Brewers win 3-2 to hand Dodgers rare series loss

LOS ANGELES — The Milwaukee Brewers accomplished a rare feat Sunday afternoon, handing the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 loss at Dodger Stadium and a series loss for the first time since June 5-7.

Left fielder Hernan Pérez gave the Brewers a solo home run in the third inning to give run support to Jimmy Nelson, who didn’t allow a hit through his first five innings. He finished with 6.2 innings of work, giving up two runs on four hits.

The day before, Milwaukee had beaten Los Angeles 3-0 behind a solid performance from Zach Davies. Nelson says the Dodgers series puts the Brewers back on track after a disappointing series loss last week to San Francisco.

“We proved to ourselves that we’re right there with the best teams,” Nelson said.

Though idle on Monday, the Brewers had climbed back to 2.0 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central standings with 31 games to play.

Sunday’s win was a chance for Milwaukee to show it was still a contender in the division with the season winding down. In the seventh inning, Eric Sogard made a defensive play which spoke to that mindset. With two outs and a runner on first, Yasiel Puig drove a liner up the middle which was stopped with a diving effort from Sogard, who then quickly got up and scorched a throw to Neil Walker for the out.

“It was great to kill that rally,” Sogard said. “He’s a good runner, and so I just tried to get my feet under me as quick as I could and get enough on the throw, and it worked out great.”

Corey Knebel came to the mound for Milwaukee for the final inning, notching his 29th save of the season.

Brewers rally in 7th for 4-3 win over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — The Milwaukee Brewers used a combination of defense and small ball to produce a seventh-inning rally to top the San Francisco Giants 4-3 Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

Down 3-2 in the seventh, Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw delivered his 81st RBI of the season to put Milwaukee on top for good. It started with a Neil Walker double that put Eric Thames on first base, finished off with a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly. Shaw’s liner resulted in a double and another run across the plate.

“We didn’t do it with a homer tonight. But you string together hits,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That got the job done. You have to string together consecutive at-bats, I think, in this park. Four guys put together good at-bats.”

Milwaukee has hit 184 home runs this season while opponents have totaled 154 long balls against the Crew.

Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson had a respectable outing, but was pulled after 5.0 innings after walking three batters. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits while striking out six.

“I think [Nelson] had good stuff tonight,” Counsell recalled. “There were some times he lost some pitches, kind of gave them some free pitches…It certainly was a night where Jimmy had to battle through things.”

Milwaukee and San Francisco finish off the series Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. CT.

Davies’ start goes to waste in 2-0 loss to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Starting pitcher Zach Davies allowed zero earned runs, but the Milwaukee Brewers offense stalled in a 2-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants Monday night.

Davies struck out five Giants batters, while scattering six hits. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate, one of just four Brewers hits in the game. As Davies took his seventh loss of the season, opposing starter Chris Stratton took an unconventional approach to victory.

In what ended up being San Francisco’s first home shutout of the season, Stratton only fanned a single Milwaukee batter in the win (Keon Broxton). Only three times did Milwaukee get in scoring position against Stratton, while the Giants hurler extended his scoreless streak to 12.2 innings.

Due to the limited number of scoring opportunities Milwaukee found itself in, mistakes were amplified. Stephen Vogt stood on first base with two outs in the fourth inning, then attempted to head home after Orlando Arcia aggressively ran the basepaths after dumping a ball out to right field. Vogt was thrown out at home, killing a scoring chance for the Brewers and failing to provide offense to back Davies’ work on the mound.

“It was a tough battle tonight,” said Davies. “Those games are going to happen and it’s not always going to be perfect. That was my job to try and keep us as close as possible. Hopefully we could have strung a rally together. Unfortunately we didn’t.”

Milwaukee falls 2½ behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central lead while trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks by 3½ games for the final wild card spot.

Bats come alive as Brewers top Rockies 8-4

DENVER — Jesus Aguilar had a pair of home runs in the series finale, giving the Milwaukee Brewers an 8-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies Sunday afternoon.

“It’s all about confidence,” Aguilar said. “Starting the road trip with a series win is a boost of energy for the club and it gives us a lot of confidence. We’re just happy we were able to get it done.”

Aguilar followed up his pinch-hit go-ahead home run on Saturday with two more home runs on Sunday. In total, Milwaukee tallied 12 hits in the game while backing up Chase Anderson, who had just returned from injury to gather the win.

Anderson had just returned from the disabled list after an injury in late June kept him out of the rotation — one of Milwaukee’s more reliable starters to that point in the season. Anderson went 5.0 innings, allowing one earned run on a pair of hits while striking out four.

But after falling in a 6-1 hole heading into the home half of the eighth inning, the Rockies showed why they hadn’t lost a game at Coors Field since June 22nd. Colorado mounted a comeback with Milwaukee looking to close the game out with its late relievers. Former Brewer Mark Reynolds homered in the eighth before driving in Nolan Arenado on a single in the ninth inning. He’d finish the game with three RBI before Milwaukee secured the 8-4 victory with Corey Knebel logging his 26th save.

Milwaukee gained a game in the chase for a Wild Card spot, thanks to the Twins victory over the Diamondbacks. The Brewers remain 2½ games back of the final spot, while 2.0 games back of the Cubs for first place in the National League central.

Aguilar delivers as Brewers top Rockies 6-3

DENVER — After watching an early lead slip away, Jesus Aguilar delivered a three-run homer to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies Saturday night.

An Eric Thames triple, a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly, and a Travis Shaw home run were the only runs Milwaukee had scored until the Aguilar blast, with all three aforementioned runs coming in the third inning. That 3-0 lead disappeared by the seventh inning after Josh Hader allowed RBI singles to Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu.

Hader had come on in the fifth inning to replace Brandon Woodruff, with the goal to pitch him for up to three innings.

“You know, this is how we’ve used Josh [Hader],” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “With what Josh is, this is the best way to deploy him and make him a weapon…This is the way we’re going to use him and we’re going to continue to use him.”

Once Rockies reliever Greg Holland came in to replace Pat Neshek, the opportunities opened up again for Milwaukee. Now with two men on base, the Brewers used Aguilar in a pinch hit role, resulting in the go-ahead three-run shot that would eventually give Milwaukee the win. But Aguilar had to battle through some tough pitches to find something to hit.

“I threw him a few quality pitches at the bottom of the zone that were balls, that he didn’t offer at,” Holland said. “But 3-2 with first base open — I know it’s a tie game, but you can’t throw a hanging slider after he’s already seen five.”

The win, paired with a St. Louis Cardinals loss, puts the Brewers back into second place in the National League Central standings, 2.0 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs.

Garza rocked by long ball in 8-4 loss

DENVER — Home runs have plagued Milwaukee starter Matt Garza in his time with the Brewers and that didn’t change in Friday night’s 8-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Garza had given up just nine home runs heading into the month of August, undoing that progress by surrendering eight over his last four starts. That includes three given up in Friday’s loss to the Rockies. He allowed eight total runs over 4.1 innings pitched.

“To me, the first four innings I thought [Garza] pitched pretty well,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “There’s a scenario where he’s really given up one run through four innings there, in my opinion. The fifth inning they got some balls up in the air pretty good, but I think he’s still got some good games in him.”

Rockies left fielder (and former Brewer) Gerardo Parra went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI, including a solo home run off Garza in the fifth inning. Colorado was paced by German Màrquez, who tossed 5.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits. Like Garza, Màrquez gave up three home runs, though all without runners on base.

The loss drops Milwaukee in to third place in the National League Central standings, 2.0 games behind the leading Chicago Cubs.

Broxton backs Davies in win over Pirates

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers avoided dropping in the National League Central standings by taking down the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday night 3-1 at Miller Park.

Zach Davies collected his 14th win of the year as he tossed 6.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits. Manny Piña backed him up with a pair of RBI, while Keon Broxton added a late-game insurance run with a pinch-hit solo blast in the seventh inning.

“Any run that we can scratch on at the end of the game really helps our team, helps the pitchers,” Broxton said. “It makes it tough on the other team, knowing they have to get an extra run. It’s not just one [run] to tie the game up, so yeah, that was a clutch home run.”

Newcomer Neil Walker continued to impress, making one of the more important defensive plays of the game. With the game tied at 1-1 in the sixth inning, Walker made a sliding stop of an infield grounder, tossing the ball over to first base in time to stop a run from scoring.

Closer Corey Knebel also notched his 23rd save of the year.

Smooth Santana leads Brewers to 7-4 win over Reds

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers broke out of an offensive slump in a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds, capped off by a 7-4 victory Sunday at Miller Park.

Domingo Santana led the Brewers offense with his 19th home run of the year, driving in three runs in the process. Ryan Braun also stayed hot during the home stand with a 2-for-4 performance and an RBI.

Matt Garza didn’t have his best stuff, allowing four runs (three earned) over 5.1 innings while walking five, but he was pleased to get a win after a disastrous stretch prior to the series.

“We’re just trying to get back to playing our style of ball,” Garza said. “Guys are smiling, having a good time, and we’re creating a lot of pressure for the other team. That’s kind of what we do.”

After a four-game sweep by the Twins, Milwaukee held a team meeting in an attempt to get back on track. During the series with the Reds, the Brewers scored 23 runs and hit seven home runs.

Utility infielder Neil Walker, acquired over the weekend in a trade with the New York Mets, wasted little time making an impact. Playing third base, Walker finished with a 2-for-4 day at the plate.

Brewers beat Reds on walk-off wild pitch

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers ended a six-game losing streak Saturday night, beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on a walk-off wild pitch in the 10th inning at Miller Park.

After an Eric Thames solo home run in the sixth inning tied the game at 5-5, the Brewers were looking for some magic during a bases-loaded at-bat with Ryan Braun in the 10th. Eric Sogard had reached on a double, followed by consecutive walks to Jesus Aguilar and Eric Thames.

That magic came in the form of a wild pitch from Tim Adleman which traveled far enough away from the plate that Sogard was able to dive in from third base to beat the tag at home plate.

“I think you’re kind of expecting a walk-off hit to break a streak, but you take it any way you can get it,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I think you can tell by the celebration we had that we needed it.”

The win not only snapped the six-game skid, but pulled Milwaukee within 2.0 games of the National League Central lead with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals tied at the top of the division.

Corey Knebel was credited with the win, tossing two innings of one-hit baseball while striking out three. All five Reds runs came off starter Brent Suter, who allowed three home runs over his five innings of work.

Rays walk off against Brewers, avoid series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays avoided a series sweep Sunday afternoon, taking down the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on a walk-off home run from Steven Souza, Jr.

After eight quality innings from Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, Jacob Barnes allowed the one hit that made the difference in the contest, breaking the 1-1 deadlock. Nelson allowed six hits while fanning nine.

Opposing starter Chris Archer exited the game after six innings and an Orlando Arcia solo home run, Milwaukee’s only scoring offense of the game. Archer was given a no-decision while extending his streak of six innings to 15 consecutive starts.

While the Rays end their 21-inning scoreless drought, the Brewers took a momentary step back in the National League Central standings. Milwaukee now trails Chicago by a full game, with the Cubs and Nationals finishing up Sunday evening.