WASHINGTON (AP) — Juan Soto had another big hit in his impressive rookie season, though it came long after most of the Nationals Park crowd had gone home.
Soto’s two-run single highlighted a four-run eighth inning and the Washington Nationals rallied past the Milwaukee Brewers for a 5-4 win in a game that was delayed 1 hour, 57 minutes by rain in the top of the eighth and ended well past midnight.
“It’s a testament to the boys. They don’t quit,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “They wanted to get back out there and play. They got the field ready. Stopped raining for us. We were able to come back and get a big win.”
With Washington trailing 3-1 in the eighth, Adam Eaton capped a nine-pitch at-bat with a two-out double off Joakim Soria (1-1). Trea Turner then lofted a single to left to make it 3-2. After Turner stole second Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon walked to load the bases.
With close Josh Hader unavailable, Dan Jennings came on to face Soto, who singled up the middle on a 2-2 pitch, scoring Turner and Harper with his third hit of the night.
“I was there to fight,” Soto said. “I know he got a little bit problem, sometimes he (balks). So, I know he’s going to throw the fastball because he doesn’t feel very comfortable doing his move.”
Rendon then scored on a wild pitch by Jordan Lyles.
“Dan did his job,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Jennings. “He gives up a ground ball and that’s what we’re asking Dan to do is get a ground ball … but Soto hit a ground ball up the middle.”
Washington’s Greg Holland (1-2) retired Manny Pina with the bases loaded to end the eighth and Justin Miller survived Tyler Saladino’s pinch-hit solo homer in the ninth for his second save.
Pina had two hits including a seventh-inning home run.
Milwaukee saw its three-game winning streak snapped one day after acquiring a trio of veterans, pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Xavier Cedeno, and outfielder Curtis Granderson
Brewers starter Chase Anderson gave up a run and four hits over five innings before the bullpen lost the lead.
“I think we’ll be fine,” Anderson said of the loss. “I know how we respond to things. Our bullpen’s picked up the starters a lot this year. Just gotta pick those guys up.”
Washington’s Stephen Strasburg allowed two runs on five hits over six innings while striking out seven.
Strasburg held the Brewers to one hit through four innings, but they broke through in the fifth.
After Mike Moustakas doubled, Jonathan Schoop’s smash deflected off Rendon’s glove at third and down the line. As Rendon jogged after it, Moustakas scored. With two outs, Christian Yelich lined a single just beyond the reach of a leaping second baseman Wilmer Difo to make it 2-0.
Washington got one back on Difo’s infield single in the bottom half.
Former National Gonzalez was the subject of a pregame video tribute and received a warm ovation. It’s unclear how he’ll be used by Milwaukee, which has named starting pitchers — none of them Gonzalez — through Wednesday. “He will play a role,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He started (last Wednesday). He’s not available to pitch right now. When he’s able to pitch here, he will get outs for us.”
WELCOME TO THE TEAM
Brewers: Recalled C Jacob Nottingham, INF Tyler Saladino, OF Domingo Santana and RHP Brandon Woodruff from Triple-A Colorado Springs; and OF Keon Broxton from Class-A Wisconsin.
Nationals: Recalled C Pedro Severino and selected the contract of RHP Austen Williams from Triple-A Syracuse.
Nationals: C Matt Wieters is dealing with a hip/groin issue that has bothered him since Washington’s series in Philadelphia earlier this week. That prompted Severino’s recall. … RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right hamstring strain) threw a bullpen session Saturday.
Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra (6-9, 4.09) is 0-4 with a 7.28 ERA over his last eight starts. He’s 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in three career games — two starts — versus Washington.
Nationals: Rookie RHP Jefry Rodriguez (2-1, 4.54) has a 1.69 ERA over his last three starts. He’s making his first start against Milwaukee.