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Associated Press
Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse threw eight innings on his way to a win over Washington.

Lohse strong as Brewers best Nats

– Kyle Lohse tossed eight sharp innings on short rest and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 on Wednesday, shutting down Bryce Harper and Co. for the second night in a row.

Lohse (4-6) allowed one run and four hits, and had a season-high seven strikeouts against the eager-swinging Nationals, who barely avoided back-to-back shutouts and fell back to .500. Harper, in his third game back from a knee injury, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and dropped a ball in left field for the second consecutive game.

Lohse pitched on two days’ rest after his last start, Sunday at Pittsburgh, was cut short at 1 2/3 innings because of a 2-hour, 20-minute rain delay. Nevertheless, his impressive June (2-0, 2.34 ERA) carried into July.

Ross Detwiler (2-7), yet another Nationals pitcher longing for run support, was charged with four runs and eight hits in six innings, although two runs were unearned because of Harper’s error leading off the sixth. In Detwiler’s seven losses, the Nationals have scored a combined three runs while he’s been in the game.

The Brewers scored a pair in the fifth after a double by Sean Halton and a clinical bunt single by Logan Schafer. After a sacrifice bunt, both were singled home by Norichika Aoki with the infield in.

In the sixth, Harper dropped a line drive off the bat of Aramis Ramirez. The error proved costly when Schafer drove a two-run triple into right-center with two out.

Harper also misplayed a fly ball on the warning track in Milwaukee’s four-run eighth inning in Tuesday’s 4-0 win. That play was ruled a hit, although Harper said he simply dropped the ball.

At the plate, Harper made solid contact twice, but center fielder Carlos Gomez chased the first one down on the warning track and had to sprint and stretch to snag the second one in left-center. Harper is 1 for 12 since his return from the disabled list, and the one hit was an electrifying first-inning homer in the first game that helped spur a 10-5 win.

The Nationals have since reverted to their collective season-long slump at the plate, although many of their outs Wednesday were line drives that went straight to fielders. They averted the shutout when Anthony Rendon homered in the seventh.

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