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.

Brewers beat Reds on walk-off wild pitch

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers ended a six-game losing streak Saturday night, beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on a walk-off wild pitch in the 10th inning at Miller Park.

After an Eric Thames solo home run in the sixth inning tied the game at 5-5, the Brewers were looking for some magic during a bases-loaded at-bat with Ryan Braun in the 10th. Eric Sogard had reached on a double, followed by consecutive walks to Jesus Aguilar and Eric Thames.

That magic came in the form of a wild pitch from Tim Adleman which traveled far enough away from the plate that Sogard was able to dive in from third base to beat the tag at home plate.

“I think you’re kind of expecting a walk-off hit to break a streak, but you take it any way you can get it,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I think you can tell by the celebration we had that we needed it.”

The win not only snapped the six-game skid, but pulled Milwaukee within 2.0 games of the National League Central lead with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals tied at the top of the division.

Corey Knebel was credited with the win, tossing two innings of one-hit baseball while striking out three. All five Reds runs came off starter Brent Suter, who allowed three home runs over his five innings of work.

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.

Lots of talk surrounding the early exit of Lewis Brinson from last night’s game

David Stearns and the Milwaukee Brewers pulled the trigger on another trade last night. The Brewers acquired Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak. The Brewers in return sent the number 17th ranked prospect in the organization, outfielder, Ryan Cordell to the White Sox. Swarzak will be a rental player, as his contract is up at the end of the year.

In the first inning of the Triple-A Colorado Springs game, Lewis Brinson was pulled from the game before his first at-bat. A report from Jon Heyman cited that Brinson was headed to the big leagues, and wasn’t part of a trade. This sent the social media world into a frenzy, and had lots of people theorizing what the Brewers corresponding move would be.

Some wondered if Braun could be part of potential trade talks or could have reaggravated one of his prior injuries from this season. Others thought maybe Brett Phillips could be in trade talks after he has become more comfortable with the bat at the Major League level in the past couple weeks. Could it also be Brinson’s Triple-A numbers forcing the issue? Brinson is slashing .345/.417/.569 in Colorado Springs. He also has 10 home runs and 43 RBIs in 68 games this season.

According to Brewers beat writer, Tom Haudricort, David Stearns wouldn’t confirm the Lewis Brinson call-up, but did say that Ryan Braun isn’t injured. He also mentioned how he would continue to explore trade options for every area of the team. He did confirm that there would be more news later today. Something is in the works here. Maybe another trade? Maybe a demotion? We’ll have to wait and see what The Milwaukee Brewers decide to do later today and for the rest of July.

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.”

Looking ahead to the rest of July

The Milwaukee Brewers entered the All-Star Break with a 50-41 record, good enough for first place with a 5.5 game lead in the National League Central. The Brewers are on of the biggest surprises in Major League Baseball this season. They were expected to be an average team at the very best in the midst of a rebuild.  It appears that the rebuild may be further along than many people expected, which has brought excitement back to baseball fans in Wisconsin.

David Stearns is on record saying that the Brewers are expecting to be buyers at this year’s deadline. The Brewers have already been linked to pitchers such as Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, and others. The Brewers farm system is extremely deep in the outfield and up the middle in the infield. The organization could easily unload some of those prospects, while gaining pieces to make a postseason run without selling the farm.

The non-waiver trade deadline ends this year on Tuesday, July 31st at 3 p.m. CST.

The rest of July

The Brewers start a weekend series at home with the Philadelphia Phillies after the All-Star Break on Friday, July 14th. The three pitching match-ups have already been announced. On Friday, the Brewers will go with Zach Davies (10-4) against Nick Pivetta (2-4). The Saturday game will feature Jimmy Nelson (8-4) for Milwaukee versus Aaron Nola (6-6). The series will come to an end Sunday when Matt Garza (4-4) faces Jeremy Hellickson(5-5). The Brewers should look to continue their July success as the Phillies are the worst team in baseball.

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The team will then hit the road for a three series road trip from July 17th through July 27th. The road trip begins with a four game series in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. The second of the three series will be a three game series, once again against the Phillies. They will conclude their trip away from Miller Park with a three game series against the Washington Nationals. The Brewers will then return home to end July for a three game series with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are currently in second place behind the Brewers in the National League Central.

The rest of July has the Brewers scheduled to play four out of five series against teams with a record below .500. The All-Star break should allow for players like Junior Guerra and Ryan Braun to once again become healthy. Chase Anderson is also expected to come off the disabled list sometime during late July or early August.  Whether Milwaukee decides to make moves or not, they should still be hanging around the top of National League Central.

Broxton backs Davies in win over Pirates

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers avoided dropping in the National League Central standings by taking down the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday night 3-1 at Miller Park. Zach Davies collected his 14th win of the year as he tossed 6.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits. Manny Piña backed him up with a pair of RBI, while […]

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Report: Anderson to start Sunday

The Milwaukee Brewers announced their starting pitchers for this weekend’s series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors field. According to a report from Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, Chase Anderson is feeling good and will pitch Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies The plan was for Anderson to make three rehab starts before rejoining the […]

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Report: Brinson out 4-6 weeks

The Milwaukee Brewers top prospect Lewis Brinson left Tuesday night’s game for Triple-A Colorado Springs with a left leg injury. Brinson was seen with a noticeable limp after coming up lame while running to first base. His injury didn’t look good as it happened, and he was later pinch-hit for an inning later. According to […]

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Brett Phillip’s bounce back season continues

Brett Phillips was the prized possession of the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline deal with the Houston Astros. The trade sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Astros in exchange for Phillips, Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser. The Brewers had high expectations for Phillips, but it was Santana and Hader who continued to […]

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Chase Anderson made second rehab start Sunday

Chase Anderson made his second rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs. It wasn’t as good of a result as his first rehab start with Low-A Wisconsin. Anderson threw 67 pitches and only 39 for strikes. He went 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out two batters. Anderson […]

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Yankees beat the Brewers with a 3-run, walk-off homer

Milwaukee could not make it six straight wins, as the Brewers got walked-off by the Yankees on Saturday afternoon, 5-3.

Closer Corey Knebel had a 3-2 lead heading into the ninth inning, but couldn’t convert the save opportunity. He gave up a pair of walks sandwiched between a strikeout, and then Clint Frazier drilled a three-run homer for the win. It was the fourth blown save this year for Knebel, the lone Brewers all-star.

The loss ruined what was another very good start out of Brent Suter in place of the injured Chase Anderson. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and New York didn’t get anything on the board until the seventh. Suter’s final line saw him go 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and striking out five.

Milwaukee’s offense certainly didn’t help matters. A three-run homer from Domingo Santana in the first inning was all they had to show for the day, while also losing outfielder Ryan Braun to calf tightness.

The loss dropped the Crew to 49-41 on the year, and saw their lead in the NL Central drop to four games.

The rubber match of the three-game series gets underway at 12:05 on Sunday.

Brewers crush Cubs 11-2 in makeup game at Wrigley

CHICAGO | This wasn’t what the Cubs had in mind when they postponed a game back on May 20th. It was a game that shouldn’t have been postponed in the first place (it never actually rained that day). The result? The Brewers beat the Cubs 11-2 at Wrigley Field in the makeup on Thursday afternoon. With the win the Brewers opened a 4 1/2-game lead over the second-place Cubs in the NL Central and are guaranteed to hold the top spot at the All-Star break.

The third inning was the big one for the Crew. Milwaukee sent 13 batters to the plate in a seven-run 3rd. Ryan Braun got the party started with a two-run homer to make it 4-nothing. Braun went 1 for 2 with two walks and two RBI before being lifted following the sixth because of the lopsided score. Domingo Santana had four hits and two RBI and Jesus Aguilar added three hits and an RBI.

Willson Contreras homered for the Cubs, who have not won consecutive games since a three-game winning streak June 18-20.

Milwaukee starter Zach Davies (10-4) allowed two runs on five hits in six innings for the win.

Cubs starter Mike Montgomery (1-6) gave up seven runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings. Montgomery was yanked after giving up singles to each of the next three batters and left trailing 5-0.

Jack Leathersich came on and walked the first three batters he faced — the last two forcing in runs. A sacrifice fly by Jonathan Villar made it 8-0 and Santana capped the rally with an RBI double to make it 9-0.

 

Other Brewers notes:  INF Eric Sogard (left ankle strain) was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to July 5, and INF Yadiel Rivera was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Friday night the Brewers start a three-game series in New York against the Yankees. RHP Junior Guerra (1-3, 4.93 ERA) faces LHP Jordan Montgomery(6-4, 3.62).

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.

Braun, Villar activated off the disabled list

Milwaukee is getting some reinforcements.

The Brewers announced Tuesday afternoon that outfielder Ryan Braun and second baseman Jonathan Villar had been reinstated from the 10-day disabled list, while outfielder Nick Franklin had been designated for assignment.

Braun has been out with a calf strain since May 26, his second stint on the DL this year. When he’s played, he’s been OK, batting .262 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs.

Villar hit the disabled list on June 10 with a back injury suffered in the process of making a great defensive play against Arizona. The Brewers leadoff hitter is batting .213 with six home runs and 26 RBIs.

Milwaukee will open a series against the Reds in Cincinnati on Tuesday night.