Milwaukee offense shows signs of life in 11-10 loss to Cincinnati

Milwaukee’s offense showed signs of life, but it wasn’t enough for the Brewers to avoid an 11-10 loss to Cincinnati on Friday night at Miller Park.

The Reds lit-up starter Jimmy Nelson, tagging him for a season-high 10 runs on 11 hits in just 3 2/3rds innings. It was the second-shortest outing of the year for Nelson, who is having the best season of his career.

On the other side, Homer Bailey, who had given up 10 runs in his last start, kept the Brewers bats at bay, going five innings and allowing just two runs on five hits. But the bullpen had a night to forget, especially Blake Wood. He gave up five runs without recording an out in the sixth inning, including a three-run homer by Eric Thames. He was replaced by Michael Lorenzen, who would give up two more runs in what turned into a 7-run sixth inning for Milwaukee.

The Crew trailed 10-9 heading into the seventh, when the Reds got one of the runs back courtesy of a Tucker Barnhardt home run off reliever Carlos Torres. The run proved to be the game-winner as Milwaukee got a homer from Jonathan Villar in the ninth but nothing else.

Milwaukee’s 10 runs were the most its scored since putting up 11 against Chicago on July 6, and the first time in 14 games it scored more than four runs.

The loss was the sixth straight for Milwaukee, who fell into a tie with Pittsburgh for third place in the NL Central. Both teams trail St. Louis by two games and Chicago by three.

The Brewers and Reds will matchup once again Saturday night in Milwaukee.

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.

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.

7-run inning pushes the Nationals past the Brewers

Another tough night for the Milwaukee bullpen helped Washington get past the Brewers 8-5 on Wednesday night.

Starter Jimmy Nelson was relieved following a four-pitch walk to open the eighth inning, exiting with a 2-1 lead after seven strong innings of work where he allowed just one run on four hits and struck out 10. But a pair of hits, including a two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman off Jacob Barnes, cost the Crew the lead. After Josh Hader came on to strikeout Bryce Harper, manager Craig Counsell went to Jared Hughes, who proceeded to give up four runs before getting the final out.

“Jacob did a nice job. He got two ground balls. Jacob’s been our eighth-inning guy, and to me, he did his job tonight,” Counsell said. “Unfortunately, [the ground balls] found holes. Josh did his job. I thought we had it setup kind of the way we wanted to with [with Hughes] and some matchups. It just didn’t work.”

Milwaukee nearly got the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth thanks to a two-run homer from Lewis Brinson, the organization’s top prospect who had been called up earlier in the day. Hernan Perez also had a run scoring double in the frame.

The loss dropped Milwaukee out of first place, and they are now ½ game back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

The Brewers and Nationals will play their rubber match on Thursday, with first pitch coming at 11:05 a.m.

LISTEN: Top prospect Lewis Brinson on how he’s handling being called up

Brewers clinch series win with late Shaw HR

MILWAUKEE — On a night where the Milwaukee Brewers were honoring a team known for hitting home runs, Travis Shaw helped salute them with a big home run of his own.

The Brewers third baseman launched an eighth-inning solo shot to give Milwaukee a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday night. The evening began with an on-field celebration of the 1982 club that won an American League pennant, while also representing the Brewers’ last trip to the World Series.

It was Shaw’s only hit of the night, in which Aaron Nola gave the Phillies six innings of two-run ball. But Milwaukee was supported by its own impressive starter, Jimmy Nelson. He struck out nine while pitching into the seventh inning. The Brewers only allowed four hits all night.

“We had a lot of momentum going into the break, and for us to be able to take a few days off then come back and continue that momentum is huge, especially for a younger team,” Nelson said. “We’re playing with a lot of energy, and who knows what can happen? Who knows what we can do?”

The Brewers are now 2-0 in games since the All Star break, maintaining their 5 ½ lead in the National League Central. Much of that has to do with the recent success in the bullpen, with Corey Knebel leading the way after earning his 16th save of the year.

The Brewers and Phillies will finish off the series Sunday at 1:10 p.m. from Miller Park.

The Brewers to honor the 1982 AL Championship team this weekend

The Milwaukee Brewers will resume play this weekend with a three game home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are the worst team in baseball entering Friday’s game with a 29-58 record, the Brewers on the other hand are in first place in the National League Central with a 50-41 record. Each day during the series, the Brewers will be commemorating the 1982 AL Championship team with different giveaways and ceremonies.

Friday

The match-up on Friday night will feature Zach Davies (10-4) on the hill for the Brewers while Nick Pivetta (2-4)will pitch for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CST. The Brewers will be continuing their free T-Shirt Friday. The first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a 1982 powder blue Paul Molitor replica jersey. It is also a Miller Lite Beerpen promotional night, so fans 21+ can sit in the Miller Lite Beerpen in right field and receive a free Brewers trucker hat. Friday is also student night, so high school and college students will receive discounts on ticket and food prices.

Saturday

The pitching match-up on Saturday night will be Jimmy Nelson (8-4) on the mound for the Brewers versus Aaron Nola (6-6) for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CST. Before the game, the Brewers will host a reunion of the 1982 American League Championship team, featuring a special on-field ceremony. Jerry Augustine, Cecil Cooper, Jim Gantner, Ben Oglivie, Jim Slaton, Gorman Thomas, Pete Vuckovich, Robin Yount and Bud Selig are just some of the guys who are confirmed to attend. The players will also hold a 45 minute autograph session for fans before the game. This game will also be the season seat holder appreciation day. Season seat holders will receive 25% off concessions and merchandise. They will also be allowed early entry into Miller Park for batting practice. The first 25,000 fans 18+ will receive a Brewers coupon book.

 (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Sunday

Probable pitchers for Sunday’s match-up is Matt Garza (4-4) on the bump for the Brewers and Jeremy Hellickson (5-5) for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CST. The giveaways continue, as all fans in attendance will receive a 1982 AL Championship replica ring. All children 14 and under will receive a free lunch voucher. The voucher includes a hot dog, bottled water, applesauce, and an ice cream snack. After the conclusion of the game, all fans 16 years old and under can run the bases at Miller Park.

Milwaukee earns win No. 50, beat the Yankees 5-3

The Milwaukee Brewers have 50 wins at the all-star break for just the second time in the last decade.

Manager Craig Counsell’s club got to the mark with a 5-3 win on Sunday against the Yankees that was finished off by Corey Knebel. Just a day after he gave up a walk-off home run, the Brewers lone all-star walked the first batter and then struckout the next three batters to get his 14th save of the year.

Milwaukee, as it has all year, jumped on the Yankees early, getting a three-run homer from Travis Shaw in the first inning. The Crew added another homer, this one from Stephen Vogt, in the top of the second. Shaw picked up another RBI in the top of the fifth on a single to round out the Brewers scoring.

Jimmy Nelson got the win for Milwaukee to move to 8-4 on the year. He allowed three runs on seven hits over five innings and struckout six.

The biggest play of the game was one that didn’t count. With Milwaukee up 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Yankees Chase Headley drilled what appeared to be the go-ahead three-run home run. But it went to replay and was overturned. Carlos Torres would strike Headley out and go on to throw a scoreless inning.

Milwaukee finished the first half of the year winning 8 of 10 and own a 5.5 games lead on the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

The Brewers will return from the all-star break on Friday at home against Philadelphia.

Thames hits two homers as Brewers beat Orioles on Independence Day (postgame audio included)

MILWAUKEE | The Brewers offense provided its own fireworks on the 4th of July. Four Milwaukee homers, two by Eric Thames, and a solid pitching performance by Jimmy Nelson vaulted the Crew to a 6-2 win over the Orioles. The Brewers improve to 46-40 and have a 3 1/2 game lead over the 2nd place Cubs in the NL Central.

Nelson on not looking at divisional standings

Thames, who may be coming out of a prolonged slump after a two-day stint on the bench last week, belted a 402 foot blast over the right field wall in the 5th inning. Thames went deep again in the 7th. Thames has gone deep 23 times this season.

“I relaxed for a few days. I was hanging out with (hitting coach Darnell Coles) a lot talking mechanics,” Thames said.

Thames on days off helping him

Counsell on Thames playing well after off days

Stephen Vogt and Travis Shaw also homered for the Brewers and Nelson (7-4) continued his resurgence, winning for the fifth time in six decisions. He gave up six hits and an unearned run in seven innings. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

“The first six innings, he was in as good a groove as we’ve seen him this year,” Counsell said.

Nelson held the Orioles in check even without strong command of his fastball.

“I didn’t have my best fastball today, but I was able to throw my off-speed stuff for strikes, especially early in the game,” Nelson said.

Nelson on not being satisfied with recent performances

Nelson on pitch breakdown

He credited battery mate Vogt, the veteran whom the Brewers claimed off waivers from Oakland last week, for his pitch calls and defense behind the plate.

“We were on the same page and that was the first time he caught me,” Nelson said. “He blocks everything. He is tough as nails back there.”

Nelson on vogt calling impressive game

Counsell on vogt hot start with club

The Brewers jumped ahead on Vogt’s two-run homer in the second off Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez (3-4). Vogt has three home runs since joining the Brewers. With two outs in the inning, Shaw hit a solo shot as the lead ballooned to 5-0.

Shaw started after leaving Monday’s game when hit on the left hand by a 93 mph pitch in the second inning. Shaw initially stayed in the game but left in the fourth with a contusion. .INF Eric Sogard didn’t start due to ankle soreness. “He was running the bases in Cincinnati and had to stop real quick at third base, so it’s still a little bit sore,” manager Craig Counsell said. OF Ryan Braun got the day off to rest.

The Brewers will try to sweep the Orioles on Wednesday night at Miller Park.  Matt Garza (3-4) will be on the mound for the Crew. Garza is 9-1 with a 3.11 ERA in 13 career starts against the Orioles but has not faced Baltimore since May 27, 2014.

 

Brewers drill six home runs in an 11-3 win at Cincinnati

Milwaukee drilled the most home runs it had in a decade in an 11-3 win at Cincinnati Thursday night.

Outfielder Ryan Braun started what would turn into a home run derby for the visiting Brewers, going deep in the first inning for his second long ball in three games since coming off the disabled list. Homers from Manny Pina, Jesus Aguilar, Domingo Santana and two from Jonathan Villar followed, as the Crew banged a total of six bombs on the night and held a 10-0 lead before the Reds got on the board.

“We swung the bats really well tonight, obviously,” manager Craig Counsell said. “The first four innings we just kept coming at them.”

The Brewers bats were equal opportunity abusers, with the team getting three off of starter Homer Bailey, two on Kevin Shackelford and another off Ariel Hernandez. It was the fifth time in franchise history they’d hit at least six homers in a single game — one off the team record of seven back in 1980.

Starter Jimmy Nelson wasn’t too bad himself, making it seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits and striking out 11. It was the third time this month and fifth time this year he’s thrown a double-digit number of strikes in an outing.

“From the first inning you could tell he had really good stuff just by some of the swings,” said Counsell of Nelson, who improved to 6-4 on the year. “When we got him a lead, he got even better.”

The win was a good response to late blunders in Wednesday night’s 4-3 loss to the Reds.

“It was a tough game (on Wednesday) in a lot of ways,” Counsell said. “We keep saying it, but we keep bouncing back from those tough games.”

Milwaukee finished its six-game road trip just 2-4, but remains a game up on the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

The Brewers will begin their final homestand of the first half of the season on Friday night as they host the Miami Marlins.

Defense helps push Atlanta past the Brewers 5-4

Stellar defense from Atlanta propelled them past Milwaukee 5-4 on Friday night in the first game of a weekend series.

The Braves were clinging to a one-run lead in the eighth inning with one out and two men on base. Pinch hitter Jesus Aguliar smoked a liner down the third base side, which Johan Camargo managed to corral and start an inning-ending double play.

It was shortstop Darby Swanson’s turn for some defensive heroics in the bottom of the ninth. After a lead-off double by Eric Thames, the former first overall pick grabbed a grounder off the bat of Domingo Santana on the second base side. Instead of going to first like most, Swanson pivoted and threw to third, where Camargo applied the tag on a sliding Thames for the first out. Later, Swanson made a diving backhanded stab of a Manny Pina liner for the final out.

“The ball Aguliar hit was a great double play, and the [ball] Domingo hit, that’s a really nice play,” manager Craig Counsell said.

“The game came down, to me, [that] they made some excellent defensive plays at the end of the game.”

Milwaukee also struggled to get much going against Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz. He allowed just one run on four hits in his five innings of work.

“We had some action every inning with him out there,” Counsell said. “We just never got that last hit. Never got a man to third with less than two outs or anything like that. We had men on against him every inning. We were just one hit away.”

Jimmy Nelson (5-4) was tagged with the loss. He also went five innings, giving up four runs in addition to striking out eight. He pitched his final inning in an absolute downpour, and the Braves managed to get a pair of runs off of him there.

“I’m not a weather man. I stay out of that,” Counsell said when asked if he thought the game should be stopped. “The umpires, they’ve got all the information. It’s never an easy call when it’s raining like that.”

Milwaukee will look to bounce back Saturday afternoon with game No. 2 of the series getting underway at 3:10 p.m.