MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Alfonso Soriano squandered an opportunity when
he grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. He didn't
make the same mistake twice.
Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of homers from the leadoff spot in the Nationals' 8-4 win at Milwaukee. Soriano's 97 career home runs from the top spot in the order, all since 2000, are the most in the majors over that span, 13 more than runner-up Johnny Damon (84).• For more Elias Says, Click here
Soriano hit a grand slam and a solo homer to lead the Washington
Nationals over the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 Sunday, completing a
three-game sweep."He seems to do something in each win we have," Nationals
manager Frank Robinson said.Soriano went 3-for-4 to overcome a pair of bad plays. He made a
baserunning error in the first and grounded into a double play with
the bases loaded in the fourth.All of that was forgotten when he hit his third career grand
slam in his next at-bat in the sixth inning. Soriano said he wasn't
thinking about the double play when he came up in the sixth."I take a couple of pitches and see the ball better and tried
to make very good contact," he said.After an intentional walk to Mike Vento put two on with two
outs, Jorge De La Rosa (2-2) walked Nationals pitcher Tony Armas
Jr. to load the bases.De La Rosa was pulled for reliever Joe Winkelsas, and Soriano
hit a 2-2 fastball into the Brewers' bullpen to give the Nationals
a 6-0 lead."Sooner or later, he'll get you," Robinson said of Soriano.
"You're dealing with fire."That was more than enough for Armas (6-3), who allowed one
unearned run and two hits in six innings. He retired the first nine
Brewers -- three on strikeouts -- and 13 of the first 14."I'm very pleased with the way he pitched," Robinson said.
"He threw strikes, he changed speeds, he got outs."Milwaukee has now lost eight straight. The Brewers have been
outscored 64-21 during the streak."We can come up with 95 different excuses and reasons why,"
manager Ned Yost said. "The bottom line is we're not winning. And
that's it, you either get it done or you don't get it done and
we're not getting it done. There's no excuse for that."Geoff Jenkins is hitless in 15 straight at-bats and left with a
mild concussion. Prince Fielder is also 0-for-15, and Carlos Lee is
hitting .171 in his last 35 at-bats.Washington could have scored even more against the hapless
Brewers.The Nationals had three hits in the first inning, but failed to
score after Soriano got picked off trying to steal third and Royce
Clayton stopped at third after Jose Vidro's double.Soriano, now hitting .312 with 21 homers and 43 RBI, quickly
made amends in his next at-bat in the third, hitting his first home
run to deep center field to give Washington a 1-0 lead.Soriano is second in the major leagues in home runs behind the
Cardinals' Albert Pujols with 25, but Pujols is out indefinitely
with a strained muscle on his right side.Does Soriano want to win a home run title?"I never think about it," he said. "I'd like to get the title
(for) stolen bases, not homers, because I don't see myself like a
home-run hitter. I like to run."Meanwhile, there's nothing to like about Milwaukee's play right
now.The worst fielding team in baseball made three more errors on
Sunday to increase its season total to 56, five more than
second-place Cincinnati.First, Fielder and Jenkins collided on a foul pop by Brendan
Harris that neither reached in the top of the fourth, and while
Jenkins played defense the rest of the inning, he was pulled
immediately afterward. He is day to day.De La Rosa walked Harris and Damian Jackson, then threw wide of
Rickie Weeks on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Schneider. Weeks was
given the error after the ball ricocheted off his glove allowing
Harris to score.Vento popped out to center, but De La Rosa mishandled a bunt by
Armas for the second error in the fourth. That loaded the bases for
Soriano, who grounded into a double play to end the inning.The Brewers scored one in the sixth, one in the seventh and Gabe
Gross hit a two-run homer in the eighth. But Weeks committed his
major league-leading 20th error in the seventh that allowed Harris
to score again."I'm fine, I'm fine, I just have to keep my head up," Weeks
said. "You just have to roll with the punches, I guess."
Soriano's streak of home runs in consecutive series is now
at nine, second-best in franchise history behind Vladimir Guerrero,
who hit homers in 12 straight series in 2001. ... It was Soriano's
second multihomer game of the season and the 13th of his career.
... Weeks has six errors more than anyone else in the league. ...
The Nationals have won eight of their last 10 games facing a
left-handed starter. ... Yost was ejected in the sixth for arguing
balls and strikes.