MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers bullpen didn’t let this one get away, but that’s because Jimmy Nelson threw his first career complete game in a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.
While Milwaukee’s relief pitching has given away 19 games (MLB-high), Sunday’s work on the mound was handled solely by 28-year-old Nelson. He allowed six hits over nine innings of work, while striking out 10 San Diego on his way to win No. 5.
The Padres struck first, thanks to Keon Broxton’s fielding error in the top of the fifth inning. Erick Aybar received credit for an RBI single on the play. But the Brewers responded an inning later, with Hernan Perez and Manny Piña recording their 10th and fourth home runs of the year, respectively.
Nelson helped his own cause offensively, going 1-for-3 at the plate. The win improves Milwaukee’s record at Miller Park to 19-20, while maintaining a 2½ game lead over the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League Central.
MILWAUKEE — In what’s become a common theme in their losses, the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen allowed two runs in the top of the 11th inning, resulting in a 7-5 loss to the San Diego Padres.
Milwaukee’s relief pitching has now allowed 19 games to go the other way, (leads MLB), along with 13 blown saves. Carlos Torres recognizes he’s been part of the negative trend.
“We should have won that ball game right there in the 10th inning,” Torres confessed. “That’s 100 percent on me. [Keon] Broxton’s home run should have been a walk-off home run, so the game’s on me.”
The Padres recorded five home runs in the 11-inning contest, while the Brewers logged three of their own. One of those home runs was done the hard way, with shortstop Orlando Arcia lofting a ball over the defender’s head into the gap in center field before sprinting around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
Another positive in an otherwise disappointing loss for Brewers fans was the performance of Corey Knebel. One of the stories of the season, Milwaukee’s closer struck out two batters in his single inning of work, logging his 36th consecutive game with at least one strikeout. The modern era record is 37, set by Aroldis Chapman with the Cincinnati Reds in 2014.
MILWAUKEE — When the Milwaukee Brewers signed first baseman Eric Thames to a three-year, $16 million contract, they were simply hoping for production. So far, he’s made that contract look like a bargain.
Thames blasted his 19th home run of the year in Friday night’s 6-5 win over the San Diego Padres, hitting a milestone along the way. His walk-off home run in the 10th inning was the first of his Major League career.
But Thames wasn’t the only one to go yard in Milwaukee’s fourth-straight win. Travis Shaw hit a solo home run in the second inning, followed by Keon Broxton’s three-run dinger in the fourth that erased a 4-0 deficit. Manny Piña would add another solo bomb in the eighth prior to Thames’ game winner.
Milwaukee’s Junior Guerra struggled with command on the mound, walking four batters in six innings of work. That lack of command led to four runs (three earned) scoring for San Diego, including a pair of home runs. The Brewers late-inning relievers shut the door on any comeback attempt for the Padres, with Corey Knebel striking out a pair in his single inning of work. Jared Hughes picked up his third win of the year after pitching a scoreless 10th.
SAN DIEGO — Former Padres draft pick and current Brewers third baseman Eric Sogard recorded a career-high four hits in a 6-2 Milwaukee win Tuesday night.
Sogard’s 4-for-4 performance backed up Jimmy Nelson’s six innings on the mound, where he struck out eight San Diego batters and only allowed two earned runs. But Sogard wasn’t the sole contributor on offense. Jesus Aguilar had a pair of hits and a RBI, along with Panny Piña’s two-run double.
Most of Milwaukee’s damage was done in the first inning, racking up four base-hits in a row and bringing five total runs across the plate. It brings the Brewers season average up to 1.05 runs scored in the opening frame — best in the entire league. Clayton Richard was the unlucky victim of Milwaukee’s hot hitting, getting tagged for all six runs, while giving up 10 hits.
“They took advantage early,” Richard said. “I didn’t throw the ball terribly. It was a few pulled changeups, and that really hurt. It happened quick, and unfortunately it was too much of a hole to get out of.”
Richard did manage to strike out seven Milwaukee batters over the course of his six innings. First baseman Wil Myers and left fielder Matt Szczur drove in San Diego’s pair of runs on the night.
Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson fanned eight in his six innings of work, picking up his second win of the year in the process.
SAN DIEGO — Eric Sogard’s solo shot at the top of the 10th inning wasn’t enough, as Hunter Renfroe countered with a two-run blast to give the San Diego Padres a 6-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Monday night.
Sogard was just called up from Triple-A on Friday, but has already tied his career-high with two home runs. Unfortunately for the Brewers, they still had to play defense after Sogard broke a 4-4 tie. Oliver Drake was charged with his first blown save of the year when he gave up the Renfroe home run. For the Padres, it was their first walk-off win of the season.
“It’s at the top [of my best moments]. … First walk-off home run tonight, that’s pretty special,” said Renfroe.
Chase Anderson started the game for Milwaukee, lasting 5.1 innings while giving up four earned runs on six hits. He said he felt good prior to the game, but struggled with command, walking three batters. Manager Craig Counsell wasn’t too concerned about his performance.
“I thought Chase [Anderson’s] velocity was exceptional,” Counsell said. “I thought his fastball command was a little off; got him in trouble a little bit. He threw the ball well…”
As a team, Milwaukee’s pitching staff ranks 20th in the MLB with a 4.29 ERA. Over the last three games, the Brewers are pitching a 6.00 ERA, tied for fifth-worst in the league.
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.
“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.