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.

Balk leads to Brewers loss, Twins beat Crew 5-4

A balk by reliever Oliver Drake allowed the go-ahead run to score in what turned into a 5-4 loss for Milwaukee in Minnesota on Monday night.

Eddie Rosario doubled home the tying run off of Drake and was sitting on third base when the left-handed Jason Castro came up to bat. As they’ve done much of the year, the Brewers shifted their defense, leaving Rosario alone at third. He did just enough dancing to get a flinch out of Drake, which was all the umpire needed to call for a balk.

“It’s a situation we’ve been in before. We’ve done it before. We shift quite a bit,” manager Craig Counsell said. “The runner is going to play around there, but he’s not going anywhere. If anything, we could have had a conversation with Oliver about it, but credit them for bouncing around. It’s the way it goes.”

It was the 29th loss of the season charged to the bullpen for Milwaukee, the worst mark in MLB. And the bullpen was called on earlier than expected, as starter Brent Suter struggled for a second straight game, making it just four innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He fell to 2-3 on the year.

Offensively, Milwaukee got a solo homer from Keon Broxton in the third, one of three runs to score in the frame, before a Broxton double in the fourth inning brought in another run.

With the Cubs beating San Francisco, the Brewers fell 1 ½ games back of Chicago in the NL Central race.

It’ll be Minnesota and Milwaukee again on Tuesday night in the Twin Cities.

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.

Davies masterful in shutout win over Rays

TAMPA, Fla. — It was his first career start against the Tampa Bay Rays, but you wouldn’t know it as Zach Davies led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-0 win Saturday night.

Davies logged seven innings, allowing just one hit on the way to his 13th win of the year. Jacob Barnes and Anthony Swarzak finished it off with just three hits allowed between them.

Milwaukee’s offense was held relatively quiet in Alex Cobb’s six innings for Tampa Bay. They logged five hits against him, one of which was a solo home run by Orlando Arcia in the third inning. That would prove to be Milwaukee’s only scoring until a key ninth inning.

That’s when Hernan Perez went to work, leading off the inning with a solo shot to set the tone for the rest of the inning. With the bases loaded, Jose Alvarado was charged with a wild pitch, allowing Jesus Aguilar to score from third base.

But it wasn’t all good news for the Brewers. In the second inning, third baseman Travis Shaw was hit in the head as the Rays tried to throw him out as he attempted to steal second base. He left the game and did not return, though an initial evaluation has him listed as day-to-day with a bruised neck.

Davies’ performance followed up a 2-0 win on Friday night, giving Milwaukee it’s first set of back-to-back shutout wins since 2013.

Woodruff wins major league debut as Brewers beat Rays 2-0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brewers right handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff had to wait two months longer than expected to make his major league debut. When he finally got the chance on Friday night Woodruff made the most of the opportunity.

Woodruff allowed seven hits and no runs in 6 1/3 innings and the Brewers beat the Rays 2-0.

Woodruff (1-0) had been slated to make his major league debut at St. Louis on June 13 but was scratched because of a tight hamstring. After a stint on the disabled list he made three Triple-A rehab starts. On Friday night the 24-year-old right-hander walked two and struck out six, throwing 97 pitches.

Orlando Arcia also homered for the Brewers and scored both runs on his 23rd birthday.

Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 21st save, recording three of the game’s 24 strikeouts.

The Brewers also moved to within half a game of the Cubs for first in the NL Central. The Cubs lost to the Nationals at Wrigley Field on Friday night 4-2.

On Saturday night the Brewers will send 12-game winner RHP Zach Davies (12-5, 4.42) to the mound. The Rays will counter with RHP Alex Cobb (9-7, 3.89).

Brewers beat Cards 2-1, Bandy to DL

MILWAUKEE | Not since July of 2012 (a string of 13 straight series) had the Brewers won a series over the Cardinals at Miller Park. That string was snapped on Thursday afternoon as the Brewers held on for an exciting 2-1 victory over the Cardinals. Milwaukee improves to 57-53 and moves to within two games of the Cubs for first place in the NL Central.

Milwaukee centerfielder Keon Broxton drove in the go-ahead run and also saved a run with a leaping catch. Broxton robbed Jose Martinez of a homer in the second when he stretched his glove atop the center field wall. His single in the fifth off reliever Brett Cecil gave the Crew a 2-1 lead and they never looked back.

Pitcher Matt Garza made a strong start in his return from the disabled list. Garza (5-5) gave up one earned run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. Despite taking two of three Milwaukee won for just the fifth time in its last 17 games.

Brewers closer Corey Knebel worked the ninth and struck out Cardinal Greg Garcia with runners on first and second to earn his 20th save in 25 opportunities.

Milwaukee now heads to Tampa Bay for a weekend series with the Rays.

There was one piece of bad news for the Crew. Catcher Jett Bandy had to leave the game in the 8th inning after swinging in pain in his final at bat. Manager Craig Counsell confirmed Bandy has a broken rib and will head to the disabled list.

Brewers hang on to give Nelson first career win vs Cardinals

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers maintained an early lead to top the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Tuesday night, giving Jimmy Nelson his first career win against the division rival.

In his previous 10 attempts, Nelson held a 0-8 record and 7.01 ERA against the Cardinals. He bucked that trend by throwing six innings of two-run ball, in which he struck out seven St. Louis batters. The bullpen came in to aid Nelson’s performance, shutting out the Cardinals over the final three frames.

“The Cardinals are always in it, no matter how many games they are back,” Nelson said. “Those guys always battle. They have a good core of guys over there, and they have a good team.”

In addition to Nelson’s personal success, Milwaukee was able to end a drought as a team. They had previously gone 0-for-31 with runners in scoring position — a trend that ended in the first inning thanks to a Domingo Santana RBI single. Ryan Braun and Manny Piña drove in the other two Brewers runs.

“The streak’s over,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell joked. “It ended up being a big hit, got Manny up there, and we got another one. It was a big part of the win, for sure.”

Tuesday’s win helps the Brewers’ chances of winning the series — an area in which they’ve struggled against the Cardinals. St. Louis has won the previous 13 series in Milwaukee, dating back to 2012.

Brewers keep slumping as Cubs take series at Miller Park

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have struggled to find offensive rhythm and that was the case again Sunday afternoon in a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park.

The Brewers were baffled by John Lackey, who allowed five hits over six innings, while fanning seven. He earned his eighth win of the year while Milwaukee’s Zach Davies took his fifth loss, despite a respectable box score of seven innings, three earned runs, and six strikeouts.

“Offensively, we just haven’t been very good,” Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw said. “Our pitching staff did their job this series. I thought the bullpen did a really good job and Davies, another great quality start for us today. It’s just offensively, we did not come up with the clutch hit. There’s ruts like that throughout the season. Obviously, we were really good in the first half offensively. We just have to find a way to get going.”

Chicago didn’t have any trouble getting offense from unexpected places. Fill-in first baseman Victor Caratini launched a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh inning, which led to a solo blast from Kris Bryant in the following frame. It was the Cubs’ 13th win in 16 outings, also expanding their lead in the National League Central to 2 ½ games over the Brewers.

The Brewers did manage to set a club record in the loss, though one they’ll likely try to forget. Milwaukee has gone hitless with runners in scoring position 31 consecutive times, breaking a record set in 1987 when the Brewers went 0-for-30.

“I don’t think anybody in this clubhouse is too worried about this one series,” Davies said. “Yeah, it would have been nice to switch up the standings again, but there’s still 55 games or so left to play and we’re going to go out and compete in every one of them.”

Milwaukee welcomes St. Louis on Tuesday night where the Cardinals look to secure their 14th straight series in Milwaukee.