Brewers come out of All Star break with 9-6 win over Phillies

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of lesser competition Friday night, blasting two home runs in a 9-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park.

Keon Broxton got the momentum moving with an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning and that’s when the doors blew open. Orlando Arcia followed up Broxton’s hit with a three-run blast to give Milwaukee a 4-2 lead, but it didn’t take long for that lead to grow. Ryan Braun’s 17th-career grand slam came just moments later to make it an 8-2 contest after two innings.

That big lead allowed Brewers starter Zach Davies to make mistakes without being punished. He’d finish his night with six runs (five earned) allowed on seven hits, with a career-high five walks. He was replaced by Carlos Torres mid-way through the sixth inning.

“I’m pissed off by my performance, definitely,” Davies said. “But the team’s winning, and you can’t be selfish in that aspect and be upset and show it when the team is doing what it should be doing.”

Davies would still get credit for the win — his 11th of the season — thanks to the run support. Of all the regular starters in baseball, Davies has been backed by the third-most runs scored.

“That’s the case this year, there’s no question about it. We’ve scored a ton of runs in Zach’s starts,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I don’t have a great explanation. There’s going to be a guy that gets the most runs. I can guarantee that.”

With the Chicago Cubs also winning Friday night, Milwaukee’s win helped maintain the team’s 5 ½ game lead atop the National League Central. Arcia admitted to keeping an eye on the score for their division rival, though he didn’t seem affected by it.

“You’re always paying attention. I don’t think it’ll be a distraction, especially if we keep winning. It’s obviously going to be fun to watch the other teams, what they’re doing, if we keep doing our thing.”

Brent Suter tosses a gem as Brewers beat Orioles 8-1

MILWAUKEE | On a day when the Brewers needed a solid pitching performance from their starter, pitcher Brent Suter came through in a big way. Suter, pitching in place of the injured Chase Anderson, pitched six strong innings, allowing only four singles and an unearned run while logging a career-high eight strikeouts.  Suter also got a lot of help from his friends as the Brewers beat the Orioles 8-1 Monday afternoon at Miller Park.

A play by Orlando Arcia in the third inning was the highlight. Arcia scored all the way from first when Suter tapped a ball toward shortstop Ruben Tejada. Suter beat the throw to first, and when Arcia saw the Orioles leave third base uncovered, he rounded second and kept running. Arcia beat third baseman Manny Machado to the bag but over-slid into foul territory. Seeing he had no chance to get back to third without being tagged, Arcia jumped up and headed home, getting in a rundown that included reliever Jimmy Yacabonis. When the Baltimore fielders got tangled up near the plate, Arcia scooted around and scored, giving the Brewers an 8-1 lead.

Baltimore starter Wade Miley gave up 7 runs in an inning and two thirds of work. Travis Shaw, Manny Piña and Arcia singled in runs, and Keon Broxton delivered another with a grounder as the Brewers batted around in the first inning. In the second, Jesús Aguilar drove a sacrifice fly to center and Piña ripped a two-run ground-rule double to left-center.

Given the big early cushion, Suter breezed through Baltimore’s lineup in his longest outing in the majors. The lone run off him was the result of an error by rightfielder Domingo Santana in the third inning, and Suter allowed only a harmless single after that.

Suter became the first Brewers lefty to pitch at least six innings and strike out eight or more batters since Tom Gorzelanny on July 7, 2013 against the New York Mets. He was the first to do so allowing four or fewer hits since Randy Wolf on April 14, 2011.

Travis Shaw was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Miley in the second inning and was removed from the game.  However x-rays after the game were negative and Shaw said he will play tomorrow.

Orlando Arcia continued his six-week batting surge with three hits in four at-bats, giving him a .367 batting average since May 18. Over that period, he has raised his average from .208 to .295.

The Brewers (45-40) will play the Orioles at Miller Park again on Tuesday at 3:10. It will be RHP immy Nelson (6-4, 3.43) vs. Baltimore RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 6.48)

 

Chase Anderson injured, Brewers lose 4-3 to the Reds

Milwaukee lost to Cincinnati 4-3 on Wednesday night and also lost its best pitcher for what is expected to be an extended period of time.

Chase Anderson suffered an oblique strain during a second inning at-bat and was forced to leave the game.

“I [swung] at it and it literally just felt like someone stabbed me on the left side,” Anderson told reporters after the game. “Not a good feeling.”

It’s unclear how long Anderson will be out, but the team has already decided to put him on the disabled list, and his absence could be last for quite a while.

“It’s [going to] take time. Those are injuries that you really can’t pinpoint a time schedule. It could be a month, it could be two months [and] hopefully nothing longer than that,” Anderson said. “Obviously, I hate sitting out. I don’t want to be on the [disabled list]. I want to pitch. [I’ve] been throwing the ball well lately. It’s just unfortunate for our rotation and for our team.”

Anderson has been Milwaukee’s No. 1 pitcher this season, going 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA – the best among the team’s starters.

“Anytime you lose one of your five starters, it’s a big blow,” manager Craig Counsell said. “I got used to [him] pitching very, very well. We’ll have to cover in his absence. It’s going to be difficult.”

LISTEN: Chase Anderson talks about the injury that landed him on the DL

Paulo Espino replaced Anderson after the injury and gave up three runs in three innings of work, including a 2-run homer to former Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett, his 12th of the year.

The game was tied 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning when Counsell decided to go with closer Corey Knebel, who promptly walked the speedy Billy Hamilton. He stole second and third before scoring on an infield single by Adam Duvall.

Milwaukee had a chance to tie the game in the top of the ninth, with Jonathan Villar on third base and just one out. But pinch hitter Jesus Aguliar struckout and Orlando Arcia was thrown out trying to get to second base on what Counsell said was a called play.

“It was going to work,” Counsell said of the intended rundown that would have allowed Villar to potentially score the tying run. “Orlando just didn’t stop in time, and they got a tag.”

The loss was Milwaukee’s fourth in its last five games, yet the Brewers remain in first place in the NL Central by one game over the Chicago Cubs.

It’ll be Cincinnati and the Brewers again Thursday night. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m.

Santana, Arcia help Milwaukee to a 4-3 win against Pittsburgh

Timely hitting from Domingo Santana and a brilliant play from shortstop Orlando Arcia helped Milwaukee get past Pittsburgh 4-3 Wednesday night at Miller Park.

The Brewers never led in the game until the bottom of the seventh. That’s when Santana stepped up to the plate with two outs and drilled what proved to be the game-winning two-run homer. It was his first home run since June 7 and his 12th on the year.

“He’s got opposite field power. We’ve seen it a bunch this year,” manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s a huge spot.”

Arica and first baseman Eric Thames made sure it would hold up. With the tying run on second base, John Jaso sent a grounder up the middle that looked destined for the outfield. But Arcia somehow tracked it down, spun and threw a one-hopper to Thames, who scooped it up for the final out of the game.

“Off the bat, I was like, ‘Oh, shoot,” Thames said. “I was like, ‘Oh, please don’t be a hit.’ Then all of a sudden I see Arcia going for it. I was like, ‘There’s no way he’s going to catch that.’”

But Arcia did, and in doing so made one of the plays of the year so far for the first-place Brewers.

“I was yelling don’t throw it,” Counsell said with a laugh afterwards. “That’s probably what stands out the most.

“It’s a special play in a huge moment.”

Corey Knebel was the benefactor of the play as he picked up his 11th save of the season to help Milwaukee snap a two-game losing streak.

Junior Guerra got the start, going six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out six.

Milwaukee, which owns a 1.5 game lead on the Cubs in the NL Central, will try to salvage a split of its four-game series with the Pirates Thursday afternoon.

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.

Arcia hitless in Major League debut

SAN DIEGO — Top prospect Orlando Arcia got his first Major League start for the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night, going 0-for-4 at the plate in a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres.

The 21-year-old shortstop went hitless in his debut, but made some plays on the defensive end that raised some eyebrows.

“I didn’t hit very well, but I was able to play good defense and we were able to get the win. It always feels good to win,” Arcia said.

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun hit his 15th home run of the season in the sixth inning, followed by a two-run RBI thanks to Chris Carter. Braun offered his support of Arcia as he tries to live up to the hype of being one of Milwaukee’s three prospects in Baseball America‘s top eight.

“Easier said than done,” Braun said. “There’s a ton of adrenaline, a ton of emotion, a lot of thoughts that are running through your head. Hey, it’s even exciting for all of us to see a guy with his potential show up. It’s something we can all feed off of.”

The Brewers and Padres finish up the three-game series Wednesday at 2:40 p.m. CT.

Brewers call up top prospect Orlando Arcia

SAN DIEGO — The same night the Milwaukee Brewers traded away veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy, manager Craig Counsell announced the team would be calling up top shortstop prospect Orlando Arcia from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

“The thinking is it’s time to get started,” Counsell said following Monday’s game. “We’ve still got 55 games left, a good chunk of the season left, where we’re hopeful that it gives [Arcia] good experience going into next year”

The No. 1 prospect in Milwaukee’s farm system has 404 minor league at-bats in 2015 with a .267 batting average with eight home runs and 15 steals.

Arcia will get the start at shortstop Tuesday night in San Diego, bumping Jonathan Villar over to third base.  Counsell says he’ll have to find a new place for Hernan Perez, whose hot season continued with his eighth home run of the season in Monday night’s 7-3 loss.

Milwaukee is now tied for the most prospects (eight) ranked in the Top 75.