WASHINGTON (AP) — Josh Bell and Keibert Ruiz hit home runs on consecutive pitches in the sixth inning, and the Washington Nationals beat Milwaukee 11-5 Friday night, extending the Brewers’ losing streak to a season-high seven games.
Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell, who is one victory shy of tying Phil Garner for the franchise record for managerial wins, was ejected in the fifth inning in the Brewers’ latest frustrating outing. Milwaukee has scored 14 runs during its slide.
“Offense, pitching, defense, baserunning, bullpen, starters — we haven’t been very good in many of those areas,” Counsell said. “That’s why we find ourselves with a losing streak.”
The Nationals’ biggest outburst came in the sixth, when they built on a 6-3 lead. Bell hit a three-run homer off reliever Miguel Sánchez and, after a mound conference, Ruiz hit his second homer of the season on the first pitch he saw.
Counsell was gone by that point. He argued with home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus after consecutive pitches to Victor Robles in the fifth — first when he contended Robles touched a live ball and should be out, then when Robles’ swing hit catcher Omar Narváez while he was trying to throw out Luis García on a steal attempt at second.
García was sent back to first, but Robles eventually singled to left, prompting Counsell to come out to pull starter Aaron Ashby (1-5). He escalated his dialogue with De Jesus on his way to the mound and was quickly ejected.
“Robles touched the ball with his bat with a pitch in the dirt,” Counsell said. “The hitter is out if that happens. Ramon said it didn’t happen, and I think it did happen. The fact that they didn’t see it was wrong, in my opinion.”