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.
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.
KANSAS CITY — Former University of Wisconsin wide receiver Robert Wheelwright has found his new home after signing a one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Wheelwright spent the last thee-plus months as a free agent after being released by the New York Giants in May. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants in April after some initial confusion over his “Carolina Panthers” Tweet that same night.
The Columbus, Ohio native joins fellow former Badger quarterback Joel Stave on the Kansas City roster after Stave was added to the Chiefs practice squad last November. Wheelwright finished his senior year with a career-high 448 yards on 34 receptions, though he only had one touchdown.
The NFL.com scouting report on Wheelwright wasn’t very promising heading into the NFL Draft. He was described as having a habit of making mental errors.
Summary: A bit of an underachiever. Wheelwright has all of the physical tools, but hasn’t quite lived up to his four-star status. Was a dependable receiver for the last two seasons for the Badgers. Doesn’t play as big as his size suggests. Will likely play the X in the NFL, despite playing the Z in Madison. Needs to get stronger, and develop more of a mean streak. Will get a camp invite, and could stick as a practice squad player for a year or two before getting a chance at a main roster.
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers starter Chase Anderson extended his shutout streak to a career-best 21.2 innings in a 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night at Miller Park.
He only needed to strike out four batters to get the job done, but the Brewers bullpen struggled to contain the Giants hitters. Carlos Torres finished off the eighth inning, but not before giving up three hits and two runs (one earned). Corey Knebel came in to get the save in the ninth, his sixth of the year.
The Milwaukee offense provided Anderson some breathing room after putting up four runs in the second inning. Hernan Perez went yard, while Eric Sogard provided a pair of two-out RBIs.
“The guys swinging the bat, you could really just relax today,” Anderson said. “It was nice going out there and having a lead and trying to run with that.”
Anderson provided himself with a little run support with an RBI double in the third inning. That was good for his first career extra-base hit.
“That was fun, for sure. I didn’t really know where second base was,” Anderson said.
Before the game, manager Craig Counsell gave an update on the status of pitcher Matt Garza and his chest contusion. Garza’s bullpen session was cut short because of lingering pain from the injury, shutting down any chance of him getting the start in Thursday’s series finale with the Giants.
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers outfield prospect Brett Phillips made his Major League debut Monday night, but it came in a 7-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Junior Guerra held the Giants to two runs (one earned) over five innings, scattering seven hits. But bullpen struggles once again doomed the Crew, as five runs crossed the plate over the final two innings.
“Tonight was a night we didn’t do a good enough job offensively, but we certainly have to get some guys getting some outs down there,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Rob [Scahill] was a pitch away from getting out of the inning, but that’s a big spot, and a spot where you’ve got to make a pitch.”
Counsell was referring to the bases-loaded double from former Brewers Aaron Hill in the eighth inning. Milwaukee’s offense was stifled by San Francisco starter Jeff Samardzija, who went 7.2 innings, striking out 10 batters and allowing just a single earned run on seven hits.
One of those hits allowed was to Phillips, who was called up from Triple A Colorado Springs earlier in the day to replace Travis Shaw (paternity leave). The 23-year-old finished 1-for-3 at the plate with an up-and-down performance on defense. He gunned down Denard Span on an attempted double, but also dropped a fly ball in the eighth inning.
“If I could, I would trade the base hit and throwing the guy out [for a win], but that’s the game of baseball,” Phillips said. “You’ve got to come back tomorrow and go out there and play hard.”