Brewers rally past Nats for sixth straight win

Brewers 3, Nationals 1

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Ned Yost has no plans for a May parade, no matter how well his Brewers are playing.

Geoff Jenkins homered and drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth and the Brewers beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 on Wednesday to cap their best homestand in 15 years at 9-1.

"Sure you enjoy it," the sometimes surly Yost said. "But you don't dance up and down and have a parade. You enjoy it in yourself. It's self-satisfaction. They're having a blast. They love winning baseball games."

The Brewers have won six straight and have the best record in the majors at 24-10. They play 13 of their next 16 games away from Miller Park beginning Friday against the New York Mets before moving on to play Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego.

"I think there's just kind of this quiet confidence in the team," Jenkins said. "I feel like when we walk in those doors every day, everybody expects to win ballgames and that's not an attitude that we've had here in the past. It starts up top and ends with the last guy on our team."

Yost said he's not worried about increased attention on the Brewers' upcoming trip.

"New York's a nice place," Yost said, smiling and keeping his philosophy simple. "We're going to go to New York and play some baseball games."

It's a totally different attitude for the Nationals, who are in the midst of an eight-game losing skid, the franchise's longest since moving to Washington in 2005.

"They're hot, we're very cold," Washington manager Manny Acta said.

J.J. Hardy's 19-game hitting streak ended after his final at-bat in the eighth, when he waved wildly at a third strike, but that was the beginning of the end for the Nationals.

Lefty-hitting Prince Fielder singled off left-hander Micah Bowie (0-2), who was lifted for right-hander Jesus Colome. Colome allowed back-to-back singles to Bill Hall and Jenkins, whose base hit scored Fielder after catcher Brian Schneider couldn't come up with a throw to the plate.

Hall scored on Colome's wild pitch with two outs to make it 3-1.

Derrick Turnbow (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Francisco Cordero, who appeared in his sixth game in as many days, recorded his league-best 15th save.

"Whenever you're able to win nine out of 10, it's unbelievable," Cordero said. "We've had good pitching and hitting and defense, a little bit of everything."

Before every game, Cordero gives Yost and pitching coach Mike Maddux a thumbs up or thumbs down depending on how he feels that day, and he flashed the sign earlier Wednesday that he'd be ready to finish the Nationals, if needed.

Yost talked to him, just to make sure.

"I promised him, I gave him my word I would not pitch him tomorrow," Yost deadpanned. The Brewers have Thursday off.

Brewers starter Claudio Vargas, who pitched in the Nationals organization from 2003-05, got out of jams in the second and sixth but finally gave up a run after a streak of 17 scoreless innings.

Felipe Lopez led off the sixth with his second homer in as many days, tying it at 1. The Nationals put two on with one out in the inning, but Vargas got Austin Kearns to foul out and Schneider to fly out to center.

Vargas was finished after that, allowing just four hits and two walks. He struck out four.

Jenkins' seventh homer of the season in the fourth made it 1-0.

Jenkins' drive was the extent of Milwaukee's offense against Jason Bergmann, who pitched six effective innings. Bergmann struck out two and walked two but remains winless since 2005. Bergmann (0-3) has never had a victory in 14 major-league starts but said he's not pointing fingers at the Nationals' lack of production in the lineup.

"Nah, I'm not overly concerned," he said. "I'm more concerned with quality starts, keeping us in the game."

Game notes
Yost said that the Nationals remind him of Milwaukee's team in 2003. Yost said that even though they'll be "bloodied," if they stay patient stick to their plan they'll succeed. Yost's Brewers in 2003 and 2004 lost 94 games each season. ... Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's six-game hitting streak ended. ... The Nationals are batting .227 and have 15 homers as a team, last in the NL in both categories.