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Brewers plunge 4.5 games out of NL Central with loss to Majors' worst team

The Milwaukee Brewers lost their third straight game last night, 8-3 to the Washington Nationals at Miller Park.

It was their second straight loss to the Majors' worst team and Milwaukee lost another half-game in the pennant race, falling 4.5 behind St. Louis.

The Cardinals moved back into the National League Central lead with a 10-0 home rout of Los Angeles, while the Chicago Cubs dropped a half-game back with an 11-6 home loss to third-place Houston.

The Brewers fell behind early in their game, as Nyjer Morgan hit a lead-off homer off surprise starter Carlos Villanueva.

The Nationals made it 5-1 in the fourth, and added three in eighth on a homer by Cristian Guzman.

Adam Dunn also went yard for Washington, which won its fourth straight.

Ryan Braun homered and tripled for the Brewers, who've lost 16-of-23 games in July and dropped two games below .500.

Collin Balester won his second start of the year, giving up two runs on five hits in six innings. He's now 1-1.

Villanueva gave up five runs in four innings for the loss. He's 2-8.

The Brewers and Nationals play again tonight.

Left-hander Manny Parra faces Washington right-hander Garrett Mock.