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 Keon Broxton added a late-game insurance run with a pinch-hit solo blast in the seventh inning.

“Any run that we can scratch on at the end of the game really helps our team, helps the pitchers,” Broxton said. “It makes it tough on the other team, knowing they have to get an extra run. It’s not just one [run] to tie the game up, so yeah, that was a clutch home run.”

Newcomer Neil Walker continued to impress, making one of the more important defensive plays of the game. With the game tied at 1-1 in the sixth inning, Walker made a sliding stop of an infield grounder, tossing the ball over to first base in time to stop a run from scoring.

Closer Corey Knebel also notched his 23rd save of the year.

Minnesota finishes off a sweep of the Brewers

Milwaukee’s tumble down the NL Central standings continued on Thursday night thanks to a 7-2 loss to Minnesota at Miller Park.

The Twins scored three runs each in the second and third innings off of Zach Davies, who went 5 2/3rds innings, allowing 11 hits overall on the way to his sixth loss of the season. The six earned runs he gave up were two more than he had given up in the previous 28 2/3rds innings of work he’d seen.

Meanwhile, the Brewers bats continued their extended vacation as it’s now been 14 games since Milwaukee scored more than four runs. On Thursday, all the offense had was a solo home run by Keon Broxton in the second and then bases loaded walk that scored a run.

The loss was Milwaukee fifth straight, and dropped them into third in the division, a game back of St. Louis and two games back of Chicago.

Cincinnati will come to town on Friday to start a weekend series. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.

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.

Offense backs career-best start for Davies in win over Nationals

WASHINGTON — The Milwaukee Brewers went from playing one of the league’s worst teams to one of the league’s best, but that didn’t stop them from beating the Washington Nationals 8-0 Tuesday night behind a strong start from Zach Davies.

Davies went 7.2 innings, giving up just three hits while striking out seven. It’s the deepest into a game he’s gone in his career, but just the third time he’s gone at least seven innings this season — though all three have come in the last month.

“He was really good in [his last start] and this was more of the same,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Davies’ most recent performance. “His off-speed the last two games has been working about as good as it can and all four pitches he’s using them very effectively…two in a row really good ones for Zach.”

The win kept pace with the Chicago Cubs, who beat the Chicago White Sox earlier in the day. Milwaukee now regains sole possession of first place in the National League Central after losing seven of the previous eight games and watching a 5 ½ game lead disappear in less than two weeks.

“At this time for us, it’s time to get going,” Davies said. “It’s time for us to separate ourselves and get back to the way we were playing in the first half. Especially making a statement against a good team like [the Nationals], it’s to say that we’re here to stay.”

But Davies didn’t get the win on his own. The Milwaukee offense produced a trio of home runs (Travis Shaw in the fourth inning, and Eric Thames and Manny Piña in the fifth inning) on the way to the victory.  That success might have been a product of a lineup change after Counsell moved Thames to fifth in the batting order. He had previously only batted second or third.

Jimmy Nelson will try to keep the momentum moving for Milwaukee when he gets the start opposite Gio Gonzalez on Wednesday night.

Knebel blows the save, Brewers lose their fourth straight

A disappointing start to the second half of the season continued Wednesday night for the Milwaukee Brewers in a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 10 innings.

Manager Craig Counsell’s club was in position to snap a three-game losing streak when he handed the ball to closer Corey Knebel in the ninth inning and holding a 2-1 lead. But after retiring the first batter, the lone Milwaukee all-star allowed three straight hitters to reach base, and the Pirates tied things up. Then, in the 10th inning, reliever Jared Hughes gave up a walk-off single to rookie Max Maroff to end the game.

The loss wasted good nights from starter Zach Davies and right fielder Domingo Santana.

Davies made it seven innings, giving up just one unearned run on eight hits, a performance Counsell called one of his best of the season. Santana, hitting at the top of the lineup, was 3-of-5 on the night and scored both of Milwaukee’s runs, including a solo home run in the eighth inning to give them the lead.

The Brewers dropped to 3-8 in extra innings this year, while also sitting at just 11-13 in 1-run games.

Milwaukee’s lead in the NL Central is now just 1.5 games on the Chicago Cubs, who have won six straight.

The Crew will try to salvage one game of their four-game set with the Pirates this afternoon in Pittsburgh.

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.”

The Brewers to honor the 1982 AL Championship team this weekend

The Milwaukee Brewers will resume play this weekend with a three game home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are the worst team in baseball entering Friday’s game with a 29-58 record, the Brewers on the other hand are in first place in the National League Central with a 50-41 record. Each day during the series, the Brewers will be commemorating the 1982 AL Championship team with different giveaways and ceremonies.

Friday

The match-up on Friday night will feature Zach Davies (10-4) on the hill for the Brewers while Nick Pivetta (2-4)will pitch for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CST. The Brewers will be continuing their free T-Shirt Friday. The first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a 1982 powder blue Paul Molitor replica jersey. It is also a Miller Lite Beerpen promotional night, so fans 21+ can sit in the Miller Lite Beerpen in right field and receive a free Brewers trucker hat. Friday is also student night, so high school and college students will receive discounts on ticket and food prices.

Saturday

The pitching match-up on Saturday night will be Jimmy Nelson (8-4) on the mound for the Brewers versus Aaron Nola (6-6) for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CST. Before the game, the Brewers will host a reunion of the 1982 American League Championship team, featuring a special on-field ceremony. Jerry Augustine, Cecil Cooper, Jim Gantner, Ben Oglivie, Jim Slaton, Gorman Thomas, Pete Vuckovich, Robin Yount and Bud Selig are just some of the guys who are confirmed to attend. The players will also hold a 45 minute autograph session for fans before the game. This game will also be the season seat holder appreciation day. Season seat holders will receive 25% off concessions and merchandise. They will also be allowed early entry into Miller Park for batting practice. The first 25,000 fans 18+ will receive a Brewers coupon book.

 (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Sunday

Probable pitchers for Sunday’s match-up is Matt Garza (4-4) on the bump for the Brewers and Jeremy Hellickson (5-5) for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CST. The giveaways continue, as all fans in attendance will receive a 1982 AL Championship replica ring. All children 14 and under will receive a free lunch voucher. The voucher includes a hot dog, bottled water, applesauce, and an ice cream snack. After the conclusion of the game, all fans 16 years old and under can run the bases at Miller Park.

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 soar to 7-0 win over Braves

ATLANTA — The Milwaukee Brewers avoided a series sweep Sunday afternoon, handing the Atlanta Braves a 7-0 loss behind the stellar pitching of Zach Davies.

Although Davies didn’t record a strikeout, he allowed just four hits over the course of his seven innings, keeping his road record blemish-free. It’s the first game this season in which Davies has made it out of the sixth inning and he was backed up by a flurry of offense.

Travis Shaw didn’t waste any time, blasting a first inning home run that got the attention of Atlanta’s Julio Tehran. Keon Broxton followed suit in the second inning before things really started clicking for Milwaukee. After Davies recorded his first extra-base hit of his career, three runs scored for the Brewers to take Tehran out of the game early.

“The big inning for me was the third when we had two outs and nobody on and we put together five or six at-bats that were outstanding,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s one of our best innings of the year, I think, the way we put it together.”

The Braves left 17 runners on base, which was a problem for the Brewers in the previous two games of the series.

Milwaukee’s offense gets better

The Brewers offense figures to keep rolling this week, as it’s expected Ryan Braun will return from the disabled list to take over the Lewis Brinson, who was demoted to Triple A following the win. Jett Bandy was also sent down and will be replaced by newcomer Stephen Vogt, who was claimed off waivers on Sunday from the Oakland A’s.

Bandy was hitting just .053 in the month of June, with only two hits in 38 at-bats. Vogt comes into Milwaukee with two All-Star selections under his belt, though his batting average has dipped to .217 in the 2017 season.