MILWAUKEE — Carlos Santana hit two solo homers and William Contreras added a three-run shot as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 5-3 on Friday night.
Milwaukee, which improved to a season-high 19 games above .500, increased its lead in the NL Central to 5 1/2 games over the Chicago Cubs, who lost 6-4 at Arizona.
Santana homered to cap a four-run fifth and opened the eighth with his 21st homer for his 1,000th career RBI. Santana, acquired just before the deadline from Pittsburgh, has nine homers in 39 games with Milwaukee.
“I try to be prepared every day. I know my team helps me and we’re trying to make the playoffs,” said Santana, who now has 299 career homers. “I’m excited every day. God gave me a lot of opportunity and gave me the power to play every day.”
Wade Miley (8-4) allowed three runs and four extra-base hits in the first inning, but did not give up another hit until a two-out single in the sixth by Carter Kieboom, the last batter he faced. Miley struck out three and walked two.
Trevor Megill followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings, Abner Uribe tossed a perfect eighth, and Devin Williams struck out the side in the ninth for his 35th save in 39 opportunities.
The Brewers erased a 3-0 deficit in the fifth on consecutive homers by Contreras and Santana off Jake Irvin (3-6). Rowdy Tellez walked to open and Christian Yelich drew a two-out walk. Contreras then tied it with his 16th, driving the first pitch 456 feet to left-center. Santana followed with a homer to right, chasing Irvin.
“We got a three-run homer and those are huge plays in the game,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Those are game-changing plays kind of no matter when they happen. Irvin was throwing the ball well, then one swing later, it’s a tie game.”
Irvin allowed four runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings, but walked five in a 102-pitch outing.
“Walks and home runs, that’s what got him into trouble,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He competed early, got out of some jams early. We were hoping he’d get through the fifth inning, just the walks got him.”
The Nationals tagged Miley for three runs in the first inning on a homer and three doubles. With one out, Lane Thomas lined a solo homer to left, his 25th. Joey Meneses followed with a double, and Kieboom and Ildemaro Vargas added consecutive RBI doubles with two outs.
Miley said his original plan was to go up and away, but he and catcher Contreras went the opposite way, following up a 32-pitch first inning with a 10-pitch second.
“It just kind of affirmed what we both had said in the dugout, they’re looking out over and up,” Miley said. “Let’s just crowd them in and the swings were not good anymore. We knew we’ve got to stick with this until they readjust, we’ve got to be ready for it, but they really didn’t readjust.”
Brewers: OF Garrett Mitchell, sidelined since April 18 with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, was in the lineup Friday for Triple-A Nashville, batting leadoff and playing center field. ... LF Christian Yelich returned after missing six games (sore back), and RF Mark Canha was back after missing two games (left wrist soreness).
MILWAUKEE UNIFORM PATCH
The Brewers became the latest team to add a corporate patch to their uniforms under an agreement with Northwestern Mutual, a Milwaukee-based financial services company. The Brewers had the patch on the sleeve of their City Connect jerseys Friday.
RHP Corbin Burnes (9-8, 3.47 ERA) starts for Milwaukee vs. RHP Trevor Williams (6-10, 5.44) in the second game of the series.