Nats notch a thrilling win

The Nationals have signed reliever Mike MacDougal to a minor league contract, according to the transactions page on the team’s Web site.

MacDougal, 35, has been assigned to Triple-A Syracuse. He started the season with the Dodgers, recording a 7.94 ERA in seven major league appearances.

This is the righty’s second go-round with the Nats; he appeared in 52 games with Washington in 2009, posting a 3.60 ERA and notching 20 saves in 21 chances.

MacDougal will give the Nationals some relief depth in the minor league ranks. Since Ryan Perry was converted to a starter, the Nats have lacked a reliever at Triple-A with legitimate major league experience.

The Nats currently trail the Brewers 3-1 in Milwaukee, with the Brewers scoring three straight runs off Gio Gonzalez after Steve Lombardozzi led off the game with a solo homer.

Gonzalez, who delivered a sparkling effort his last time out against the Mets, has needed to battle today. He’s been a bit wild and has fought himself a little, but still has allowed just three runs through five innings.

Brewers starter Mark Rogers has held the Nationals to just one run on four hits through five frames. Rogers is making his first major league start this season, but his stuff has been sharp. He’s set down five Nats on strikes.

Meanwhile, first baseman Adam LaRoche left the game midway through the fourth inning with what the team is calling back tightness.

LaRoche is listed as day to day.

He’s battled an oblique issue for much of the season and with the back acting up today, Tyler Moore might be counted on a bit more over the next few days.

Moore entered the game for LaRoche this afternoon.

Update: Back-to-back doubles from Ryan Zimmerman and Moore leading off the sixth have helped the Nats cut into the Milwaukee lead. It’s now a 3-2 game.

Zimmerman’s average is up to .271 after the double, while Moore notched his 16th RBI of the season. The Nats have gotten into the Brewers bullpen, as Rogers was pulled after 5 2/3 strong innings.

Update II: A blown call and a busted rally leave the Nats trailing the Brewers 5-3 midway through the seventh.

Lombardozzi appeared to corral Gonzalez’s wide throw of first base in the sixth inning with his foot on the bag, but first base ump Tim Welke didn’t see it that way, calling Norichika Aoki safe at first. That would have been the second out of the inning, but instead, an extra Brewers run came in to score one batter later on Carlos Gomez’s sac fly, making it a three-run Milwaukee lead.

Zimmerman then came up with the bases loaded and none out in the seventh, but grounded into a 5-3 double play which helped the Brewers get out of trouble. A run came in, but the brakes got slammed on a potential big inning, keeping the Brewers up by two.

Update III: How many wild pitches have scored runs in Nats games this season? It’s gone both ways, but I feel like every night, we see either the Nats or their opponents let a run come in on a pitch that reaches the backstop.

The Nats benefited from a wild pitch from John Axford in the top of the eighth, a wild pitch which allowed Corey Brown to scoot in with the tying run.

A four-run eighth inning by the Nationals has tied this ballgame 7-7. What a wild one it’s been.

Update IV: It gets even wilder.

Ryan Mattheus had allowed only three home runs all season coming into today. The Nats reliever has now given up three longballs today alone.

Back-to-back solo shots from Aoki and Gomez leading off the bottom of the eighth have put the Brewers on top 9-7. The Nats will need yet another comeback to leave Milwaukee with more than a split.

Update V: Somehow, it gets even wilder.

Michael Morse’s two-run homer just over the wall in right has tied the game again. It’s 9-9 as we go bottom nine. Just a ridiculous ballgame.

Update VI: Morse came up big again in the 11th, ripping a two-run double which put the Nats on top. After Tyler Clippard made things interesting by allowing a leadoff homer to Corey Hart in the bottom of the 11th, the Nats finally closed out an 11-10 win.

The Nats have played a number of thrilling games this season. This one certainly qualifies. This four-run comeback matches the largest deficit the Nats have overcome to win a game this season.

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