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Brewers score three in the ninth to down Nats

Aramis Ramirez ripped the go-ahead RBI double during a three-run ninth inning as the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals in the opener of a 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 on an error by Ian Desmond.

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, who have won nine of their last 10 and are within 1 1/2 games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL wild card spot.

Adam LaRoche crushed a two-run homer for the NL East-leading Nationals, who have dropped five of their last seven.

Washington got on the board in its first at-bat when Ryan Zimmerman ripped a two-out single to left and LaRoche followed with a towering shot deep into the seats in right for a 2-0 lead.

The Brewers got a run right back in the second after Lucroy led off the inning with a rocket over the left-field wall.

Milwaukee had a chance to tie the game in the fourth when Braun led off the frame with a double. Ramirez followed with a base hit to center, but Bryce Harper gunned down Braun at the plate, keeping the Nats in front.

Game Notes

The Brewers improved to 32-43 on the road this season ... Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum lasted six innings and allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts ... Washington starter Edwin Jackson worked eight innings and yielded a run on six hits with six strikeouts ... Prior to the game, the Brewers acquired catcher Yorvit Torrealba from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations.