MILWAUKEE (AP) — Kolten Wong homered and drove in three runs, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
Lorenzo Cain also connected as Milwaukee took the rubber game of the weekend series. The NL Central leaders have won 10 of 13 overall.
Hunter Strickland (2-1) got two outs for the win, and Josh Hader recorded the last out for his 26th save.
Wong drove Sean Nolin’s second pitch deep to right for his 10th homer. It was his fifth leadoff shot this season and No. 7 for his career.
Wong had another big swing in the fourth. After Nolin (0-2) issued consecutive two-out walks, leading to a mound visit, Wong poked a tiebreaking two-run triple into the right-field corner.
Wong also walked and scored on Christian Yelich’s groundout in the sixth, and Cain hit a two-run homer off Jefry Rodriguez in the seventh.
In Saturday night’s 9-6 win, Yelich homered twice, including his third career grand slam, and drove in six runs. The 2018 NL MVP went 2 for 5 in the series finale.
“It’s really a good sight to see,” pitcher Adrian Houser said of Yelich. “Hopefully, it keeps trending up and we get some 2018, 2019 Yellie here down the stretch.”
Nolin was charged with three runs and six hits in four innings.
“I felt like I was able to keep the team in it for a little bit,” Nolin said. “The fourth inning got away from me a little bit. Kolten Wong had my number today. He hit mistakes. I guess that’s the key to hitting, hitting mistakes.”
The Brewers took a careful approach with Houser in the right-hander’s first start since coming off the COVID-19 injured list. He was pulled after 68 pitches, departing with runners on the corners and one out in the fourth.
“There was no rust there,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We got him to a number of pitches that we thought was practical to both get us into the game and then build him up for some normalcy as we move forward.”
Strickland came in and struck out Carter Kieboom and Riley Adams, ending the inning.
Houser allowed an unearned run and three hits. He struck out two and walked two.
Kieboom hit a solo homer during Washington’s two-run ninth. Hader then closed it out when Juan Soto bounced into a fielder’s choice.
The Nationals allowed a season-high 11 walks.
“They can’t be afraid of throwing strikes,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “Don’t give them any freebies. We’re giving them way too many freebies.”
Nationals: CF Lane Thomas made his second consecutive start in the outfield despite being less than 100%. “He went through protocol. Everything came back fine,” Martinez said. “I want to make sure he drinks a lot of fluids the next couple of days and gets hydrated.”
Brewers: INF Eduardo Escobar left with right hamstring discomfort. “We’re going to get an MRI tonight,” Counsell said. “That’s it.” … 1B Daniel Vogelbach (strained left hamstring) was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Nationals: RHPs Austin Voth and Kyle McGowin (right biceps fatigue) were reinstated from the 10-day injured list. OF Andrew Stevenson was optioned to Triple-A Rochester, and RHP Javy Guerra was designated for assignment.
Brewers: LHP Aaron Ashby was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. RHPs Miguel Sánchez and Eric Yardley were sent down.
Nationals: RHP Erick Fedde (5-8, 5.14 ERA) faces Jesús Luzardo (4-6, 7.76 ERA) and the Miami Marlins on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game set.
Brewers: RHP Corbin Burnes (8-4, 2.13 ERA) pitches Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series against second-place Cincinnati. RHP Tyler Mahle (10-4, 3.78 ERA) starts for the visiting Reds.
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