Nats blow late lead, fall to Brewers in 14, 15-14

washington nationalsSean Doolittle is no longer effective, blowing a three-run lead in the ninth, and despite a Washington Nationals rally, Milwaukee rallied for a 15-14 win in 14 innings Saturday.

Doolittle (4.33 ERA) came in with an 11-8 lead in the ninth in an already crazy game. The Nats had come back from deficits of 5-0 and 8-5 to hand the ball to Doolittle in the ninth with the lead.

But the UVA alum gave up a leadoff homer to Christian Yelich, a two-run shot to Mike Moustakas, and then another solo homer to Ryan Braun, before manager Davey Martinez could get the bullpen engaged.

The Nats managed to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth on a Victor Robles RBI single, but after loading the bases with nobody out, Washington couldn’t end it, with Brewers closer Josh Hader striking out Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon to extend the game.

Yelich homered again in the 13th to put Milwaukee back on top, but Washington knotted things back up on a Robles RBI sac fly.

An Eric Thames two-run homer off Javy Guerra put Milwaukee on top in the 14th. Washington got one back in the bottom of the inning on a two-out error that allowed Eaton to score, but the Nats, out of pinch-hitters, had to send fifth starter Joe Ross to the plate with two on and two out, and he K’d to end it.

The loss drops the Nationals (66-56) to five and a half back of Atlanta in the NL East.

Story by Chris Graham 

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