MILWAUKEE — Eric Thames increased his home run total to 10, while Matt Garza impressed in his season debut to give the Milwaukee Brewers an 11-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds Monday night.
Thames’ hot April continued early in the game, blasting his ninth and tenth home runs of the year in the first and second innings of the game. He’s now hit seven home runs against the Reds this season in just five games.
But Hernan Perez may have played just as big a role in Milwaukee’s win, bombing a three-run home run at the score board in the first inning. The Brewers are now outscoring opponents in the first inning 22-7. That early run support made Garza’s job easier, striking out four batters during his four innings of work. He allowed just one earned run, but Cincinnati was able to grind out his pitch counts to 93 before his day was over.
Milwaukee is now a half game out of second place in the National League Central with two more games coming against Cincinnati at Miller Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers have set their starting rotation for the first two series of the season, and Matt Garza is not a part of it.
The team announced Thursday afternoon that Garza would start the year on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right groin. The veteran made six starts in the spring and struggled, leaving Cactus League action with an ERA of 8.59. Garza was scheduled to pitch in Friday’s exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox at Miller Park.
Without Garza, the rotation is set so that Junior Guerra gets the ball on Opening Day against Colorado, followed by Zach Davies, Wily Peralta and Chase Anderson taking the other three games in the series. Jimmy Nelson will start the series opener against the Chicago Cubs next Friday.
Garza started last season on the disabled list and didn’t actually make his season debut until June 14. He finished 6-8 on the year with a 4.51 ERA, allowing just 11 runs over his final six starts of the season.
ARLINGTON, Tex. — The Milwaukee Brewers used a bevy of offense to get past the Texas Rangers 8-3 Monday night, backing up a Matt Garza start against his former team.
Garza threw six innings of three-run ball, surrendering six hits and striking out three. The last time Garza faced Texas was in 2010 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, a 6-3 victory on Oct. 9. in the American League Divisional Series.
Milwaukee’ bats recorded 10 hits in Monday night’s win, led by Jonathan Villar’s 3-for-4 day at the plate. He drove in five runs with a pair of home runs, while Domingo Santana added two RBIs on a 1-for-5 outing.
For the Rangers, the loss dropped them a half-game back of the Boston Red Sox as both teams battle for home-field advantage in the postseason.
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers returned to Miller Park for the first time in the month of September, but a difficult night on the mound for Matt Garza spoiled the homecoming in a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Officially eliminated from a postseason appearance, the Brewers looked to play spoiler for a Pirates team that swept the Crew in a four-game series last time they came to Miller Park. The Pirates set an early tone, however, taking a 2-0 lead after just three batters.
Garza’s season ERA rose to 4.52 after giving up five earned runs on eight hits and four innings pitched. He came into Tuesday night’s contest hoping to keep the earned runs to a minimum. He held a 1.16 ERA over his previous four games, but allowed 12 runs in total during that span.
For Pittsburgh, the win brings their season record to 75-75 and maintains a chance at a postseason berth. The Pirates are currently 4 ½ games behind the Cardinals for the second National League wild card spot and their elimination number stand at eight.
Jimmy Nelson gets the start Wednesday night in place of Junior Guerra, who was shut down for the year after reaching his rookie innings limit.
CINCINNATI — The Milwaukee Brewers recorded three home runs at Great American Ballpark on Tuesday night but still fell to the Cincinnati Reds 6-4.
Dan Straily had a career night on the mound, throwing eight innings of two-run ball. He struck out eight Milwaukee batters in the process to give Cincinnati a season-high fifth straight win.
The Brewers were paced offensively by Keon Broxton, Jonathan Villar, and Chris Carter, who all went deep in the loss. Villar also got his first career start at second base, but manager Craig Counsell wouldn’t say if that was a preview of what we could see from the Brewers in 2017.
“I just thought this was an opportunity to see [Villar] at second base,” Counsell said. “He’s going to play mostly third base for the rest of the season, but there’s going to be some spots where we see him at second base. I just want to see what it looks like.”
Matt Garza gave the Brewers five innings, only allowing one earned run (Joey Votta’s solo shot in the first inning) while striking out three.
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin | Chris Carter’s bat was cold earlier this season but it’s heating up now! Carter his his 27th homer of the season as the Brewers beat the Atlanta Braves 11-3 Thursday afternoon at Miller Park to split the four-game series.
Carter crushed a two-run homer in the second inning | his second homer in as many days. Scooter Gennett and Hernan Perez each hit solo shots to help the Brewers build a 6-0 lead. That was more than enough for starting pitcher Matt Garza who won his third straight game. Garza (4-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings.
The Brewers broke open the game in the bottom half on a three-run double by catcher Manny Pina.
Milwaukee starts a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park on Friday night.
The Milwaukee Brewers had no answer for Francisco Liriano on Thursday night as the lefty piled up 13 strikeouts in a 5-3 win for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After struggling to a 1-6 record over his last nine starts, Liriano was nearly perfect against Milwaukee. He made it 6 2/3 innings, giving up just one run in his first six innings before the Brewers were able to score a pair in the seventh, including one that was charged to the veteran. Every Milwaukee starter had at least one strikeout and four of them went down two times. It was a season-high total for Liriano, who improved to 6-9 on the year.
Milwaukee didn’t get the same effort from their starter. Matt Garza got dinged up for five runs over five innings of work to fall to 1-4. He gave up a three-run home run in the first inning to Matt Joyce, and the Pirates tacked on a run in the third and fourth innings. The 32-year-old’s ERA now sits at a career-high 5.94.
Jonathan Villar managed to hit his seventh home run of the year, while Hernan Perez and Scooter Gennett each added RBI’s for Milwaukee.
The game marked the end of a six-game road trip, one that the Brewers managed just a 2-4 record on. They’ll head back to Milwaukee to open a 10-game homestand starting with the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, the subject of numerous trade rumors, was not in the lineup for the Brewers on Thursday. Manager Craig Counsell said there was nothing to read into regarding the veteran, and that he was just given a day off for rest. Lucroy did go 0-1 as a pinch-hitter for Milwaukee in the later stages of the game.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Matt Garza struggled with control, allowing three long balls and seven earned runs over four and a third innings in a 7-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon.
The Nats were spotted an early 4-0 advantage thanks to a first inning bomb from Bryce Harper and a solo homer from Jose Lobaton in the second. The Brewers fought back quickly and valiantly to put up their own four-run inning in the third to tie the game. However, that tie score would be short lived, as Stephen Drew’s RBI double in the bottom of the third and Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run home run in the fifth produced the game’s final and deciding three runs.
Garza’s ERA ballooned up to 5.54 with the loss, and he is just 1-2 since his return to action from the DL last month.
After losing a 4-0 lead early on, Washington starter Tanner Roark settled in and went seven innings deep before turning it over to the Nationals bullpen, which allowed just one baserunner over the final two innings.
The Brewers take Thursday off before commencing a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park beginning Friday.
By Eric Rogers
Jan. 31, 2016 4:59 p.m. CT
MILWAUKEE — Veteran pitcher Matt Garza said during the Brewers On Deck event that he plans to put the past behind him and pitch for himself in 2016.
“This is the first year where I’m going to pitch selfishly. I’m going to pitch for me. I haven’t done that in my whole career, but I think it’s time I pitch for me.I hate to say it, but I deserve it.”
Garza had career-low numbers in 2015, going 6-14, with a 5.63 ERA. The 32-year-old pitcher struggled through the tail end of a Chicago Cubs rebuild before being traded to Milwaukee.“Last time when I was in Chicago I wanted out, Garza said. “This time I want to stay. I want to see it through. I want to be here when all the fruits come bearing. I’m going to do what I’ve got to do to stay here. That’s be myself. That’s be the old Matt Garza.”
One thing’s been clear during the David Stearns era as general manager: no one’s safe from a trade. With Jean Segura being sent to Arizona on Saturday, Garza will need to improve in order to stay in Milwaukee. He has two years left on his contract worth $25 million, but he’s only played to a 14-22 record with a 4.59 ERA.
The Brewers begin reporting to spring training in Arizona on Feb. 23.