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Nats lineup remains cold in 5-2 loss to Milwaukee Brewers

Nats lineup remains cold in 5-2 loss to Milwaukee Brewers

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 5-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.

How it happened: Manager Dusty Baker didn't admit it at the time, but one day after the Fourth of July, on Tuesday afternoon, he wondered if his team was dragging in their 1-0 series-opening loss to the Brewers, a game in which they managed just two hits total. He knew he was feeling the 11 a.m. start, whether his players were or not.

One day later, the Nats remained sluggish against a lowly Brewers team that now has a chance to sweep them. The result of this one was a 5-2 loss on Tuesday night, as the Nats wasted numerous opportunities on offense. Washington had 12 hits, but only two runs to show for it. They left eight runners on base and went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Daniel Murphy flew out to end the third inning with two runners in scoring position. Bryce Harper struck out looking with the bases loaded to the end the seventh inning. And Murphy then got thrown out at third on a would-be leadoff triple to begin the bottom of the eighth. The Nats got two baserunners on with no outs in the bottom of the ninth before Clint Robinson grounded into a double play and Ben Revere grounded out to first to end it.

The Brewers, meanwhile, got things done against both starter Gio Gonzalez and against the bullpen behind him. They scored three off Gonzalez, including a two-run homer by Hernan Perez. Aaron Hill then launched another tw-run shot off reliever Blake Treinen. Hill also smacked an RBI single against Gonalez.

It was just one of those nights for the Nationals, who have only scored two runs in their last two games after exploding for 12 in Sunday's win alone. They have lost four of five games against the Brewers this season.

What it means: The Nationals lost their second straight game and have now dropped three of their last four overall. If they lose on Wednesday, they will be swept for the first time since June 20-22 and for just the third time this season. The Nats now stand 50-35 overall on the year.

Gio shows progress: Much like his last outing, Gonzalez was good for most of his start on Tuesday night, long enough that positives can potentially be drawn from his performance. But once again he couldn't close the deal on what was nearly a very good night for the lefty.

Now, to be fair, Gonzalez did turn in a quality start of six innings and three runs. But he was again one inning away from tossing one of his best games in a while. Gio ended up with three earned runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts on 102 pitches. It was the first time he's held a team to three runs since June 14. He hasn't held an opponent to less than three since May 18. Gonzalez left the mound with a 4.79 ERA through 17 starts this season.

Revere gets two hits: There weren't many highlights for the Nationals on offense, but Ben Revere had a solid game. He landed two base hits and drove in the Nats' second run on an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh. The two hits followed an 0-for-4 outing for Revere on Monday. He now has 15 multi-hit games in 49 total outings this season.

Up next: The Nats and Brewers close out there series with a 4:05 p.m. start on Wednesday evening. Tanner Roark (7-5, 2.93) will get the start opposite Milwaukee right-hander Matt Garza (1-1, 3.74).

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.