Brewers end 7-game skid, blank Nationals
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Now that the Milwaukee Brewers have traded ace Zack Greinke, they'll be looking for other pitchers to emerge in his place.
Mike Fiers has been doing his part.
Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez homered to back another fine pitching performance by Fiers as Milwaukee snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 6-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
Hours after sending Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels for rookie shortstop Jean Segura and two minor league pitchers, the Brewers ended Washington's six-game winning streak.
Fiers said he doesn't feel any extra pressure to perform with Greinke gone.
"My job is the same and that is to go out and put up zeros and keep my team in the game," Fiers said. "I'm feeling great out there right now."
Called up May 29 from Triple-A Nashville, Fiers (4-4) has been one of Milwaukee's most consistent pitchers in recent weeks. He did not give up a hit until the fourth inning and retired 14 of his first 17 batters.
"I think with the deception and the way he can change speeds, I think this is a guy that is going to be able to pitch in the major leagues for a while," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "At the beginning, I wasn't sure. But he keeps going. And it's not just one team, it's every team he pitches against."
Fiers allowed only four hits while striking out nine in 6 1-3 innings. Over his last seven starts, he has permitted four earned runs in 47 innings for a 0.77 ERA. It was his eighth consecutive start of at least six innings.
"Right now, everything is going well for me," Fiers said. "I think all my pitches were working well for me tonight."
His biggest test Friday came in the sixth. With one out, Steve Lombardozzi singled and Bryce Harper walked. But Fiers struck out Ryan Zimmerman and got Adam LaRoche, who had homered in each of his last three games, to fly out.
"He's very sneaky with his pitches," Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "He's a lot of fun to catch."
Lucroy said the Brewers weren't surprised that Greinke was traded, but it's time to move on and try to win as many games as possible. The players were told of the trade by Roenicke before the game.
"That is the business side of baseball," Lucroy said. "We knew it was going to happen and we got three good players in return."
Fiers was replaced in the seventh and Michael Morse on first. Livan Hernandez gave the struggling Brewers bullpen a boost, getting Sandy Leon to hit into a double play.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson was impressed with Fiers.
"He comes right over the top and we don't make contact with it," Johnson said. "We could tell by the way we were hitting, if he kept throwing it over, we were going to have a hard time scoring."
Ross Detwiler (5-4) lasted 4 2-3 innings for the Nationals, giving up four runs and seven hits.
The Brewers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fourth. With two outs, Ramirez doubled as Harper tried to make a diving catch in right field. Hart followed with his 18th home run.
Carlos Gomez's RBI single in the fifth chased Detwiler. Gomez stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error by Leon and scored on Ryan Braun's single off Craig Stammen. Ramirez then cracked his 12th home run to make it 6-0.
NOTES: The Brewers also got back Double-A pitchers John Hellweg and Ariel Pena for Greinke. ... The Nationals released OF Rick Ankiel, who hit .228 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 68 games. Washington designated him for assignment on July 19. ... Brewers RHP Shaun Marcum, on the disabled list since June 15 with right elbow tightness, had a setback in a bullpen session. Roenicke said there is no timetable yet for Marcum's return. ... Milwaukee announced that RHP Mark Rogers will be recalled from Nashville on Saturday to take Greinke's roster spot.