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.

Wainwright dominates the Brewers in a 6-3 win for St. Louis

Milwaukee had no answer for Adam Wainwright on the mound or at the plate Friday night, as St. Louis earned a 6-3 win over the Brewers.

The Cardinals starter made it five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out nine to pick up his first win of the year, but he was even more impressive when swinging his bat. Wainwright drilled a 2-run homer in the third inning, and followed that up with a 2-run single the next inning, finishing the night with four RBI’s.

“He’s certainly, for a pitcher, capable of swinging the bat, but he’s also (still) a pitcher. We’ve got to make pitches on those guys,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said afterwards. “He had a big night. His two at-bats were the difference in the game, for sure. Give him credit.”

All the damage he did was against Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta, who lost for the first time this year. He gave up all six runs over his four innings of work, and for just the third time in his career, he didn’t record a single strikeout.

Milwaukee’s bullpen did some good work in relief of Peralta, allowing just three hits and no runs over the final five innings.

The Brewers bats were largely silent, though a Ryan Braun homer in the eighth inning stretched the number of games they’ve hit at least one home run to 13 straight.

It’ll be the same two teams on Saturday night at Miller Park. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m.

Thames and Braun lead Brewers to a 6-3 win over the Cubs

Eric Thames continued his torrid start to the year as Milwaukee went to Chicago and beat the Cubs 6-3 Monday night for its sixth win in the last seven games.

With the game tied at three in the third inning, Thames stepped to the plate and drilled a home run into the left field bleachers to give the Brewers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. For Thames, it was his fifth consecutive game with a homer, tying the franchise record set by Jeremy Burnitz.

“What he’s doing is really hard to do,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s on a good streak right now, no question. Seeing this certainly bodes well for the rest of the year.”

The homer for Thames, who was signed as a free agent after spending the last three years playing in Korea, was his seventh overall on the year, which leads MLB. He’s also batting .405, which is second in the National League.

His hot start has overshadowed what has been a remarkable beginning for Ryan Braun. The outfielder had a 2-run homer in the first inning, his fifth of the year, which matches his total for all of April last season.

“It’s unique that Ryan is not getting the attention after a five home run start in the first couple weeks of the season,” Counsell said. “He’s happy with it, I guarantee it.”

Braun had a total of three RBI’s on the night, which helped make Chase Anderson a winner for a second time this year. The Brewers starter made it five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out five.

Four relievers helped Milwaukee close things out, including Neftali Feliz, who picked up his fifth save of the year.

Milwaukee (8-6) and Chicago (6-7) will play game two of their series tonight at Wrigley Field.

Big bats back Brewers in 4-2 win over Reds

CINCINNATI — The Milwaukee Brewers recorded three home runs on their way to a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds Sunday afternoon at Great American Ballpark.

Milwaukee (7-6) now sits in second place in the National League Central after winning three games in the four-game series with Cincinnati. Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw, and Eric Thames all went yard in the win.

Thames is now tied for the MLB lead with six home runs on the season, while holding the outright lead in OPS (1.376).

“I can’t remember a time in my career where a guy hit five home runs in a single series,” Braun said of Thames. “We’re seeing a really, really impressive hitter starting to emerge.”

Wily Peralta had a solid performance, lasting six innings, while giving up just two earned runs to pick up his third win of the year. He allowed a home run to Eugenio Suarez in the fourth inning.

Brewers win third straight 5-1 over Reds

CINCINNATI | Jimmy Nelson pitched another strong outing, Ryan Braun and Eric Thames homered, and the Milwaukee Brewers snapped Cincinnati’s four-game winning streak beating the Reds 5-1 Thursday night in Cincinnati.

Nelson (1-0) gave up one run and five hits over seven innings, striking out five without a walk. Last week against the Cubs, he threw six solid innings.

At 5-5, the Brewers reached .500 for the first time since they were 5-5 last April 15.

 

The Brewers beat 40-year old Bronson Arroyo (0-2) who was making his first start in Cincinnati since Sept. 28, 2013. Arroyo allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings.

Friday night the Brewers send LHP Tommy Milone to the mound. Milone will make his third appearance and second start of the season after taking over for the injured Junior Guerra.

Brewers beat Cubs in 11th on wild pitch

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers opened a series with the Chicago Cubs by beating their border rivals 2-1 in the 11th inning thanks to a wild pitch that allowed Ryan Braun to score the winning run.

Braun singled off Mike Montgomery to get on base, which was the first hit Milwaukee recorded since the sixth inning. Montgomery subsequently walked Jesus Aguilar, while Jett Bandy was hit by pitch. That allowed Braun to take advantage of his chance on base, scoring after an 0-2 to Manny Pina was misfired.

“We had gone a couple of innings where we didn’t get much going,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We didn’t have great at-bats, I didn’t think. But that inning, guys just kept the at-bat alive. … A three-inning appearance for Montgomery, I know he was stretched out in the spring, but that’s still a lot to ask.”

Jimmy Nelson had a solid start for the Brewers, going six innings while giving up just the one earned run on a home run to Ben Zobrist. The five relievers who followed up Nelson combined for a shutout the rest of the way against the defending World Champions.

Despite solid outing from Chase Anderson, Brewers lose to Rockies 2-1

MILWAUKEE | For the first time this season the Brewers failed to score five or more runs. A solo homer by Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the 7th inning was the only scoring for the Crew on Thursday afternoon as the Brewers dropped the series finale 2-1 to the Rockies. The Brewers (1-3) have dropped three of four to start the season including two one-run losses. Milwaukee welcomes the Cubs to Miller Park on Friday night.

The Brewers lost despite a solid pitching performance from Chase Anderson. Milwaukee’s righty went 6 innings giving up just three hits, one run and struck out four.

The Rockies went ahead for good in the top of the 9th when Nolan Arenado hit a solo homer off Brewers reliever Neftali Feliz.

The Brewers had a chance to tie in the bottom of the 9th when Ryan Braun hit what appeared to be a homer but it was caught at the wall by Carlos Gonzalez to end it.

Jimmy Nelson makes his first start of the season for the Brewers on Friday.  Nelson was 8-16 with a 4.62 ERA in a career-high 32 starts last season.

Takeaways from Brewers On Deck fan fest

MILWAUKEE — The offseason in Major League Baseball is sometimes filled with a lot of change, but for the Milwaukee Brewers, their “On Deck” fan event only provided a few surprises.

One of the most noteworthy observations from the event held at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee is that second baseman Scooter Gennett will be experimenting with several positions during spring training, mainly in the outfield. His playing time would be limited if he played solely at second base, due to newcomers Travis Shaw (third base), Orlando Arcia (shortstop), and Jonathan Villar (second base).

Gennett noted that he’s had limited experience as an outfielder, mainly in high school.

“I can catch a fly ball, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy,” Gennett told reporters. “I can catch a fly ball and I can run, so hopefully I’ll be able to adjust and if I’m needed in the outfield, I’ll be able to handle it.”

Another offseason storyline clarified at the event was the future of outfielder Ryan Braun. Braun was a big talking point last August when it was reported the Los Angeles Dodgers had nearly brokered a deal with Milwaukee that would have sent Braun to LA in exchange for Yasiel Puig and a top prospect. That deal fell apart minutes before the Aug. 31 midnight deadline and Braun has remained in Milwaukee ever since. Manager Craig Counsell revealed on Sunday that he never expected Braun to be dealt this offseason.

“I expected Ryan [Braun] to be back and I expected Ryan to hit third [in the batting order] and I’m very happy that I get to continue to write his name. I thought I’d always continue to write his name at third in the lineup. He’s played at a high level last year; he’s going to play at a high level this year; and he’s going to continue to…”

Braun will enter his 11th MLB season with $72 million remaining on his monster five-year, $105 million contract. The 33-year-old will make $19 million in 2017.

Additionally, principle owner Mark Attanasio revealed that he’s in discussions to purchase the club’s Class A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats. That’s significant because it would allow the Brewers to control decisions about the farm system team without risk of it changing locations or being bought out by another club during contract negotiations. Milwaukee has parted ways with longtime affiliate, the Brevard County Manatees.

Report: Braun’s P.E.D. past is preventing trades

MILWAUKEE — An unnamed MLB executive told the Boston Globe this weekend that teams are unwilling to trade for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun due to his ties to performance-enhancing drugs.

The Globe’s source also indicated that Braun’s remaining $76 million is a lot to gamble on a player with a past of P.E.D.s even if Braun were to never use again.

That report could explain why Brewers general manager David Stearns said last week that he expects Braun to be their starting left fielder for the foreseeable future, reiterating that stance on 105.7 The Fan on Wednesday:

“At this point, my expectation is that Ryan is going to be here next year and going forward. My general thinking right now is that if we were going to get a deal that was going to motivate us to move Ryan, we likely would’ve already gotten it. Obviously we need to keep listening, that’s my job, I generally answer the phone when other GMs call and want to talk about any of our players. Given the offers that have come to us at this point, and he’s still a Brewer, I expect that he’s going to be a Brewer going forward.”

Braun’s 65-game suspension served in 2013 didn’t stop him from producing, however. After overcoming thumb and back injuries, Braun returned to All-Star-caliber form, smacking 30 home runs, 91 RBI, and a batting line of .305/.365/.538.

Braun headlines Brewers 2016 season awards

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was named the Most Valuable Player as part of a season-ending awards list released Monday by the Milwaukee chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Braun led the Brewers with a .305 batting average in 2016, adding a .903 OPS and driving in 91 runs.

The five-member panel selected Junior Guerra as the club’s Most Valuable Pitcher after leading the Crew with a 2.81 ERA and a 9-3 record.

Others earning recognition from the BBWAA were Jonathan Villar (Top Newcomer), Hernan Perez (Unsung Hero), and Chris Carter (Good Guy Award).

Villar and Carter were also considered by the panel for the MVP award.