WASHINGTON — Josh Bell and Keibert Ruiz hit consecutive-place home runs in the sixth inning, and the Washington Nationals beat Milwaukee 11-5 on Friday night, extending the Brewers’ losing streak to a season-high seven games.
Nelson Cruz and Maikel Franco also scored for the Nationals, who suffered a three-game sled in the opener of a 10-day, 11-game homestand.
Washington’s 19 hits were the most since San Francisco’s season high of 22 on April 29.
Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell, who is a win away from tying Phil Garner for the franchise’s managerial win record, was ejected in the fifth inning of the Brewers’ latest frustrating outing. Milwaukee has scored 14 runs during its slide.
The Nationals’ biggest eruption came in the sixth round when they extended a 6-3 lead. Bell hit a three-run homer in front of reliever Miguel Sánchez, and after a mound conference, Ruiz hit his second homer of the season in the first place he saw.
Counsell was gone at this point. He feuded with home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus after back-to-back pitches to Victor Robles in the fifth — first when he seemed to argue Robles touched a live ball and should be out, then, as Robles’ swing catcher Omar Narváez scored while trying to throw Luis García into second place in a steal attempt.
García was sent back to first place but Robles eventually switched to the left, prompting Counsell to come out to draw starter Aaron Ashby (1-5). He escalated his dialogue with De Jesus on the way to the hill and was quickly ejected.
Ashby hit six carries and 13 hits – five at 0-2 – and lost back-to-back starts for the first time this season.
Jace Peterson hit a two-run homer in the second and added a victim fly in Washington fourth starter Erick Fedde (4-4), who otherwise had minimal problems in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed four hits and knocked out four.
Franco’s solo homer in the fourth extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Brewers: Milwaukee activated Narváez from injured (COVID-19) list and placed C. Alex Jackson (sprained left middle finger) on 10-day injured list. … 2B Kolten Wong (right calf pain) was not in the lineup for the third game in a row.
Nationals: Cruz (back) returned to the lineup after an absence. … RHP Aníbal Sánchez (Cervical Nerve Impingement), who has yet to serve this season, threw a light bullpen session.
Brewers: LHP Eric Lauer (5-1, 2.38 ERA) threw seven shutout innings against Washington on May 20 and is 1-1 against the Nationals with a 2.70 ERA in five lifetime starts.
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (2-8, 6.71) grabbed a win in Cincinnati on Sunday and will try to win back-to-back starts for the first time since June 15-20 last year.