sold thousands of tickets for $1 to celebrate the arrival of
crashed the party and provided some bang for the buck.
homered, and Milwaukee broke a four-game losing streak Friday night with a 7-3 victory.
(11-6) allowed two runs over six innings for the Brewers, who managed a win over a sub-.500 team for a change. Their struggles
against teams with losing records - including this week's sweep by the last-place
- have all but pushed them out of the playoff race.
''You never know what can happen,'' Looper said. ''We've seen crazy things in this game before, and hopefully it's the start
of a winning streak.''
The Brewers beat a Nationals franchise that has produced a week of good news and bad results. Washington is 0-4 since beating
Monday night's deadline to sign No. 1 overall pick Strasburg, and even the midweek promotion of Mike Rizzo to general manager
failed to generate enough good vibes to make a difference on the field.
Strasburg was ubiquitous Friday in his first visit to Nationals Park. He held two news conferences. One took place in front
of a few hundred fans on a platform near third base five hours before the first pitch, with fireworks exploding above the
stadium just before he spoke. He was interviewed live between innings during the game, his image unmissable on the giant outfield
scoreboard, and again during the local television broadcast. The Nationals sold 7,700 of the $1 tickets to mark the occasion,
accounting for the above-average gate of 26,307, and he was so busy he barely had time to speak to his future teammates.
''He was kind of getting overwhelmed and bombarded,'' first baseman
said. ''I said my piece and moved on - like the president.''
One thing the 100-mph-throwing right-hander from San Diego State couldn't control was the weather: The heat index was 100
degrees during his on-field news conference, and the game was delayed 20 minutes by rain in the eighth inning.
And, for the Nationals' sake, it was too bad he's not yet ready to pitch. Rookie J.D. Martin (2-3) allowed a two-run home
run to Fielder in the first and a solo shot by McGehee in the fourth. Fielder's line drive to center field was his 33rd homer
and gave him a majors-leading 110 RBIs, but McGehee's 10th homer meant just as much to manager
, who has been looking for more power from players other than Fielder and
''Generally speaking, whoever hits the most home runs wins the game,'' Macha said. ''Home runs, instant offense, to me it's
a big part of what happens in major league baseball.''
The Nationals also had two homers, solo shots in the first and ninth. Dunn hit No. 32 early, and
set a new career high with No. 25 late.
added a two-out RBI single in the seventh for the Brewers, who piled on three more runs in the ninth off reliever
Looper settled down after giving up two runs in the first.
tossed a pair of scoreless innings in relief for the Brewers, and
allowed his first home run of the year - Zimmerman's in the ninth - in a non-save situation.
NOTES: While not necessarily plentiful, Nationals fans have been generally supportive - at least enough to tug at interim
manager Jim Riggleman's heartstrings. ''The positive stuff we hear from fans - that makes you feel good about humanity, you
know,'' the manager said. ''These people are not howling and screaming at us.'' ... Fielder got a rare bit of rest when he
was subbed in the ninth, only the second inning in the field he has missed all season. ... INF
, whose contract was purchased Monday from Triple-A Syracuse, made his Nationals debut. He lined out to first as a pinch hitter
in the eighth inning. ... The Brewers placed RHP
on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm. The move is retroactive to Aug. 18. The club purchased the contract
from Triple-A Nashville. ... Milwaukee RHP
, on the DL with a triceps injury, will make a rehab start at Double-A Huntsville on Saturday. ... The Nationals fell to 17-18