Sep 22, 2012, 2:07 AM EDT
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Edwin Jackson gave up one run in eight innings but didn't earn the win.
Game in a nutshell: Two innings into this one, it looked like we might be in for a slugfest. Adam LaRoche launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the first off Shaun Marcum. Jonathan Lucroy then responded with a solo homer in the top of the second off Edwin Jackson. Long night for the pitching staffs? Actually, no. Both Jackson and Marcum dominated after that, with Jackson getting the edge thanks in no small part to some stellar defense behind him. Bryce Harper nailed Ryan Braun at the plate with a perfect throw in the top of the fourth. Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond combined to turn a nifty, 4-6-3 double play moments later to end that inning. And Jesus Flores made perhaps his best throw of the year to catch Jean Segura trying to steal second in the top of the eighth, capping a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play that brought a roar from the crowd of 30,382. Those roars, though, turned to boos in the ninth inning when Tyler Clippard (whose hold on the closer's job was already tenuous) blew his fifth save of the year, letting the Brewers rally to score the tying run, the go-ahead run and an insurance run in stunning fashion. The Nationals couldn't rally in the bottom of the ninth, so they wound up suffering one of their more frustrating losses of the season. On the bright side, the Braves lost in Philadelphia, so the Nationals' lead in the NL East remains 5 1/2 games and their magic number to clinch the division title is down to 7.
Hitting highlight: They got the early blast from LaRoche, and little did the Nationals know they wouldn't get anything else the rest of theRead more »
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