Garza rocked by long ball in 8-4 loss

DENVER — Home runs have plagued Milwaukee starter Matt Garza in his time with the Brewers and that didn’t change in Friday night’s 8-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Garza had given up just nine home runs heading into the month of August, undoing that progress by surrendering eight over his last four starts. That includes three given up in Friday’s loss to the Rockies. He allowed eight total runs over 4.1 innings pitched.

“To me, the first four innings I thought [Garza] pitched pretty well,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “There’s a scenario where he’s really given up one run through four innings there, in my opinion. The fifth inning they got some balls up in the air pretty good, but I think he’s still got some good games in him.”

Rockies left fielder (and former Brewer) Gerardo Parra went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI, including a solo home run off Garza in the fifth inning. Colorado was paced by German Màrquez, who tossed 5.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits. Like Garza, Màrquez gave up three home runs, though all without runners on base.

The loss drops Milwaukee in to third place in the National League Central standings, 2.0 games behind the leading Chicago Cubs.

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.

Matt Garza roughed up in an 11-4 loss to the Twins

Matt Garza picked the wrong time to have his worst outing of the season.

The Milwaukee starter gave up eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings at Minnesota in an 11-4 loss on Tuesday night. The veteran had allowed just four runs in his previous 15 1/3 innings of work.

Garza started out OK, but the fourth inning turned into a nightmare for the 33-year-old. It started with a solo home run from center fielder Eddie Rosario, included a grand slam by second baseman Bryan Dozier and concluded with another home run, this one from right fielder Max Kepler. The Brewers had entered the frame with a 4-2 lead and came out of it down 8-4, a deficit they wouldn’t recover from.

Offensively, the Crew got three hits apiece from right fielder Domingo Santana, left fielder Ryan Braun and shortstop Orlando Arcia, but they could manage just the four runs. Braun came up a home run short of hitting for the cycle.

The loss was Milwaukee’s third-straight, but because the Cubs lost to San Francisco, the Brewers remain just 1 ½ games back of Chicago in the NL Central. But things are getting tight behind them, too, with St. Louis just a game back of Milwaukee and Pittsburgh only two games back.

The Brewers and Twins will continue their interleague series tonight in Milwaukee.

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.

Garza activated from the disabled list, set to start this afternoon

Matt Garza has been activated from the 10-day disabled list after a right lower leg strain landed him on the DL in late July. The Brewers sent Wei-Chung Wang back to the minor leagues to make room for Garza. Wang only pitched in one game, where he gave up a hit, and didn’t record an out.

Garza will get the start today against the St. Louis Cardinals. First pitch is 1:10 p.m. CST from Miller Park. The pitching match-up will be Garza (4-5) on the mound for the Brewers and Michael Wacha (8-4) on the bump for the Cardinals. This is the third and final game of the series before the Brewers head to Tampa Bay to face the Rays.

The Brewers need a good start from Garza, as they’re 6-12 since the All-Star break. The Brewers have added some pieces to the bullpen, but are still waiting to get starter Chase Anderson back in a couple weeks.

Guerra headed to Triple-A

Brewers opening day starter, Junior Guerra, has been optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Guerra came into the season with high expectations after posting a 9-3 record and a 2.81 ERA for Milwaukee last season. He was expected to be the Brewers “ace” this season, but has fell well short of that.

Guerra is 1-4 this season with Milwaukee and has a 4.96 ERA. In 61 2/3 innings this season, Guerra has already given up more home runs than he did last season, where he logged over 121 innings.  He’s also been walking batters at a higher rate than last season.

The Brewers recalled Wei-Chung Wang from Triple-A to complete the move. Fans may remember Wang from the 2014 season, as the Brewers claimed him in the rule-5 draft. He appeared in 14 games for Milwaukee that season. Wang pitched 17 1/3 innings and had an ERA of 10.90 and a WHIP of 2.25 in 2014.

With Chase Anderson and Matt Garza both on the disabled list, the Brewers may look to call-up a starter in the near future. Brandon Woodruff and Taylor Jungmann have been two names who have been rumored to be recalled.

 

Brewers call up Lewis Brinson, Garza sent to DL

Brewers top prospect Lewis Brinson is getting another shot in the majors while pitcher Matt Garza is getting another stint on the disabled list.

Garza was expected to start Thursday morning’s game in Washington. That won’t happen as the Brewers have placed Garza on the 10-day DL with a right lower leg strain retroactive to July 23rd. Brinson gets the call up from Triple-A Colorado Springs and will likely start for the Brewers in center field Wednesday night against the Nationals. Thursday’s starter for the Brewers is still to be determined.

 

The 23-year-old Brinson made his major-league debut last month, connecting for just three hits in 31 at bats, but has consistently ranked as one of the top prospects in baseball.

Brinson was batting .345 with 10 home runs, 63 runs, 43 RBI and 11 stolen bases through 68 games in Triple-A, and was riding an 18-game hit streak before being called up.

Originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the first round of the 2012 draft, Brinson was moved at last year’s trade deadline as part of a package deal for Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and closer Jeremy Jeffress.

Matt Garza (4-5) allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings to take the loss last Friday against the Phillies.

Brewers losing streak reaches six games

Make it six straight losses for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Manager Craig Counsell’s team couldn’t figure out Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola in a 6-1 loss on Friday night. The righty went seven innings, giving up just one run on five hits while striking out nine to earn his seventh win of the year. It continued a trend for the Brewers (52-47), who haven’t scored more than three runs in any of their last seven games.

“He was good tonight. I know that,” Counsell said afterward. “But we’re going to have tough match-ups, and you’ve got to produce runs against those tough match-ups. You’re not going to win games scoring one run [very often].”

Milwaukee was in the game through the first five innings, as Matt Garza allowed just two runs on three hits to the Phillies (33-61). But when he was taken out, things fell apart for reliever Carlos Torres. He recorded just one out and gave up four runs before Counsell pulled him.

Philadelphia shortstop Freddy Galvis was the star offensively, driving in three runs, including a two-run homer in the first inning.

The losing streak, which included being swept by Pittsburgh, has tightened things up in the NL Central. Milwaukee held a 5.5 game lead coming out of the all-star break last Friday, but it now stands at one on the Chicago Cubs, two on the Pirates and 3.5 on the St. Louis Cardinals.

“We got beat good tonight,” Counsell said. “We’ve played well. To me, in Pittsburgh we played well, things just didn’t go our way. And we’ve just got to keep at it, man. We’ve got to keep at it. There’s another test tomorrow, there’s a test the following day. [There’s] plenty more tests to come and to pass. We’ve just got to keep at it.”

It’ll be Milwaukee and Philadelphia again on Saturday night. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.

Nick Williams helps Phillies avoid sweep at Miller Park

MILWAUKEE — While the Milwaukee Brewers were poised for a weekend sweep coming out of the All Star break, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Williams had other plans.

Williams hit his first career grand slam in the sixth inning to put the Phillies over the top by a score of 5-2. Combined with a win by the Chicago Cubs, it also knocked the Brewers’ lead in the National League Central down to 4 ½ games.

The Phillies’ opportunity was set up by some timely hitting, as they strung together five hits in a row before Williams stepped to the plate. On Milwaukee’s end of things, it was not the debut Tyler Webb wanted, as his very first pitch was blasted by Williams 411 feet to center field.

In hindsight, perhaps Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell wouldn’t have introduced Webb to Philadelphia in that situation. Matt Garza was taken out after five innings of one-run ball and replaced by Rob Scahill, who surrendered three consecutive hits. But that was a gamble Counsell felt was reasonable, given the lack of offense his crew was able to muster to that point. Pinch-hitting Brett Phillips in Garza’s place did result in the outfielder’s first career home run.

Milwaukee would get a chance to erase the 5-2 deficit in the ninth inning after Hernan Perez and Manny Piña singled to bring the tying run to the plate. But Philadelphia closer Hector Neris was able to retire Stephen Vogt, Orlando Arcia, and Eric Thames to secure the win.

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.