Davies struggles, offense sputters in 7-3 loss to Pirates

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.

Thames reaches career milestone in win over Padres

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.

Brewers power past the Cardinals 6-4

Milwaukee powered its way to a 6-4 win at St. Louis on Thursday night.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, centerfielder Keon Broxton tied things up in the second with a two-run homer that traveled 489-feet – the longest home run in Busch Stadium history. It was also the second-longest homer of the year in the Major Leagues.

“Oh, my gosh. Wow,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said when told afterwards where Broxton’s effort stacked up. “That’s rare air.”

Milwaukee wasn’t done with the long ball, though. With the game tied at four in the ninth inning, first baseman Eric Thames jumped on an 0-2 pitch and drilled it to right field, where it hit the top of the wall and bounced over for a two-run homer.

“(An assistant) and I were discussing whether we should pinch run for (Jesus) Aguilar, (who was on first base),” Counsell said. “When (Thames) hit it, I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ (Thankfully) it got over. I was glad that decision didn’t come back to haunt us.”

Oliver Drake came on in the bottom of the ninth to earn the save, the first of his big league career.
Milwaukee finished its seven-game road trip with a 4-3 record and is now 19-13 away from Miller Park this year.

“It’s another road trip we pulled a winning record from and continued to play good baseball,” Counsell said. “And really just continued to be resilient.”

The win pushed Milwaukee four games over .500 at 36-32, and the team now holds a 2.5 game lead on the Chicago Cubs for first place in the NL Central.

The Brewers will return home on Friday night to open a weekend series against the San Diego Padres.

Rain delays can’t slow Brewers in 7-6 win

ST. LOUIS — The Milwaukee Brewers withstood two rain delays to down the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.

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.

Brewers shut out Dodgers to avoid series sweep

MILWAUKEE — Zach Davies threw six-plus innings of shutout baseball, backed up by Eric Thames and Domingo Santana home runs to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday afternoon.

Davies allowed just three hits on the afternoon, striking out six batters and helping lower the ERA of Milwaukee’s starters to 1.32 over the last 10 games. After back-to-back bullpen collapses against the Dodgers, Milwaukee avoided the series sweep.

“They’re all in a very good place right now,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s a good feeling when we send a guy out there that’s on top of his game. I feel these guys are on top of their game and we’re getting to see quality outings, for sure.”

Closer Corey Knebel notched his fifth save of the year after blowing his two previous save opportunities. Prior to last night’s game, Milwaukee’s bullpen had given up 16 games — the most in MLB.

The Brewers bats were the only ones making any noise in Sunday’s contest, with Thames going yard in the first inning and Santana following suit in the eighth.

Pitcher Matt Garza was re-evaluated after suffering a chest contusion in Saturday’s 10-8 loss. He relayed the message from his doctor stating that it’s an injury that could get worse by Thursday (his next scheduled start) or it could dissipate.

Guerra, Thames lead the Brewers to a 7-1 win over the Mets

The Milwaukee Brewers jumped on the New York Mets early and cruised to a 7-1 victory Wednesday night at Citi Field.

A fast starting team for much of the year, Milwaukee scored three runs in the first two innings against the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, including a two-run homer from left fielder Eric Thames. It was his 14th on the year, but his first since May 9.

“He’s clearly in a good place,” Manager Craig Counsell said of Thames, who has battled strep throat and leg issues of late but is starting to feel better. “The home run was really well hit. I thought he just missed another one. It’s good to have him. Obviously, he’s a run producer. He’s an important run producer for us. Having him back swinging good is a big sign for our offense.”

Thames and leadoff man Eric Sogard set the table most of the night, as they battled deGrom during every at-bat. Between the two, they went 3 of 5 with five walks and four runs scored.

While deGrom struggled, giving up all seven runs in just four innings of work, the Brewers got another really good outing from Junior Guerra. In just his second start since coming off the disabled list, Guerra threw six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out four to pick up his first win of the year.

The victory kept Milwaukee 1.5 games up on the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

Counsell’s bunch will look to salvage a split of their four-game set with the Mets Thursday afternoon. First pitch is at 12:10 p.m.

Anderson throttled in 13-6 loss to Cubs

CHICAGO — Milwaukee Brewers starter Chase Anderson took his first loss of the year in a 13-6 defeat at the hands of the rival Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Sunday afternoon.

Anderson was knocked around for seven hits, six earned runs, while walking three batters in his four innings of work. His counterpart, Jake Arrieta, had a nicer day on the mound, giving Chicago six innings of one-run ball (unearned) while striking out six.

“We got traffic and just didn’t get the hit to kind of put a lot of stress on [Arrieta] and make him make those big pitches in a game where a one-swing can hurt you,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Arrieta. “He did a good job working out of the fifth [inning] where we got the first two guys on.”

The Cubs went deep four times against the current National League Central leaders, while Willson Contreras racked up three hits and three RBIs.

“I think we were due as a team offensively,” Kris Bryant said. “We haven’t really been doing much early on here, so I think it was a matter of time for us.”

Ryan Braun returned from the disabled list to go 0-for-5 at the plate for Milwaukee. Eric Thames left in the fifth inning with hamstring tightness — a nagging injury that’s been bothering him for a couple of weeks. After the game, Counsell said they’d have to address their approach to Thames’ hamstring concerns during practice and days off.

Milwaukee makes it three straight wins with a 7-4 victory over Boston

The Milwaukee Brewers earned their third straight win last night, a 7-4 victory against the Boston Red Sox at Miller Park.

The Crew has scored more runs in the first inning of games than anyone else in the majors this year, and that continued Wednesday night, as RBI’s from Domingo Santana and Hernan Perez platted a pair of runs to take a 2-0 lead against starter Kyle Kendrick. Milwaukee would chase the Boston righty after just 4 1/3 innings of work, tagging him for six runs on 10 hits.

Perez finished 2 of 4 with a pair of RBI’s, while Keon Broxton and Eric Thames each had a pair of hits.

Milwaukee got the win despite starter Chase Anderson making it 4 1/3 innings. He gave up two runs on nine hits, while striking out four. He was replaced by Rob Scahill, who held the Red Sox scoreless over his 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win.

The only down note for Milwaukee on the night was watching Ryan Braun hobble off the field in the fifth inning with tightness in his left calf. Manager Craig Counsell didn’t know how severe the injury was, but did mention that he had been planning to give the outfielder Thursday off anyway. The game was Braun’s second since missing much of the team’s 6-game road trip last week with an arm injury.

The two teams will finish off their 3-game set Thursday afternoon with first pitch coming at 12:10 p.m.

Note:

Junior Guerra is getting closer to returning to the Milwaukee rotation. The team’s Opening Day starter is scheduled to make a rehab start on Monday for Double-A Biloxi. He’s been out since the season opener with a calf strain.

Offense propels Milwaukee past Boston 11-7

MILWAUKEE — The efforts of Keon Broxton and Eric Thames helped the Milwaukee Brewers defeat the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night 11-7 in their first visit to Miller Park in 14 years.

The BoSox were off to an auspicious start, thanks to a first-inning home run from Mookie Betts, but it was short-lived, as Thames and Broxton homered in the bottom half of the inning. Milwaukee would tally five runs in the first, maintaining the lead for the remainder of the night.

Milwaukee now leads the majors with 55 home runs. Broxton was the offensive leader for the Brewers, going 3-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs and just a double shy of the cycle. He’s also batting .383 over his last 15 games.

“We’re just ready to play, man,” said Broxton. “We can’t wait to get something to drive and hit. I think that’s what we go to sleep thinking about, just getting a good pitch to hit and every guy in this lineup, that’s what we want to do. We want to hit something hard, early.”

Wily Peralta didn’t have as nice of an outing, lasting 4.1 innings, while giving up five hits, four earned runs, and walking three batters. He hasn’t made it out of the sixth inning in his last four starts.

Ryan Braun didn’t exactly jump off the stat sheet after returning from a forearm injury to go 1-for-4 with a run scored in the first inning. He missed a week of action, initially getting rest because of a strained trapezius muscle.

Brewers finish off a sweep of the Reds, Thames leaves with injury

The Cincinnati Reds are all the Milwaukee Brewers need to feel good about themselves.

For a sixth time in seven games this year, the Crew came out on top against their NL Central rivals, this time a 9-4 victory on Wednesday afternoon to finish off a three-game sweep.

Milwaukee jumped all over pitcher Rookie Davis, chasing him after just 2 2/3rds innings, and tagging him with eight runs – seven earned – on 11 hits to move back above .500 on the year.

Outfielder Ryan Braun got things started with a two-run double in the first and that was followed by three more runs in the opening inning. In the third, Orlando Arcia drilled a two-run homer that pushed Milwaukee’s lead to 8-1 and the Reds wouldn’t come close to challenging the rest of the way.

Wily Peralta got the win, though he didn’t have his best stuff. He went five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks to improve to 4-1 on the year.

Eric Thames, who had homered in his first six games against the Reds, did not go yard again, but did score twice before leaving with tightness in his left hamstring. He told reporters afterwards that it wasn’t serious and he doesn’t expect to miss any time.

Milwaukee has Thursday off, but will open a weekend series against the Atlanta Braves on Friday at Miller Park.