MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee's bid to get on a winning streak fell short and manager Ron Roenicke knows why.
"It's a lack of the whole team getting together offensively and defensively," Roenicke said after the Brewers lost 4-1 to the Washington Nationals on Saturday night. "When you are not consistent in those two parts for a long time, it is hard to get on that winning streak."
The Brewers, losers for the eighth time in nine games, were hoping to win consecutive games for just the third time since July 3.
"You can't describe it. It is frustrating," said Rickie Weeks, who hit his 11th homer of the season in the fifth for the Brewers' only run.
Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (3-7) gave up four earned runs on nine hits in seven innings.
Wisconsin-native Jordan Zimmerman (8-6) pitched his first game against Milwaukee, and his teammates backed him with three home runs.
Zimmermann struck out six and gave up five hits in six innings. The right-hander, who was born in Auburndale and also played at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, has not allowed more than one earned run in each of his last seven starts.
"It was definitely awesome," said Zimmermann, who once pitched a Legion all-star game at Miller Park. "A dream come true to pitch in front of my family and friends, and everyone who came out to watch. I'm just glad I gave them a good showing. . I didn't want to go out there and have a terrible outing. I thought I threw the ball well and got some quick outs. They've got a pretty good lineup and I was able to do pretty well."
Afterward, Washington manager Davey Johnson was asked if he noticed any nervousness or changes in Zimmermann's demeanor.
"Nope. He's always the same," Johnson said. "He's got great composure out there. He was throwing the heck out of the ball from the get-go."
Drew Storen and Sean Burnett each threw an inning of relief and Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
Washington center fielder Bryce Harper was a late scratch because of a stomach virus and was replaced by Corey Brown.
Brown led off the fourth by homering to left field, his first career hit giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead. It was the start of a six-hit inning off Wolf.
With one out, Michael Morse singled and took second on a balk, but was easily thrown out at home by right fielder Norichika Aoki on Adam LaRoche's single. The next batter, Tyler Moore, hit his sixth homer to left for a 3-0 lead.
"It was one of those games where Zimmermann was on," Wolf said. "I would have had to have thrown a shutout (to give the team a chance to win). Zimmermann is probably the most underrated pitcher. He has great numbers. I would have had to be near perfect just to get a no-decision."
NOTES: Johnson, who is now 100-83 with Washington, said Harper will "more than likely" play Sunday. ... Brown was 0 for 10 entering the game. He was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday and played in his 11th game for the Nationals in the last two years. ... Milwaukee backup catcher George Kottaras, who was designated for assignment on Thursday, could be traded to Oakland as soon as Sunday. Despite a rumor a deal was finalized Saturday afternoon, Brewers' general manager Doug Melvin said before the game that "nothing is finalized." ... Weeks is 9 for 14 (.642) in his last 14 at-bats. ... The Brewers are 4-11 against the NL East. ... Johnson indicated infielder Chad Tracy might return Tuesday. He's been on the disabled list with a right groin tear since late May.