WASHINGTON — Anthony Rendon hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series between National League playoff contenders.
The Nationals’ five-game winning streak matched their longest of the season. At 66-55, they improved to 11 games over .500 for the first time since June 9, 2018. Milwaukee lost for just the third time in nine games.
Washington shortstop Trea Turner led off the eighth with a walk off Junior Guerra (6-4), moved to second on Adam Eaton’s sacrifice and scored on Rendon’s double off the wall in right.
Rendon, who drove in Washington’s first run on a double in the third, is hitting .354 with six homers and 34 RBIs in 34 games since July 6.
Hunter Strickland (1-1) worked a scoreless eighth in his first decision since the Nationals acquired him from Seattle on July 31. Sean Doolittle gave up a four-pitch leadoff walk to Keston Hiura in the ninth but finished up for his 28th save in 33 tries.
Milwaukee shortstop Orlando Arcia opened the scoring with his 13th homer to lead off the third against Washington starter Patrick Corbin.
Brewers starter Adrian Houser was efficient, giving up just two hits and two walks while hitting two batters in seven innings of one-run ball. He struck out four.
Corbin wiggled out of repeated jams over six innings, striking out eight. He used his slider to induce swinging third strikes to leave at least one runner in scoring position in the third, fifth and sixth innings. Corbin was responsible for 10 of the 13 Brewers left on base.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (back spasms) is scheduled to come off the injured list and start Monday in Milwaukee’s series opener at St. Louis, giving LHP Gio Gonzalez an extra day of rest between his turns.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (mild rhomboid strain), who has made just one start since the All-Star break, will throw another simulated game Saturday. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 9-5 with a 2.41 ERA. … 1B Ryan Zimmerman (plantar fasciitis) was scheduled to begin rehabilitation assignment Friday, but Double-A Harrisburg’s game at Richmond was postponed due to wet grounds.
Brewers: RHP Jordan Lyles (7-8, 4.71 ERA) is 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA since Milwaukee reacquired him last month just before the trade deadline.
Nationals: RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 3.75 ERA) is 7-0 with a 2.99 ERA in 13 starts since coming off the injured list on May 29 to match the longest winning streak of his career.