Nats try to avoid home series loss to Brewers

7:39 AM, Jul 4, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals try to avoid their first series loss at home in nearly two months on Thursday when they wrap up a four-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park.

Washington hasn't lost a series in D.C. since dropping two of three to the Chicago Cubs from May 10-12 and have lost three series this season after falling in just five at home all of last season.

But, that is what the Nats are facing after Kyle Lohse shut them down on Wednesday in Milwaukee's 4-1 triumph. Norichika Aoki and Logan Schafer each posted a two-run hit for the Brewers, who have won two in a row on the heels of a six-game slide.

Lohse (4-6) scattered four hits and allowed one run, fanning seven with just one walk.

"Guys know I'm going to be throwing first-pitch strikes, coming at them and I think you saw a result like tonight because they know I'm coming at them," Lohse said. "I'm not trying to lay it in there, but I'm trying to make quality pitches, get ahead of them, and they were swinging."

Francisco Rodriguez left two on base in a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save.

Anthony Rendon's solo homer was the lone offense for the Nationals, who have lost three of five and have been outscored 8-1 over the last two games.

Ross Detwiler (2-7) was tagged for eight hits and four runs -- two earned -- over six full frames.

"He pitched some great curveballs, but then I think he lost his feel of it later in the game," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He left some curveballs up. He just didn't make the pitches when he needed to."

Getting the call for the Brewers on Thursday will be right-handed rookie Donovan Hand, who is 0-1 this season with a 2.62 ERA. Hand suffered his first loss of the season on Saturday in Pittsburgh, as the Pirates reached him for a pair of runs and five hits in five innings.

"I thought Donny threw the ball really well," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, whose team has won two in a row following a six-game slide. "He understands how to pitch, he understands how to throw strikes."

Washington will counter with a winless rookie of its own in righty Taylor Jordan, who lost his big league debut on Saturday to the New York Mets. Jordan gave up three runs (1 earned) over 4 1/3 innings of that one.

"I liked what I saw. First good outing," Washington manager Davey Johnson said of Jordan.

Jordan had been 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA in the minors before being called up.

The Nationals won five of eight games versus the Brewers in 2012.

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