A balk by reliever Oliver Drake allowed the go-ahead run to score in what turned into a 5-4 loss for Milwaukee in Minnesota on Monday night.
Eddie Rosario doubled home the tying run off of Drake and was sitting on third base when the left-handed Jason Castro came up to bat. As they’ve done much of the year, the Brewers shifted their defense, leaving Rosario alone at third. He did just enough dancing to get a flinch out of Drake, which was all the umpire needed to call for a balk.
“It’s a situation we’ve been in before. We’ve done it before. We shift quite a bit,” manager Craig Counsell said. “The runner is going to play around there, but he’s not going anywhere. If anything, we could have had a conversation with Oliver about it, but credit them for bouncing around. It’s the way it goes.”
It was the 29th loss of the season charged to the bullpen for Milwaukee, the worst mark in MLB. And the bullpen was called on earlier than expected, as starter Brent Suter struggled for a second straight game, making it just four innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He fell to 2-3 on the year.
Offensively, Milwaukee got a solo homer from Keon Broxton in the third, one of three runs to score in the frame, before a Broxton double in the fourth inning brought in another run.
With the Cubs beating San Francisco, the Brewers fell 1 ½ games back of Chicago in the NL Central race.
It’ll be Minnesota and Milwaukee again on Tuesday night in the Twin Cities.