Carlos Santana blasts 2 HRs as Brewers rally past Nationals

William Contreras and Carlos Santana hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning as the host Milwaukee Brewers rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.

Contreras hit a three-run homer and Santana followed with a solo shot to allow Milwaukee to erase a three-run deficit. The Brewers had mustered just one hit — Brice Turang’s leadoff single in the third — prior to the decisive fifth.

Santana went deep again in the eighth to provide Milwaukee with an insurance run. It was his 21st homer of the season.

Milwaukee (83-64) now holds a 5 1/2-game lead over Chicago (78-70) in the National League Central after the Cubs lost 6-4 to the Arizona Diamondbacks later Friday night.

One day after four Milwaukee relievers combined to allow just one hit over four innings in a win over the Miami Marlins, the Brewers’ bullpen was strong once again. Trevor Megill tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Abner Uribe worked a 1-2-3 eighth before Devin Williams struck out the side in the ninth.

Williams secured his 35th save of the season.

Milwaukee’s fifth-inning outburst made a winner of left-hander Wade Miley (8-4), who settled down following a sloppy first inning.

After Lane Thomas hit a one-out solo shot in the opening frame, his 25th of the year, Joey Meneses doubled to right. One out later, Carter Kieboom and Ildemaro Vargas laced back-to-back RBI doubles to provide Washington (65-83) with a 3-0 lead.

But Miley then settled in, keeping the Nationals hitless over the remainder of his 5 2/3-inning outing. He ended up exiting after Kieboom singled in the sixth, having given up the three runs on five hits and two walks. Miley fanned three.

Nationals starter Jake Irvin (3-6) held the Brewers at bay in the early going before the hosts got to him in the fifth. Irvin lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on three hits. He walked five and struck out six.