WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman lost track by the time he got back to the dugout. He knew the Nationals kept hitting home runs, but he was not exactly sure how many it was in a row. So he looked to Brian Goodwin, who started the historic homer barrage.
"Is that 4 home runs in a row?" Zimmerman asked.
Indeed, Zimmerman had hit the fourth consecutive home run for the Nationals in the third inning as they erupted for their own team-wide home run derby during Thursday afternoon's 15-2 win against the Brewers at Nationals Park. They hit five homers overall in the third inning, and by the fourth, the Nats had tied a franchise record with eight home runs in a game.
Goodwin began the homer barrage in the third inning with a two-run shot, followed by home runs from Wilmer Difo, Bryce Harper and Zimmerman. It was the eighth time in MLB history a team hit four straight homers in a game, most recently accomplished in 2010 when the D-backs also did so against the Brewers.
"It's like you almost can't believe it," manager Dusty Baker said.
"I don't know," Zimmerman said. "I was just watching everyone hit home runs."
The Nats added a record-tying fifth homer in the inning one out after Zimmerman's when Anthony Rendon went deep. All five homers came against Brewers starter Michael Blazek, who was making his first career start. This was the sixth time a team hit five homers in one inning; the last team to accomplish the feat was the Brewers, who did so in 2006.
"The only thing I would say is, 'Those guys can hit,'" said Hernan Perez, who provided a bright spot at the end of the game when he became the first Brewers position player to pitch in more than three years. "[The Nationals] are in first place for one reason, and that's because they hit."
Overall, the Nationals scored seven runs in the third inning, and they continued to pour on with a six-run fourth. Zimmerman and Jose Lobaton each added a homer as Washington surpassed the team record it set earlier this season against the Mets on April 30. (Seven homers in a game had been the Nationals' team record, while the Expos' record is eight.)
The National League record for home runs by one team in a game is nine, and the Major League record is 10. Travis Shaw and Lewis Brinson went deep for the Brewers, bringing the combined total between both teams to 10 in the game. The MLB record for total homers between two teams in a game is 12, and the NL record is 11.
This game featured the highest combined total home run distance in a single game since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015, with 4,151 feet of homers for the day. The previous highest total was 3,745 combined by the Astros and Orioles at Camden Yards in August 2016.
Harper was in the middle of the damage Thursday, with home runs in the first and third, and in the process extending his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest of his career and tied for the longest in MLB this season. Zimmerman also hit a pair of homers, and in the process he tied Frank Howard for the most career home runs in D.C. baseball history (237).
"We got a lineup that could possibly do some special things," Harper said. "With the guys we have in this lineup right now, anything can happen."