MILWAUKEE (AP)Andrew McCutchen hit a leadoff home run, Luis Urias added a solo shot and a defensive gem, and Brandon Woodruff allowed one run in six effective innings to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 5-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
McCutchen drove the first pitch from Patrick Corbin (0-7) into the Nationals’ bullpen for his 20th career leadoff homer – and second this season.
”Be ready to hit pitch one,” McCutchen said of his game plan. ”Get on the board early. Get on him quick. Be able to create some momentum.”
Corbin knew that was the case, too: ”They came out swinging that first pitch of the game, second pitch.” They got a couple of runs, but I felt good even after that.
”Even in the last inning, the first-pitch home run, I thought I made some good pitches,” said Corbin, who went five innings and gave up five runs, all earned. ”Ground balls weren’t at our guys.”
Urias connected on the first pitch for a two-out solo homer in the fifth, followed three batters later by Keston Hiura’s two-run single.
Urias defensively owned the first inning. He snagged a liner and fielded a groundout. For the final out, Urias raced back for a looping fly ball into short left-center field and made a sliding catch with his back to diamond.
”He’s been able to showcase what he’s capable of doing,” McCutchen said of Urias. ”He showed his range today with that play he made in the shallow outfield.”
Woodruff (5-2) gave up a solo home run by Lane Thomas in the second, along with four other hits.
”I feel like I’m moving the way I should be and in turn that helps pick up the command a little bit,” Woodruff said. ”Just trying to make pitches that’s all I’m trying to do.”
Woodruff struck out six and didn’t walk a batter for the second time in eight starts.
”Woody pitched well tonight,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”This is what quality major-league starters do. They made him work a little bit, but six strong innings.”
Milwaukee’s Brad Boxberger pitched out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh when he struck out Cesar Hernandez. And Josh Hader extended his major-league record for saves in each of his first 15 games to start the season.
Brewers have won seven of the last 10 games, including five of six, while Washington slipped to 3-9 in the last 12.
”When you’re not scoring runs and you get guys on base, everything magnifies,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”He’ll (Corbin) go out there in five days and hopefully, we’ll score some runs for him.”
Washington has been held to one run or fewer in 12 games this year, the most such games in the NL.
McCutchen had three hits and Urias, Christian Yelich and Hiura each had two for Milwaukee.
Nationals: Martinez started switch-hitting Keibert Ruiz at catcher instead of Riley Adams. ”(Corbin) is totally OK with Keibert catching him,” Martinez said. ”I’m just trying to get some more offense.” Ruiz is batting .282 in 30 games while Adams is hitting .205 in 13. . SS Ehire Adrianza (left quad strain) hasn’t played all season and is on the 60-day injured list. ”He’s getting ready to go out on a rehab assignment,” Martinez said. ”We’re going to get him a bunch of at bats.”
Brewers: SS Willy Adames (high left ankle sprain) will accompany the team on its three-city, 11-game road trip. ”We’re not shutting him down from baseball stuff,” Counsell said. ”He’s going to have to pass certain tests to get to the next step.” Adames batted .208 with nine home runs and 24 RBIs in 35 games before going on the 10-day injured list May 18, retroactive to May 15.
BREWERS PITCHERS ON A ROLL
Milwaukee starters have now worked 6.0 innings or more while allowing one run or fewer in a MLB best 13 games this season.
RHP Aaron Sanchez (2-3, 7.94 ERA) starts for the Nationals and RHP Freddy Peralta (3-1. 3.53) pitches for the Brewers when the three-game series concludes Sunday.
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