Santana homers as Brewers beat struggling Nationals 10-3
WASHINGTON (AP) Domingo Santana did his part to help the Milwaukee Brewers forget about former teammate Mike Fiers on a night the right-hander threw a no-hitter in Houston.
Santana, a player received in the trade that sent Fiers to the Astros last month, hit a key two-run homer in his debut with his new big league team as Milwaukee opened its road trip with a 10-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
''It's exciting,'' said Santana, who was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs before Friday's game. ''It's good for them that they are doing good (in Houston) but at the end of the day I'm just trying to be here and do my job.''
Jonathan Lucroy had three hits and drove in a run, and rookie Jimmy Nelson (10-9) allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings against Washington to help Milwaukee to its fifth in in seven games.
Most of the Brewers stayed in uniform after the game to watch the final outs of Fiers' no-hit outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
''We were all watching,'' said second baseman Scooter Gennett. ''We're all extremely happy for him and he's obviously a good pitcher. It was nice seeing him out there and having such a great day.''
Bryce Harper hit his 31st home run and Michael Taylor also homered for the Nationals, who entered Friday four games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets.
Gio Gonzalez (9-6) allowed five runs - four earned - over five innings, and the Brewers added a five-run seventh as Washington lost the opener of a nine-game homestand following a 3-7 West Coast trip that ended with a night game in Denver on Thursday.
''We get some more sleep, that's basically it,'' Gonzalez said when asked how his team can bounce back. ''We get some more sleep and try to come back and get ready for them tomorrow.''
Santana was of four players the Brewers got in the deadline trade in exchange for Fiers and outfielder Carlos Gomez.
After batting .256 with two home runs in 14 major league games for his previous club this year, the 23-year-old took only three at-bats to connect against Gonzalez for his first round-tripper with his new club.
''I just can't explain how I feel right now,'' Santana said. ''I was just trying to look for a mistake and he finally gave up a mistake.''
That gave the Brewers a 5-1 lead in the fifth, capping an inning that began when Lucroy's line-drive single smashed into Gonzalez's ankle.
Gonzalez remained in the game after a visit from the dugout. Two batters later, Adam Lind doubled Lucroy to third before Khris Davis hit a sac fly. Then Santana connected on the ninth pitch of his at-bat, a full-count fastball.
''It was a real nice at bat,'' said manager Craig Counsell. ''Two-strike home run, fouled off some pitches. It was a good night for him.''
SAVING THE DAY
Kyle Lohse allowed a run in three innings of relief to pick up his first career save.
''I''m happy for Kyle,'' Counsell said. ''He's done a lot for the game and he's taken to the bullpen with a great attitude. It's a nice first and something he can say he did.''
Reliever Neal Cotts worked a third of an inning, and was traded to the Twins after the game for cash considerations and a player to be named later.
''I knew there was a chance I could go or stay, so I kind of prepare and try not to worry about it,'' Cotts said.
The move allows room on the roster for left-hander Cesar Jimenez, claimed off waivers Friday from the Philadelphia Phillies.
Nationals: 3B Yunel Escobar left the game in the first inning after suffering an apparent injury trying to catch a foul ball. ... RHP Aaron Barrett (right elbow sprain) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list before Friday's game. He last pitched on Aug. 5. ... CF Denard Span (back tightness) was expected to play seven innings with Double-A Harrisburg Friday in his fourth rehab outing
Brewers RHP Taylor Jungmann (7-4, 2.23 ERA), who has made eight consecutive starts without allowing a home run, will face Nationals RHP Joe Ross (3-5, 3.86), who went eight innings in his previous start against Milwaukee.