ATLANTA — The Milwaukee Brewers avoided a series sweep Sunday afternoon, handing the Atlanta Braves a 7-0 loss behind the stellar pitching of Zach Davies.
Although Davies didn’t record a strikeout, he allowed just four hits over the course of his seven innings, keeping his road record blemish-free. It’s the first game this season in which Davies has made it out of the sixth inning and he was backed up by a flurry of offense.
Travis Shaw didn’t waste any time, blasting a first inning home run that got the attention of Atlanta’s Julio Tehran. Keon Broxton followed suit in the second inning before things really started clicking for Milwaukee. After Davies recorded his first extra-base hit of his career, three runs scored for the Brewers to take Tehran out of the game early.
“The big inning for me was the third when we had two outs and nobody on and we put together five or six at-bats that were outstanding,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s one of our best innings of the year, I think, the way we put it together.”
The Braves left 17 runners on base, which was a problem for the Brewers in the previous two games of the series.
Milwaukee’s offense gets better
The Brewers offense figures to keep rolling this week, as it’s expected Ryan Braun will return from the disabled list to take over the Lewis Brinson, who was demoted to Triple A following the win. Jett Bandy was also sent down and will be replaced by newcomer Stephen Vogt, who was claimed off waivers on Sunday from the Oakland A’s.
Bandy was hitting just .053 in the month of June, with only two hits in 38 at-bats. Vogt comes into Milwaukee with two All-Star selections under his belt, though his batting average has dipped to .217 in the 2017 season.
ATLANTA — The Milwaukee Brewers dropped their second straight game Saturday evening, failing to build on an early lead in a 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
After loading the bases in the first inning and scoring one run, the Brewers couldn’t figure out R.A. Dickey and would get just a single runner in scoring position the remainder of the game. Dickey struck out six Milwaukee batters on the way to his sixth win of the year.
“We didn’t have that many swings and misses the first time through the lineup,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “As we went through the lineup, the swings and misses started increasing, so I think [Dickey] got a better feel for making it move, and we didn’t have that many answers.”
The Brewers went down on strikes 10 times, as outfielder Lewis Brinson went 0-for-4 on the day (3-for-30 since joining the Major League roster).
Matt Garza had a respectable performance on the mound for Milwaukee, throwing six innings and allowing three earned runs on seven hits. But it was his fourth loss in five starts, with an ERA of 6.91 during that span.
MILWAUKEE | After the Brewers lost their 2nd straight to the Pirates at Miller Park on Tuesday night and saw their lead in the NL Central drop to just half a game, some were wondering if the “real” Brewers were finally showing up. The Brewers are happy to disappoint those people. For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Brewers beat the Pirates to earn a split in the series and see their first place lead move back to two games over the Cubs.
The Brewers beat the Pirates 4-2 on Thursday afternoon Miller Park thanks to some clutch hitting from Travis Shaw and solid pitching from Chase Anderson. Shaw hit a solo homer in the 1st, his 14th of the season. Shaw also had run scoring doubles in both the 5th and the 7th. Chase Anderson tossed 6 innings giving up just 2 runs and striking out 7. Anderson moves to 6-2 on the season with a sparkling 2.92 ERA. Leadoff man Eric Sogard also went 3-4 to improve his battling average to .366. Eric Thames also had an RBI single in the first. Thames now has 40 RBI’s on the season.
Brewers closer Corey Knebel pitched a scoreless 9th inning for his 12th save of the season.
The Brewers improve to 40-35. They start a six-game road trip in Atlanta tomorrow night before heading to Cincinnati.
MILWAUKEE — The Pittsburgh Pirates jumped out to a 6-0 lead and ultimately hung on for a 7-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night.
Brewers starter Zach Davies was tagged for all seven runs scored by the Pirates, allowing 10 hits in the process. He left after five innings of work, having yet to make it into the seventh inning this season. In fact, Davies only has three games this season in which he’s thrown six innings. Davies has now allowed 14 earned runs in 15 innings over his last three starts.
“I should be ready from pitch one,” Davies said. “I’m kind of over the mechanical, the sequencing, all those kind of excuses. I think it’s just time to go out and compete.”
But Tuesday night’s loss wasn’t solely on Davies. The offense stranded 21 base runners, with Eric Thames and Manny Piña each going 0-for-5 at the plate. Thames’ last hit was on June 17, making it on base just once since.
One of the few positives for Milwaukee was outfielder Nick Franklin’s two RBI, one of which came on a second-inning home run and the other with an RBI double in the third.
MILWAUKEE — An area of weakness reared its ugly head as the Milwaukee Brewers fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 Monday night.
That weakness was relief pitching. Wily Peralta took over for Matt Garza in the sixth inning only to leave an inning later after allowing four runs to score on five hits. But by the time Peralta was taken out in favor of Paolo Espino, the damage was done and Milwaukee couldn’t climb out of the 8-1 hole.
“I think the ability to create ground balls was really [Peralta’s] strength with his fastball,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the loss. “The velocity is usually what makes the slider a better pitch, but we’re not getting either, really.”
The Brewers’ bullpen has now allowed 130 runs this season (third most in MLB), while maintaining its last-place ranking with 19 losses.
But Garza’s 5.1 innings didn’t give Milwaukee the start it needed to succeed, with a sixth inning Andrew McCutchen home run giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead. Opposing pitcher Gerrit Cole even helped his cause with a sacrifice base hit.
The Brewers offense can be summed up by the solo home run in the second inning from Travis Shaw that just escaped over the center field wall. That was one of just five hits Milwaukee recorded on the night.
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers bullpen didn’t let this one get away, but that’s because Jimmy Nelson threw his first career complete game in a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.
While Milwaukee’s relief pitching has given away 19 games (MLB-high), Sunday’s work on the mound was handled solely by 28-year-old Nelson. He allowed six hits over nine innings of work, while striking out 10 San Diego on his way to win No. 5.
The Padres struck first, thanks to Keon Broxton’s fielding error in the top of the fifth inning. Erick Aybar received credit for an RBI single on the play. But the Brewers responded an inning later, with Hernan Perez and Manny Piña recording their 10th and fourth home runs of the year, respectively.
Nelson helped his own cause offensively, going 1-for-3 at the plate. The win improves Milwaukee’s record at Miller Park to 19-20, while maintaining a 2½ game lead over the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League Central.
MILWAUKEE — In what’s become a common theme in their losses, the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen allowed two runs in the top of the 11th inning, resulting in a 7-5 loss to the San Diego Padres.
Milwaukee’s relief pitching has now allowed 19 games to go the other way, (leads MLB), along with 13 blown saves. Carlos Torres recognizes he’s been part of the negative trend.
“We should have won that ball game right there in the 10th inning,” Torres confessed. “That’s 100 percent on me. [Keon] Broxton’s home run should have been a walk-off home run, so the game’s on me.”
The Padres recorded five home runs in the 11-inning contest, while the Brewers logged three of their own. One of those home runs was done the hard way, with shortstop Orlando Arcia lofting a ball over the defender’s head into the gap in center field before sprinting around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
Another positive in an otherwise disappointing loss for Brewers fans was the performance of Corey Knebel. One of the stories of the season, Milwaukee’s closer struck out two batters in his single inning of work, logging his 36th consecutive game with at least one strikeout. The modern era record is 37, set by Aroldis Chapman with the Cincinnati Reds in 2014.
MILWAUKEE — When the Milwaukee Brewers signed first baseman Eric Thames to a three-year, $16 million contract, they were simply hoping for production. So far, he’s made that contract look like a bargain.
Thames blasted his 19th home run of the year in Friday night’s 6-5 win over the San Diego Padres, hitting a milestone along the way. His walk-off home run in the 10th inning was the first of his Major League career.
But Thames wasn’t the only one to go yard in Milwaukee’s fourth-straight win. Travis Shaw hit a solo home run in the second inning, followed by Keon Broxton’s three-run dinger in the fourth that erased a 4-0 deficit. Manny Piña would add another solo bomb in the eighth prior to Thames’ game winner.
Milwaukee’s Junior Guerra struggled with command on the mound, walking four batters in six innings of work. That lack of command led to four runs (three earned) scoring for San Diego, including a pair of home runs. The Brewers late-inning relievers shut the door on any comeback attempt for the Padres, with Corey Knebel striking out a pair in his single inning of work. Jared Hughes picked up his third win of the year after pitching a scoreless 10th.
First baseman Eric Thames had a big hand in Milwaukee’s win, blasting his 17th home run of the year paired with three RBIs. Most of the game’s offense came in the first two innings, with the Brewers and Cardinals battling back and forth to a 6-4 Milwaukee lead.
“We did a good job again jumping on a starting pitcher early before he got in it, and before he looks up we’ve got six on the board against him, against a really good starting pitcher,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s been a little bit of our formula this year, and then we hung on.”
Milwaukee tagged Mike Leake for nine hits and six earned runs, although he stayed in the game for six innings. Brewers starter Matt Garza returned from the 10-day disabled list to throw five innings of four-run ball. He allowed five hits and struck out four.
The bullpen has been an issue for the Brewers this season, losing a Major League-high 18 games. Designating Neftali Feliz for assignment was meant to cut down on late runs scored, but Jacob Barnes didn’t make things any easier for the Crew, giving up two late runs.
ST. LOUIS — After taking a 6-0 loss in the afternoon game, the Milwaukee Brewers came back to win 8-5 in the conclusion of a doubleheader with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Travis Shaw, who recently returned from the family emergency exemption list, hit one of Milwaukee’s three home runs in the win. His RBI single in the eighth inning broke a 5-5 tie before Manny Pina and Keon Broxton helped tack on two additional runs.
“Certainly the last couple games we’ve struggled a little bit,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “To me it wasn’t the biggest number we’ve put on the board but as good an offensive game as we’ve had this year for sure. The eighth inning was great at-bats up and down the lineup. It was really impressive. Hit some home runs and then we put together just a good rally with great at-bats in the eighth.”
The Brewers scored the eight runs on 11 hits, but perhaps the most positive development for Milwaukee was that its bullpen held onto the lead heading into the last two innings. Corey Knebel picked up his ninth save of the year, avoiding further embarrassment for a Brewers bullpen that’s lost 18 games for its team — worst in the MLB.
In Tuesday night’s win, outfielder Lewis Brinson recorded his first hit of his Major League career, finishing 1-for-9 on the day.