Milwaukee overcomes early deficit to beat Pittsburgh 7-6

Powered by five home runs, the Milwaukee Brewers came back from an early deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 on Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park.

Manager Craig Counsell’s team trailed 4-0 entering the bottom of the third inning when their bats finally woke up. Centerfielder Keon Broxton drilled a solo home run, which was followed by a two-run shot from second baseman Neil Walker.

Things stayed 4-3 until the sixth inning, when third baseman Travis Shaw tied the game with his 26th homer of the year. The Pirates answered that with a run in the seventh, only to see Broxton hit another solo shot to tie things up in the bottom of the frame. After an Adam Frazier single gave Pittsburgh a 6-5 lead going to the bottom of the eighth inning, the Brewers showed off their resiliency as catcher Manny Pina hit a two-run homer that proved to be the game-winner.

The victory was the fourth straight for the Brewers, who improved to 2-43 this season when trailing after seven innings, and in doing so moved into sole possession of second place in the NL Central, 1 ½ games back of Chicago and a game in front of St. Louis.

After a rough first three innings, Jimmy Nelson settled in, going 6 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Anthony Swarzak picked up the win, while closer Corey Knebel earned his 24th save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Milwaukee now hits the road for nine games, starting Friday night in Colorado.

Davies masterful in shutout win over Rays

TAMPA, Fla. — It was his first career start against the Tampa Bay Rays, but you wouldn’t know it as Zach Davies led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-0 win Saturday night.

Davies logged seven innings, allowing just one hit on the way to his 13th win of the year. Jacob Barnes and Anthony Swarzak finished it off with just three hits allowed between them.

Milwaukee’s offense was held relatively quiet in Alex Cobb’s six innings for Tampa Bay. They logged five hits against him, one of which was a solo home run by Orlando Arcia in the third inning. That would prove to be Milwaukee’s only scoring until a key ninth inning.

That’s when Hernan Perez went to work, leading off the inning with a solo shot to set the tone for the rest of the inning. With the bases loaded, Jose Alvarado was charged with a wild pitch, allowing Jesus Aguilar to score from third base.

But it wasn’t all good news for the Brewers. In the second inning, third baseman Travis Shaw was hit in the head as the Rays tried to throw him out as he attempted to steal second base. He left the game and did not return, though an initial evaluation has him listed as day-to-day with a bruised neck.

Davies’ performance followed up a 2-0 win on Friday night, giving Milwaukee it’s first set of back-to-back shutout wins since 2013.

Brewers keep slumping as Cubs take series at Miller Park

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have struggled to find offensive rhythm and that was the case again Sunday afternoon in a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park.

The Brewers were baffled by John Lackey, who allowed five hits over six innings, while fanning seven. He earned his eighth win of the year while Milwaukee’s Zach Davies took his fifth loss, despite a respectable box score of seven innings, three earned runs, and six strikeouts.

“Offensively, we just haven’t been very good,” Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw said. “Our pitching staff did their job this series. I thought the bullpen did a really good job and Davies, another great quality start for us today. It’s just offensively, we did not come up with the clutch hit. There’s ruts like that throughout the season. Obviously, we were really good in the first half offensively. We just have to find a way to get going.”

Chicago didn’t have any trouble getting offense from unexpected places. Fill-in first baseman Victor Caratini launched a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh inning, which led to a solo blast from Kris Bryant in the following frame. It was the Cubs’ 13th win in 16 outings, also expanding their lead in the National League Central to 2 ½ games over the Brewers.

The Brewers did manage to set a club record in the loss, though one they’ll likely try to forget. Milwaukee has gone hitless with runners in scoring position 31 consecutive times, breaking a record set in 1987 when the Brewers went 0-for-30.

“I don’t think anybody in this clubhouse is too worried about this one series,” Davies said. “Yeah, it would have been nice to switch up the standings again, but there’s still 55 games or so left to play and we’re going to go out and compete in every one of them.”

Milwaukee welcomes St. Louis on Tuesday night where the Cardinals look to secure their 14th straight series in Milwaukee.

Pirates close gap in NL Central in Starling Marte’s return from suspension

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte returned from an 80-game PED suspension Tuesday night to help his team take down the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 at PNC Park.

Marte went 1-for-3 with a walk and a single, while Josh Harrison and Francisco Cervelli broke down Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra with home runs in the sixth inning. Pittsburgh has now won nine of its last 11 games, to come within five games of the National-League-Central-leading Brewers.

For Milwaukee, it marks the squad’s third straight loss, as the Chicago Cubs climb to within 2 ½ games of the division lead. Some timely hitting could have helped the Brewers maintain their distance, only able to scratch across three runs on 13 hits against the Pirates. During their three-game losing streak, the Brewers are 3-for-23 with runners in scoring position.

‘You’ve got to get hits with runners in scoring position,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Some nights you’re not going to get them. The last couple nights, we’ve gotten guys on — just unable to get that next hit.”

While he sounded composed in the post-game press conference, Counsell lost his composure in the eighth inning over a called strike against third baseman Travis Shaw. Counsell’s disagreement with home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski resulted in an ejection.

Milwaukee can split the four-game series with Pittsburgh by winning the final two games. Zach Davies starts opposite Gerrit Cole during Wednesday’s game at 6:05 p.m. CT.

Brewers clinch series win with late Shaw HR

MILWAUKEE — On a night where the Milwaukee Brewers were honoring a team known for hitting home runs, Travis Shaw helped salute them with a big home run of his own.

The Brewers third baseman launched an eighth-inning solo shot to give Milwaukee a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday night. The evening began with an on-field celebration of the 1982 club that won an American League pennant, while also representing the Brewers’ last trip to the World Series.

It was Shaw’s only hit of the night, in which Aaron Nola gave the Phillies six innings of two-run ball. But Milwaukee was supported by its own impressive starter, Jimmy Nelson. He struck out nine while pitching into the seventh inning. The Brewers only allowed four hits all night.

“We had a lot of momentum going into the break, and for us to be able to take a few days off then come back and continue that momentum is huge, especially for a younger team,” Nelson said. “We’re playing with a lot of energy, and who knows what can happen? Who knows what we can do?”

The Brewers are now 2-0 in games since the All Star break, maintaining their 5 ½ lead in the National League Central. Much of that has to do with the recent success in the bullpen, with Corey Knebel leading the way after earning his 16th save of the year.

The Brewers and Phillies will finish off the series Sunday at 1:10 p.m. from Miller Park.

Thames hits two homers as Brewers beat Orioles on Independence Day (postgame audio included)

MILWAUKEE | The Brewers offense provided its own fireworks on the 4th of July. Four Milwaukee homers, two by Eric Thames, and a solid pitching performance by Jimmy Nelson vaulted the Crew to a 6-2 win over the Orioles. The Brewers improve to 46-40 and have a 3 1/2 game lead over the 2nd place Cubs in the NL Central.

Nelson on not looking at divisional standings

Thames, who may be coming out of a prolonged slump after a two-day stint on the bench last week, belted a 402 foot blast over the right field wall in the 5th inning. Thames went deep again in the 7th. Thames has gone deep 23 times this season.

“I relaxed for a few days. I was hanging out with (hitting coach Darnell Coles) a lot talking mechanics,” Thames said.

Thames on days off helping him

Counsell on Thames playing well after off days

Stephen Vogt and Travis Shaw also homered for the Brewers and Nelson (7-4) continued his resurgence, winning for the fifth time in six decisions. He gave up six hits and an unearned run in seven innings. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

“The first six innings, he was in as good a groove as we’ve seen him this year,” Counsell said.

Nelson held the Orioles in check even without strong command of his fastball.

“I didn’t have my best fastball today, but I was able to throw my off-speed stuff for strikes, especially early in the game,” Nelson said.

Nelson on not being satisfied with recent performances

Nelson on pitch breakdown

He credited battery mate Vogt, the veteran whom the Brewers claimed off waivers from Oakland last week, for his pitch calls and defense behind the plate.

“We were on the same page and that was the first time he caught me,” Nelson said. “He blocks everything. He is tough as nails back there.”

Nelson on vogt calling impressive game

Counsell on vogt hot start with club

The Brewers jumped ahead on Vogt’s two-run homer in the second off Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez (3-4). Vogt has three home runs since joining the Brewers. With two outs in the inning, Shaw hit a solo shot as the lead ballooned to 5-0.

Shaw started after leaving Monday’s game when hit on the left hand by a 93 mph pitch in the second inning. Shaw initially stayed in the game but left in the fourth with a contusion. .INF Eric Sogard didn’t start due to ankle soreness. “He was running the bases in Cincinnati and had to stop real quick at third base, so it’s still a little bit sore,” manager Craig Counsell said. OF Ryan Braun got the day off to rest.

The Brewers will try to sweep the Orioles on Wednesday night at Miller Park.  Matt Garza (3-4) will be on the mound for the Crew. Garza is 9-1 with a 3.11 ERA in 13 career starts against the Orioles but has not faced Baltimore since May 27, 2014.

 

The Mayor of Ding Dong City needs your vote!

The latest All-Star ballots were released yesterday and no Brewers were in the top five at any position. This is ridiculous that Travis Shaw isn’t at least in the top five of best third basemen this season. Shaw, The Mayor of Ding Dong City, is having a breakout year and currently not being rewarded for it. He is in the top five in most of the offensive categories, yet isn’t even close to being one of the top five vote-getters at his position.

Kris Bryant is currently leading the National League All-Star ballot at third base, just edging out Nolan Arenado. If you compare Bryant and Shaw’s numbers, fans may be surprised by the results. They both have had the same number of at-bats, which should make it even easier to compare the two. When comparing their numbers, Shaw has more hits, extra base hits, 24 more RBIs, stolen bases and less strikeouts. Shaw even has a batting average that is 30 points higher and a slugging percentage 38 points higher. The only categories that Bryant actually leads Shaw in are walks, on base percentage, hit by pitch, and has a slightly higher OPS.

 (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

After looking at these stats head-to-head, you have to wonder how Shaw isn’t at least in the top five. If you compare his numbers to all of the players listed in the top five of All-Star voting at third base there are really only two players having better seasons than Shaw. The two in my opinion who are having better seasons are Nolan Arenado and Jacob Lamb. There is no reason why Shaw shouldn’t be at least in the top three at third base in the National League.

Brewer fans need to go out and vote for Shaw and give him the recognition he deserves this season. The Brewers by rule, have to have at least one player to represent the organization at the All-Star Game. If Brewer fans don’t get out and vote for Brewers players who are actually deserving to play in the game, one is all they’ll have. The Brewers are currently  in first in the National League Central Division leading the Chicago Cubs by one game. In Comparison, the Cubs have at least one player at every position in the top five for number of votes.

The All-Star ballots closes Thursday, June 29th, at 11:59 pm ET. So Brewers fans need to get out and vote!

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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Brewers pitching falls apart in 8-1 loss to Pirates

MILWAUKEE — An area of weakness reared its ugly head as the Milwaukee Brewers fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 Monday night.

That weakness was relief pitching. Wily Peralta took over for Matt Garza in the sixth inning only to leave an inning later after allowing four runs to score on five hits. But by the time Peralta was taken out in favor of Paolo Espino, the damage was done and Milwaukee couldn’t climb out of the 8-1 hole.

“I think the ability to create ground balls was really [Peralta’s] strength with his fastball,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the loss. “The velocity is usually what makes the slider a better pitch, but we’re not getting either, really.”

The Brewers’ bullpen has now allowed 130 runs this season (third most in MLB), while maintaining its last-place ranking with 19 losses.

But Garza’s 5.1 innings didn’t give Milwaukee the start it needed to succeed, with a sixth inning Andrew McCutchen home run giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead. Opposing pitcher Gerrit Cole even helped his cause with a sacrifice base hit.

The Brewers offense can be summed up by the solo home run in the second inning from Travis Shaw that just escaped over the center field wall. That was one of just five hits Milwaukee recorded on the night.

Matt Garza headed back to the DL

Matt Garza is headed back to the disabled list.

The Milwaukee Brewers placed the veteran pitcher on the 10-day DL with a chest contusion suffered when he collided with first baseman Jesus Aguilar on Saturday. It will be his second stint on the disabled list this season. He started the year there with a strained groin.

It’s an unfortunate situation for Garza as he’s pitched well in his eight starts, going 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA. It’s unclear who will start in place of Garza against San Francisco on Thursday.

Milwaukee also activated third baseman Travis Shaw from the paternity list. He’s missed the last two games.

Brewers move into first place with a 3-1 win over San Diego

The Milwaukee Brewers are in first place in the NL Central.

That’s after they beat the Padres 3-1 last night in San Diego, their eighth win in their last 10 games. It moved them a ½ game up on the Cardinals in the division and pushed them five games over .500 on the year.

Milwaukee won the game in the ninth innings courtesy of a Jett Bandy single to break a 1-1 tie, with the Crew adding an insurance run before closer Corey Knebel came on to finish things off in the bottom of the ninth for his second save of the year.

The game was all about pitching for much of the night, as the two starters – Milwaukee’s Matt Garza and San Diego’s Jhoulys Chacin – each went deep into the contest. Garza made it six innings, giving up just one run on four hits and striking out three. It was his fourth straight quality start and lowered his ERA to 2.43 on the season.

After giving up a run in the first inning, Chacin settled in, finishing with just that one run against him on the night and two hits total, while striking out eight.

Third baseman Travis Shaw paced Milwaukee’s offense with a pair of hits and an RBI in his first game back since injuring a finger in the series finale against the New York Mets on Sunday.

Game No. 4 of the series is this afternoon in San Diego. First pitch is set for 2:40 p.m.