three runs in the eighth and was removed for Axford. Corey Brown then scored the tying run on a wild pitch in the dirt from Axford that went to the backstop. Aoki and Gomez hit back to back solo home runs in the bottom of the eighth to give the Brewers a 9-7 lead. Axford struck out Zimmerman to open the ninth. He then walked Mark DeRosa before giving up the home run to Morse, his eighth of the year. Milwaukee starter Mark Rogers, starting in place of Zack Greinke, pitched 5 2-3 solid innings in his first major league appearance since 2010. The right-hander was the fifth pick in the June 2004 free agent draft, but had pitched only 10 innings in the majors before replacing Greinke in the Brewers' rotation. Rogers gave up a home run to Steve Lombardozzi to lead off the game, but settled in to keep the Nationals off-balance. He gave up two runs on six hits and struck out seven. The Brewers managed only five hits in six innings off Washington starter Gio Gonzalez, but took advantage of the All-Star's wildness. Two batters who walked and another who was hit by a pitch scored, and the Brewers also scored on a bases-loaded walk. A play in the sixth inning resulted in three of the four umpires involved in separate arguments at the same time. The Brewers led 3-2 and had the bases loaded with one out when Aoki laid down a squeeze bunt. Gonzalez made a quick, off-target throw to first that forced Lombardozzi to stretch into foul territory and make the catch while Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy easily scored from third. First base umpire Tim Welke ruled Aoki safe, and Lombardozzi immediately began to argue while holding the ball in his glove. Seeing the argument, Cody Ransom then sprinted home. Home plate umpire Mike Estabrook, however, ruled time had been called and sent Ransom back to third. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke came out and argued with Estabrook that time had not been called. Washington manager Davey Johnson and Lombardozzi were arguing with Welke at first at the same time while Ransom was complaining to third base umpire Laz Diaz. Paul Schrieber at second base was the only umpire not in an argument. NOTES: Greinke was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday and made his first start for his new team on Sunday. ... Washington 1B Adam LaRoche was removed from the game in the fourth inning due to tightness in his back. He is day to day. ... Before the game, the Brewers traded C George Kottaras to the Oakland Athletics for RHP Fautino De Los Santos. He was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. ... Aramis Ramirez was held out of Milwaukee's starting lineup to rest his sore left wrist. He pinch hit in the sixth and was intentionally walked. ... Harper returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's game with a stomach virus. ... Before the game, Washington unconditionally released OF-1B Xavier Nady.

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Nationals six-game winning streak comes to an end in Los Angeles

Nationals six-game winning streak comes to an end in Los Angeles

The book on Alex Meyer was pretty clear: big stuff, bigger control problems.

Not so much Wednesday night for the 6-foot-9 right-hander.

Meyer executed nearly to perfection while allowing a hit and a walk over seven innings and leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-0 victory that ended the Washington Nationals' six-game winning streak.

MORE NATS: NATS BOLSTER BULLPEN

"We really didn't have much of a chance," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "Our reports were he didn't have very good command, but he did tonight."

Meyer (4-5) had a perfect game until he walked Anthony Rendon with two outs in the fifth. He lost his no-hitter with two outs in the sixth when Brian Goodwin doubled down the right-field line.

Meyer, Rendon and Goodwin were all first-round draft picks by the Nationals in 2011.

"I went to breakfast with (Goodwin) this morning and paid for it," Meyer said. "I'll have to talk to him about that."

Meyer had been plagued by walks this season (41 in 60 1/3 innings) but had just the one free pass in a career-high seven innings. He struck out seven.

David Hernandez and Jose Alvarez each threw a scoreless, hitless inning to complete the one-hitter. It was only the second time this season the Nationals have been shut out.

"To make outs the way he did says a lot about his upside and potential," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Mike Trout and C.J. Cron each hit two-run homers to support Meyer. For Trout, it was his 18th of the season.

Gio Gonzalez (8-5) started for the Nationals but gave up a pair of first-inning runs on Albert Pujols' single and Andrelton Simmons' sacrifice fly, and it was all the runs Los Angeles would need.

Washington outfielder Bryce Harper did not play in the nationally televised game. It was a scheduled day off.

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Zimmerman sets franchise HR record, Nationals beat Reds 6-1

Zimmerman sets franchise HR record, Nationals beat Reds 6-1

The NL East leaders opened the second half of the season with a franchise record, a series sweep and a significant upgrade -- exactly how the Nationals wanted to keep their momentum going.

Ryan Zimmerman set the Nationals' career home run record with a solo shot, and Bryce Harper connected again on Monday as Washington powered its way to a 6-1 victory for a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

Zimmerman's 235th career homer moved him ahead of Vladimir Guerrero for most in Expos and Nationals history. Guerrero quickly tweeted congratulations , saying he doesn't mind being second.

"It's special to be in one place your entire career," said Zimmerman, in his 12th season with the team that made him a first-round draft pick. "You can't do stuff like this if you're not in the same place for a long time. So I feel very lucky to have spent my entire career here, honored to have hit more home runs than any Expo or National. It's cool."

The Nationals emerged from the All-Star break with an emphatically successful series -- 13 homers, including three by Harper, and 35 runs overall by the league's top offense. It was the Nationals' first four-game sweep of the Reds and left them 6-1 against Cincinnati this season.

Washington improved to a season-high 20 games over .500 (56-36) with its ninth victory in 11 games.

The Nationals' roster got a little better during the series, too. Washington shored up its weak bullpen by getting relievers Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from Oakland on Sunday. They'll join the team in Los Angeles for the start of a series against the Angels on Tuesday.

"We know we have a good team and we've put ourselves in a good spot to start the second half, but we've got a ways to go," Zimmerman said. "Obviously we acquired two talented guys for the bullpen, and we'll just try to keep scoring runs so that they can come in and lock the games up."

Stephen Strasburg (10-3) recovered from his shortest start of the season by fanning 11 in seven innings and allowing four hits, including Eugenio Suarez's homer. Strasburg left his last start -- a 13-0 loss to Atlanta on July 8 -- after Nick Markakis' liner deflected off his hip in the third inning.

He allowed only two hits -- including an infield single -- in his last five innings.

"Your body wants to pretend it's the offseason," Strasburg said of the break between starts. "It took a little while to get going."

Scott Feldman (7-7) lasted only one inning, limited by a stiff right knee that has been bothering him. He gave up a double, a single, Harper's three-run homer and Zimmerman's solo shot in his first 12 pitches. Feldman left after facing nine batters and giving up five runs on 33 pitches.

"It wouldn't loosen up," Feldman said of the knee. "It was one of those days. I put the team in a tough spot. We were down five runs right off the bat."

Harper's homer extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Brian Goodwin's solo shot made it 6-1 in the sixth.

4 FOR 4

The last time the Nationals swept a four-game series was last season against Atlanta. It was the 11th four-game sweep in Nationals history.

KEEP RUNNING

Daniel Murphy scored from second base on Matt Wieter's fly out in the first inning, turning it into a sacrifice fly. Right fielder Scooter Gennett made a diving catch in the gap and then stumbled and dropped the ball while trying to get up, giving Murphy enough time to make it home.

STATS

It was Strasburg's sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season and the 35th of his career. ... Anthony Rendon extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Nationals starters allowed only one run in the series. ... The 13 homers allowed in a series matched the Reds' club record.

NATIONALS MOVES

Washington called up right-hander Jacob Turner from Triple-A. Right-hander Koda Glover -- sidelined since April by a hip injury -- was moved to the 60-day DL.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: CF Michael Taylor hasn't yet started baseball-related activities as he recovers from a strained right oblique. He went on the DL on July 7.

Reds: C Devin Mesoraco began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville. He'll play a few games and be re-evaluated. He's been sidelined since July 5 with a strained left shoulder.

UP NEXT

Nationals: They face the Angels for the first time since 2011. Washington is 6-7 in interleague play this season.

Reds: RHP Sal Romano (1-1) will be called up to make his third career start when the Reds face the Diamondbacks. He also started on April 16 against Milwaukee and July 6 at Colorado.