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Brewers jump out to early lead, hold on to beat Washington

by

WASHINGTON (TSN-WSAU) - Craig Counsell smacked his third career grand slam during a record-setting 10-run first inning, as the Milwaukee Brewers held off the Washington Nationals, 11-7, to avoid a three-game sweep at Nationals Park.

The Brewers sent 14 batters to the plate in their highest-scoring first inning in franchise history. It was also the fifth time in team history that the club has scored 10 runs in an inning. The last time the Brewers scored that many runs in a frame was in the fourth inning of a 15-5 victory over the Diamondbacks on October 7, 2001.

Jim Edmonds drove in two runs and scored once for the Brewers, who scored a total of just three runs in the first two games of this series. Casey McGehee went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for the victors.

Doug Davis gave up five runs on 11 hits in a 4 2/3-inning start for Milwaukee, which had lost six of eight coming into Sunday. Claudio Vargas (1-0) allowed two runs on two hits in two frames of relief, but still picked up the win.

Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond each knocked in two runs for the Nationals, who saw a three-game winning streak come to an end. Ivan Rodriguez had three hits, scored twice, and drove in a run in defeat.

Starter Jason Marquis (0-3) got pounded for seven runs on four hits while not recording an out. He also hit two batters and walked one to see his ERA jump to 20.52 for the season.

After Livan Hernandez tossed a shutout against Milwaukee on Saturday, the Brewers exploded in the first inning on Sunday. Marquis ran into trouble immediately, giving up three straight singles, with the latter plating a run.

Prince Fielder took a pitch off the left foot to load the bases before McGehee walked to force in a run. Marquis then hit Edmonds on the left foot to bring in another run. Gregg Zaun chased Marquis from the game with an RBI single.

Miguel Batista came in from the bullpen, but Carlos Gomez greeted him with a run-scoring infield single. Davis recorded the first out of the frame on a sacrifice fly to center and Rickie Weeks then walked to load the bases again.

Counsell capped the impressive inning with a grand slam. Batista threw a 1-0 cutter that Counsell blasted over the wall in right. Washington's disastrous inning came to an end after Batista retired two of the next three batters.

The Nationals got a run back in the second on Adam Kennedy's RBI double to right.

Washington used a four-run fifth to cut the gap to 10-5. Kennedy, pinch-hitter Alberto Gonzalez, and Willy Taveras hit three straight singles to load the bases. Cristian Guzman followed suit with a run-scoring single up the middle. Zimmerman also recorded a base hit, plating two runs. Following two quick outs, Rodriguez knocked in a run with a single to right. Justin Maxwell walked to load the bases but Vargas took over on the hill and got Kennedy to fly out.

In the seventh, pinch-hitter Desmond laced a two-run double to left to make it 10-7. The Brewers got a run back in the eighth on Edmonds' RBI double to center.

Carlos Villanueva pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to seal the victory for Milwaukee.

The Brewers are off Monday, and begin a new series in Pittsburgh against the Pirates on Tuesday night.

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