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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, September 22nd (All times eastern)
Milwaukee Brewers (78-72) at Washington Nationals (91-59), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Wily Peralta (2-0, 2.14) Washington - Gio Gonzalez (19-8, 2.95)
(Sports Network) - With wins in six straight and 24 of their last 30 games, the Milwaukee Brewers are putting plenty of pressure on the other contenders in the National League wild card race.
Today, they'll have to deal with Washington Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez.
The leader in victories in the majors this year, Gonzalez will get his second chance to become D.C.'s first 20-game winner since Bob Porterfield (22 win in 1953). Gonzalez, who is coming off a loss to the Braves on Sunday, can match a franchise record for victories. That mark is held by Ross Grimsley of the 1978 Montreal Expos. Gonzalez also can become just the second D.C. left-hander to ever win 20 games. Earl Whitehill won 22 in 1933.
The only time Gonzalez has faced the Brewers came earlier this season. On July 29 at Miller Park, he gave up four earned runs, but didn't receive a decision in Washington's 11-10 victory in 11 innings.
The Brewers, who enter the day 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild card spot, will have Wily Peralta on the mound.
The righty, who will make his fifth major league appearance and fourth start, allowed two hits over eight shutout innings against the Mets on Sunday.
Last night, Aramis Ramirez ripped the go-ahead RBI double during a three-run ninth inning as the red-hot Brewers rallied for a 4-2 victory to open this four-game series.
Trailing, 2-1, heading to the ninth inning, Norichika Aoki beat out an infield single against Tyler Clippard (2-6) and advanced into scoring position on a passed ball. Aoki moved to third on a deep fly ball by Rickie Weeks and scored the tying run on a base hit by Ryan Braun.
Braun then swiped second and scored the go-ahead run via Ramirez's knock into left. Ramirez went to third on a wild pitch by Clippard and scored an insurance run for Milwaukee when Travis Ishikawa reached with an infield hit.
"If you're giving up a lead in a game, it doesn't matter if it happens in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning," Clippard said. "Obviously we're in a pennant race, and tonight would have been a big win for us."
Jose Veras (5-4) picked up the win with a scoreless eighth inning and John Axford nailed down his 32nd save of the season with a clean ninth.
Braun finished 3-for-4 and Jonathan Lucroy cracked a solo home run for the surging Brewers.
"It's fun to scoreboard watch, when you're in it," Braun said. "It didn't look like there was a very high likelihood of that happening, so we're all having fun with it."
The playoff-bound Nationals, losers in five of their last seven contests, have a magic number of seven to clinch the NL East.
Aoki has an 11-game hitting streak.
Washington is 3-2 this season against Milwaukee.
09/22 10:34:09 ET
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