WASHINGTON (AP) — An effective start by Yovani Gallardo on Monday night would have provided a respite for the taxed Milwaukee bullpen and could have increased his trade value should the Brewers opt to listen to teams looking to add a pitcher before the July 31 deadline.
It didn't happen. Not even close.
Gallardo lasted just three-plus innings, Bryce Harper homered on his first swing since coming off the disabled list, and the Washington Nationals beat the slumping Brewers 10-5.
Rickie Weeks and Juan Francisco hit solo homers as Milwaukee managed 11 hits and rallied from down 8-0 to within 8-5 late in the game.
The Brewers, missing injured slugger Ryan Braun, arrive at the midway point of the season with a six-game losing streak and a 32-49 record, just two games better than Miami's NL-worst 30-51 mark.
"We're not putting everything together. You're not going to win like that," center fielder Carlos Gomez said. "(If) we're pitching, we're not hitting. When we hit, we're not pitching. It doesn't work like that."
It was the second straight poor start for Gallardo (6-8). He gave up eight runs and nine hits while striking out two and walking two.
"The ball's up. That's about it," Gallardo said. "I'm just leaving pitches up in the zone. I get two strikes and I'm not able to put guys away."
With the Brewers' bullpen spent after Sunday's 14-inning loss to Pittsburgh, the right-hander was left to fend for himself until he was pulled after the first three Nationals batters got hits in the fourth inning. His ERA rose from 4.20 to 4.78.
"Anytime you score five runs you should be able to get a win no matter what," Gallardo said. "Especially tonight, I didn't go out and do what I was supposed to do, which is frustrating."
Burke Badenhop and former Nationals left-hander Tom Gorzelanny combined for four scoreless innings of relief. Trailing by eight, Milwaukee scored a pair in the fifth and sixth innings and had the potential tying run on deck after scoring one run in the seventh.
"I like the way (that when) we got down a lot the guys kept fighting and made it interesting," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We got to a point where we thought we were at least back in the ballgame."
The Nationals answered with two in the eighth.
Sean Halton and Aramis Ramirez had a double and a single apiece for the Brewers.