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Storen allows rare home runs to righties

WASHINGTON -- Drew Storen's performance against the Brewers on Thursday was uncharacteristic for the right-hander and highly frustrating for manager Davey Johnson.

Storen blew his fourth save but actually picked up his third win after giving up three runs in the seventh inning to allow the Brewers to tie the game. Wilson Ramos' three-run home run in the bottom of the inning took a lot of the focus off Storen's second consecutive poor outing. On Tuesday, he surrendered four runs in the eighth to snap a scoreless tie against Milwaukee.

The uncharacteristic aspect of Storen's appearance on Thursday was the home runs he served up to Yuniesky Betancourt and Carlos Gomez. They became the first right-handed hitters to homer off Storen since the Braves' Dan Uggla on Aug. 1, 2011. In between, Storen appeared in 96 games and threw 86 1/3 innings, and this year he was holding righties to a .316 slugging percentage.

Johnson's frustration stemmed from the approach behind Betancourt's solo shot and Gomez's two-run blast.

"I have all the confidence in Storen, and Storen's trying to trick people instead of just making his pitches. But maybe that will be a good learning game," Johnson said.

Both homers came on offspeed pitches with two strikes. Storen left a 2-2 changeup up and in to Betancourt, and hung an 0-2 slider right down the middle to Gomez.

According to Johnson, that's not the sort of thing Storen was doing during a streak of nine consecutive scoreless outings that ended on Tuesday.

"By and large he was just keeping his two-seamer down and locating that," Johnson said. "Occasionally he'd throw a get-me-over curveball to a left-hander to get ahead, but by and large it was his fastball.

"Up until that point, he has a tendency to overpower and try to trick people. He doesn't have to trick people with that stuff. Like I said, hopefully he'll learn, because he shook off a bunch of times today to get to a hanging changeup and a hanging breaking ball."

Tom Schad is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Schad. Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff.
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