Brewers swept by Nationals in doubleheader
WASHINGTON The Milwaukee Brewers came into Washington with a four-game winning streak. They're leaving on a three-game skid with a trip to Philadelphia up next.
After the Brewers lost a doubleheader for the first time since Sept. 14, 2008, in Philadelphia, manager Ron Roenicke wasn't eager to talk about facing the four-time defending NL East winners.
"I really don't like looking ahead," Roenicke said. "I think about it now. You start looking ahead, you get beat - and we got beat, so I'm not thinking about those guys right now. I'm thinking about the games we just had, how we need to get back on track, start scoring a lot of runs."
In the 8-4 and 5-1 losses to the Nationals, the Brewers had 20 hits - 18 singles.
Milwaukee was baffled by Livan Hernandez (2-1) in the second game. Hernandez allowed six hits and a run in seven innings.
"I've seen him for a long time," Roenicke said. "He's pitched this way for a long time."
The only extra-base hit against Hernandez was Prince Fielder's fourth-inning double - his second hit in 15 at-bats against the 36-year-old.
"He makes it tough. Guys get a little anxious," Roenicke said. "He makes it tough to be patient to try to get a good pitch to hit. I still thought we hit a lot of balls hard, and then when we had the chance, the opportunities to get those guys in, he made good pitches, and we weren't able to capitalize on it."
Marco Estrada, who started the season at Triple-A Nashville, pitched six effective innings, allowing a run and five hits, striking out seven and walking one before Kameron Loe (1-1) allowed a bases-loaded triple to Danny Espinosa in the seventh.
"He's been perfect," Roenicke said. "Hey, they got to him. He's still throwing the ball good. It's just they got to him."
Milwaukee has an off day following its three games against the Phillies. They may need them after facing Joe Blanton, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Halladay and Lee threw the first Philadelphia back-to-back complete games since May 1999 against Washington this week.
Estrada hopes that he's pitched well enough to earn another shot - even if his turn is skipped.
"I've got to wait. I don't know what's going to happen. Hopefully, I get another opportunity," Estrada said.
Yovani Gallardo (1-1) allowed seven runs on 10 hits in the first game loss, striking out five without a walk.
"As the game went on, at two strikes, they fouled off some good pitches in the zone and they waited for that mistake. Once I left the ball up in the zone, they took advantage of it," Gallardo said.
Gallardo allowed home runs to Espinosa and Ivan Rodriguez in the first game.
"No, I don't have any answers for it," Roenicke said. "He started off good, and then lost the plan. I don't know what it is when Yo loses the plan. He had it all spring, and he had it the first two games. I thought when he came out today, I thought he had it to begin with and lost it."
Brewers outfielder Corey Hart (oblique strain), is two or three days away from being sent on a rehab assignment. Hart has yet to play this season. ... Milwaukee's prized offseason acquisition, right-hander Zack Greinke (fractured left rib), will travel with the team to Philadelphia, and then leave to make his first rehab start for Class-A Brevard County on Tuesday. ... Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun has reached base in all 15 games this season. ... Forty-year-old Milwaukee infielder Craig Counsell started for the first time this season, and had his first base hit. ... Washington placed reliever Todd Coffey, a former Brewer, on the 15-day disabled list (left calf strain) retroactive to April 9. ... Milwaukee outfielder Nyjer Morgan (right thigh bruise) did not start in either game. Morgan, who was traded to the Brewers from the Nationals in March, grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of the opener.