Brewers lose 4-1 to Zimmermann, Nationals
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers are struggling with a lack of offense and injuries to their starting pitchers.
Jordan Zimmermann earned his career-high 13th win and Bryce Harper hit a home run and the Washington Nationals beat the Brewers 4-1 on Friday.
Milwaukee starter Tom Gorzelanny left the game in the second inning after being hit on the elbow by a line drive.
Jayson Werth hit a sharp liner right back at the left-hander as he completed his follow-through. At first it appeared the ball struck Gorzelanny on the wrist and then rolled toward the third-base line.
He raced after the ball holding his left arm, but made no effort to pick it up.
Gorzelanny was examined by the team's training staff and was removed from the game. He was replaced by Figaro.
"It definitely doesn't feel good right know," he said. "It got me pretty square in the elbow. It was extremely painful right after.
"I'd say normally guys get hit and usually make the play and after that the pain sets in. This is one of those things it got me really good. I couldn't even (make) an attempt for the ball. It was pretty painful."
Asked if he was happy that the X-rays were negative, he snapped off a quick reply.
"Absolutely, nobody wants a broken arm," he said.
Injuries to his left side have been too frequent this season. He was on the 15-day disabled list in May with left shoulder tendinitis.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said that Gorzelanny was day to day, but still held out hope he'd make his next start.
"We'll see how he is tomorrow," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Hopefully, and for us, obviously, he can make his next start, but I'm not sure."
It's been a tough week for Brewers starters.
Yovani Gallardo left Tuesday's game against the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning with a strained left hamstring. He went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.
Washington got a run in the fifth.
Ian Desmond doubled over center fielder Carlos Gomez's head. Then, with Denard Span batting, Desmond stole third and then scored when third baseman Jeff Bianchi failed to field the throw from Jonathan Lucroy.
"We made some mistakes again today," Roenicke said. "Desmond's steal hurt us. You get behind, you get behind on these guys and if go into the ninth inning and you have to score three runs to tie it, it makes it tough. Really we gave them a couple of runs. We need to play better."
Gomez hurt the Brewers in the fourth with his aggressiveness on the bases.
He walked, stole second and then was caught trying to steal third. The next batter, Juan Francisco doubled.
"Gomez was running on his own and he missed a sign," Roenicke said. "Zimmermann knows him. He sped up to home. His times are 1.3, 1.4 to home. It makes it tough to steal."
Zimmermann (13-6) was 12-8 in 2012 after 32 starts. Friday's victory came in his 22nd start. He went six innings, struck out four, but walked a season-high four.
"Every inning, there was a double or a walk and a guy would steal a base," Zimmermann said. "There he sat on second with no outs, but I was able to get a few ground balls and some easy outs when I needed them."
He worked out of jams in the first and third innings, each time stranding Rickie Weeks at third. The Brewers finished 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
"It wasn't that much pressure," Zimmermann said. "I just needed a good start after the last three or four I had that were just brutal. It was nice to go out there, go six and put up zeroes. We got the win. That was the main thing."
Washington scored a run in the fifth off Alfredo Figaro (1-3). Harper made it 2-0 in the sixth with his 16th homer of the season.
"That's just Harp," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "I expect stuff like that out of Harp. He had a good game."
Anthony Rendon singled home a run in the seventh.
With runners at the corners, Harper added a run when he reached on an error by second baseman Weeks that allowed Span to score in the ninth.
Lucroy spoiled the shutout when he hit the first pitch from Tyler Clippard in the eighth for a solo home run.
Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 27th save.
Werth went 3 for 4 with two singles and a double for Washington.
NOTES: Lucroy's 16 home runs as a catcher this season rank second most at that position. ... With two more stolen bases, the Brewers reached 100 for the season. ... Spin Williams, the Nationals' minor-league pitching coordinator, took the place of pitching coach Steve McCatty, who did not make the trip. McCatty became ill on Sunday just before the game with the New York Mets. Williams said the two are in constant communication about the pitching staff. McCatty is expected back for Monday's home game against the Atlanta Braves. ... Zimmermann made his fourth career start against the Brewers. ... The game started at 7:29 instead of the normal 7:10. The Brewers honored Hall of Famer Robin Yount on the 20th anniversary of his retirement.