MILWAUKEE - Just when it looked the Nationals would finally be able to finish a game at Miller Park, their bullpen - which was set up to put Drew Storen in a save situation for the first time in eight days - blew the lead.
Tyler Clippard gave up a two-run homer to Rickie Weeks in the seventh, pulling the Brewers within a run. And after using Sean Burnett for only one batter, manager Jim Riggleman turned over the rest of the eighth inning to Henry Rodriguez. The Nationals had been reluctant to use him in close games, but instead of having Burnett pitch a whole inning or going to Storen early, Riggleman gave the ball to the erratic fireballer.
Rodriguez was rolling, painting with a 100-mph fastball to get Mark Kotsay to strike out swinging. But he walked Brandon Boggs to put runners on first and second, and Jonathan Lucroy sent a fastball to right field for a two-run single, allowing the Brewers to take the lead when Wilson Ramos couldn’t hang onto a throw at home plate during a collision with Boggs.
The Nationals all of a sudden need a ninth-inning rally to avoid their sixth loss in seven games.
UPDATE AT 11:25 P.M.: This one is over. The Nationals loaded the bases in the ninth - avoiding the end of the game when Ian Desmond got to first on a dropped third strike - but Michael Morse flew out to right to end it. The Brewers won 7-6, and the Nationals have lost six of seven. More in a little bit.