Brewers get past Pirates

Jesús Aguilar provided the offense and Freddy Peralta provided the pitching as the Brewers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.

Aguilar led of the scoring in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run to right center field. He also provided a run scoring double in the third inning scoring Lorenzo Cain from first.

Peralta’s outing on the mound was arguably his best in the big leagues. He pitched six shutout innings while striking out seven, allowing two hits, and not walking a batter.

The Pirates got on the board in the seventh inning as Jordy Mercer knocked an RBI-double to left center field. The double came off of reliever Jeremy Jeffress but the run was charged to Dan Jennings. Jeffress later allowed a solo home run to Starling Marte in the eighth inning.

The ninth inning was quiet as closer Corey Knebel got through the frame striking out a pair and only allowing a walk.

The Brewers and Pirates close out this three game series on Wednesday night at PNC Park. Brent Suter (7-4, 4.30 ERA) is on the hill for the Brewers and Chad Kuhl (5-4, 3.76 ERA) gets the start for the Pirates. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. CT.

Brewers shutout in third straight loss

The Milwaukee Brewers wasted another terrific pitching performance on Monday night. Starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin threw six and 1/3 innings allowing one run on six hits, but the Milwaukee offense struggled mightily against Pirates starter Trevor Williams.

Williams pitched seven innings and held the Brewers to one hit while striking out seven and walking a pair. Milwaukee finished with only two hits on the night, singles by Christian Yelich and Jonathan Villar.

Chacin left the game with two runners on and one out in the seventh inning in favor of star reliever Josh Hader. Hader got the final two outs of the inning, but not before allowing an RBI-dobule to Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer.

The loss, paired with Chicago’s postponement due to inclement weather against the Dodgers, places the Brewers in a tie with the Cubs for first in the National League Central Division.

Milwaukee and Pittsburgh square off in the second game of the three game series on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. Freddy Peralta (1-0, 3.72 ERA) will start for the Brewers against Jameson Taillon (4-5, 3.94 ERA) for the Pirates. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. CT.

Brewers fall to Phillies in series finale

The Milwaukee Brewers entered the weekend series with the Philadelphia Phillies having won their last two games over the division rival Chicago Cubs.

The weekend series against Philadelphia did not go quite as planned with a 10-9 loss on Sunday as the Phillies took two out of three from the Crew.

Despite a four-run rally in the ninth inning the Brewers came up short. Eric Thames homered twice in the loss, his first two home runs since coming off the disabled list earlier in the week. He finished the day with four runs batted in.

Chase Anderson (5-6) was handed the loss after he pitched five and 1/3 innings allowing six runs on five hits. The combined efforts of the bullpen allowed four runs on seven hits as well.

Milwaukee was able to chase Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola after four and 1/3 innings after allowing seven hits and four runs while walking four and striking out four.

The Brewers are in action next on Monday night in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CT.

Last strikes: Phillies 4, Brewers 1

MILWAUKEE – Seventeen last strikes for the 17 strikes thrown by reliever Jacob Barnes in Saturday’s 4-1 loss at home to the Philadelphia Phillies.

1. The Brewers bullpen has been very good for the better part of the 2018 campaign. The weight has been carried mostly by Josh Hader, Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress. Dan Jennings, Taylor Williams, and Jacob Barnes have been good as well, mostly in lower-leverage situations.

2. Boone Logan has not been part of the success of that group. Logan entered Saturday’s contest with an ERA north of 5.00 and it only climbed from there as he allowed a run in 1/3 of an inning against Philadelphia. Logan also allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth.

3. “It’s left-hander, switch-hitter who you want hitting right handed, pitcher’s spot and left-hander,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said of the situation that Logan was inserted into. “That’s a spot where we’re down one in the game and that’s a spot Boone’s got to be able to get outs in.”

4. Logan has appeared in 16 games this season and has allowed seven runs in 10.2IP. He hasn’t been an effective pitcher at the major league level since 2016 in Colorado. Logan spent last season in Cleveland allowing 13 runs in 21 innings before tearing his lat muscle on July 19 and spending the remainder of the season on the 60-day DL.

5. “He’s got 10 innings, so we don’t have a big sample, but these are the outs that we need him to get there’s no question,” Counsell said. “This is his job and it has to be his role to get these outs.”

6. The position that he holds in the bullpen isn’t one of the utmost importance, but if his struggles continue it would be logical for the Brewers to move on from him. Financially, he’s owed $1.8MM this season and has a team option worth $2.12MM for 2019. If his option is not picked up the Brewers would owe him $625k.

7. Junior Guerra started the game on the hill for the Crew Saturday and took the loss. He wasn’t bad but wasn’t the pitcher the Brewers had become accustomed to watching take the ball every five days, either.

8. “I thought he pitched well,” Counsell said. “A couple home runs got him. He was a little bit cruising. I thought the last couple innings there was a tad bit of fatigue in him, but he gave us a chance.”

9. In general, the pitching for the Brewers wasn’t great Saturday. Milwaukee walked a season-high 10 batters while allowing four earned runs on nine hits.

10. Guerra went five and 1/3 innings Saturday allowing three runs on four hits. He also walked three which led to more traffic on the base paths than Milwaukee would like. The right hander also gave up two home runs, including a 431-foot blast to Rhys Hoskins of Philadelphia that might still be going had it not collided with the Stadium Club in left field.

11. Hoskins also hit a foul ball in this area on Friday night. It was to the left of the foul pole but was a sight to behold nonetheless. He kept the ball fair on Saturday and it was one of the more impressive home runs that Miller Park has seen this season, also the longest home run hit to straight-away left field in the venue this season.

12. Despite all this, and the lack of offensive production for most of the game, the Brewers had a chance to tie things up late. In the eighth inning Hernán Pérez doubled down the left field line and Eric Sogard was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate with one out.

13. The Brewers squandered the opportunity as both Eric Thames and Christian Yelich struck out swinging to end the threat and what would be Milwaukee’s best chance to even things up late.

14. The Brewers entered the day tied for their season-high in games above .500 at 15. Each time the Crew has reached that mark the next game has been a loss. Milwaukee has not been 16 games above .500 since August 19, 2014 when the record was 71-55.

15. Ryan Braun collected two hits on the afternoon and recorded his 200th career stolen base in the fifth inning. Braun becomes the fourth active player to reach at least 200 home runs and 200 steals. He joins Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips, and Hanley Ramirez in that group.

16. Braun is also the only active player to amass at least 300 home runs and 20 steals and the 24th all-time. Braun is in third-place all time in Brewers’ history in stolen bases trailing Paul Molitor (412) and Robin Yount (271).

17. This three-game series wraps up on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park. Chase Anderson (5-5, 4.13 ERA) heads to the mound for Milwaukee and Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.27 ERA) will start for Philadelphia. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. CT.

Last strikes: Brewers 13, Phillies 2

MILWAUKEE – Thirteen last strikes for the 13 runs scored by the Milwaukee Brewers in their 13-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night at Miller Park.

1. Brent Suter is a pleasure for the casual baseball fan to watch pitch.

2. This isn’t because Suter has devastating stuff or an overwhelming fastball. Sure, he was fantastic on Friday night against Philadelphia, pitching seven innings while allowing one run on five hits on a career-high 105 pitches. But the reason the casual fan may love to watch Suter is due to the pace he pitches with.

3. Over the past few seasons Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been pushing for the pace of the game to be hasted. Changes have been made such as shortening the time in-between innings and limiting mound visits in order to move games along quicker.

4. If every pitcher around were like Suter, Manfred would have no such problem. In the seven innings on the mound Friday, the longest amount of time between his first pitch thrown and the last out recorded was seven minutes and 48 seconds.

5. The enhanced microscope on the pace of the game certainly can get annoying. But watching Suter pitch at the pace he does is a very refreshing compromise between those that want the game sped up and those that want it left alone.

6. For Brewers fans, Philadelphia starter Jake Arrieta was also a treat to watch. He allowed eight runs (four earned) on seven hits over three and a third innings. Arrieta certainly wasn’t helped out by his defense either.

7. The Phillies entered the night with the second-most errors in the National League (50) trailing only the San Francisco Giants. By the time the night was over the Phillies had taken the lead from the Giants by committing four errors against the Brewers. Aside from the four miscues, the Phillies also had a wild pitch that scored a run for Milwaukee, as well as multiple other plays that were made despite a bobble or hiccup.

8. Giving any team — especially the one with the best record in the National League – extra outs is a bad idea. It came back to bite the Phillies on Friday night. Aside from that, the Milwaukee bats were scorching. The Brewers totaled 13 runs on 13 hits on the night.

9. Suter was also part of the offensive assault on the Phillies. He went 1-for-2 at the dish with two runs batted in but reached three times. Aside from his single he also got on base via an RBI-hit-by-pitch as well as on of the four Philadelphia errors. Suter became just the third pitcher in franchise history to score and drive in multiple runs in the same game and the first since George Lauzerique did so on April 12, 1970.

10. Lorenzo Cain also stayed hot at the plate, collecting two hits. It was the seventh time in his last nine games that Cain has had multiple hits. In that stretch he’s hit .375 for the Crew.

11. Friday was the sixth time this season that the Brewers scored 10 or more runs in a game, and they’ve now scored 12 runs or more in three of the four meetings with the Phillies this season.

12. It’s hard to equate on-field success to what the players are wearing, but it’s worth noting that the Brewers are now 6-1 on the season in the Friday night pinstriped uniforms. If that’s not a reason to move to this look full-time, it’s hard to guess what would be.

13. This three-game series continues on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park. Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.71 ERA) heads to the mound for Milwaukee and Zach Eflin (3-2, 3.63 ERA) will start for Philadelphia. First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m. CT.

Brewers shutout Chicago for a second straight game

Milwaukee coughed up the first game of its series against Chicago, blowing a 2-1 lead Monday night. The Brewers would do no such thing on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A night after shutting the Cubs out 4-0, Milwaukee did it again in the rubber match of the three-game set, this time a 1-0 victory for the Crew. It was the first time in the history of the rivalry that the Brewers shut Chicago out in back-to-back games.

It was a staff-wide achievement, though Jhoulys Chacin is the one that got it started. He went six innings, giving up four hits and striking out seven as he moved to 6-1 on the year. That one loss came all the way back in early April.

When Chacin exited, the reliable trio of Jeremy Jeffress, Josh Hader and Corey Knebel took care of the final three innings, with six of the outs coming via strikeouts. Knebel got the save, his sixth on the year.

Milwaukee’s lone offense on the afternoon came courtesy of outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who took Mike Montgomery deep in the third inning for his eighth homer of the year. It was essentially the only mistake Montgomery made as he allowed just two hits over six innings of work and the Cubs bullpen kept the Brewers in check, as well.

The win improved Milwaukee’s record against the Cubs to 3-8 on the year. Remarkably, there have been seven shutouts in those 11 games — five by the Cubs and the two this series by Milwaukee.

The Brewers, owners of the best record in the National League, are now 1 1/2 games up on Chicago in the NL Central. They’ll have Thursday off before opening a weekend series with Philadelphia at Miller Park.

Brewers jump back into first with win over Cubs

The time spent in second place in the NL Central division was short lived for the Milwaukee Brewers.

After Monday’s extra-inning loss put Milwaukee a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs in the division standings, Tuesday’s win over Chicago flipped them back into first-place.

Chase Anderson was Milwaukee’s starter and turned in his best performance of the season. Anderson pitched seven scoreless innings allowing only one hit and struck out six. That hit came on an infield single by Chicago catcher Willson Contreras in the second inning. After that blemish Anderson retired the next 17 batters he faced in order.

Offensively for Milwaukee third baseman Travis Shaw provided all of the firepower that the Brewers would need. He had a two-RBI double in the first inning that scored Eric Thames and Lorenzo Cain. Shaw came back to the plate in the third inning and collected another two-RBI double, this time scoring Christian Yelich and Cain.

The victory for the Brewers makes them the first team in the National League to reach the 40-win mark on the season. They now lead the Cubs in the division by a half-game.

These two teams wrap up this three-game series on Wednesday at Miller Park. Jhoulys Chacin (5-1, 3.58 ERA) is slated to start for Milwaukee and Mike Montgomery (2-1, 3.56 ERA) is set to be on the hill for the Cubs. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. CT.

NL All-Star ballot first return released

Major League Baseball released the first return for voting for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game on Monday. The news was not good for the Milwaukee Brewers. Despite having the second-best record in the National League as of Tuesday, Milwaukee only had two players appear to be in the running for starting spots on the team.

Outfielders Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain were the two Brewers to make the list, coming in at 11th and 15th among National League outfielders, respectively.

Yelich had 163,575 votes as of Monday while Cain had 104,948. Bryce Harper was the leader among outfielders in the National League with 498,189 votes. The top three vote-getters among outfielders are selected as starters in the game. Atlanta’s Nick Markakis is currently second and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers is in third.

The 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Brewers fall to the Cubs 7-2 in 11 innings

MILWAUKEE — For an eighth time in nine games this season, the Milwaukee Brewers came out on short end against the Chicago Cubs, this time in a 7-2 loss in 11 innings.

Drop costs Milwaukee

Lorenzo Cain thought he had a double play. It was in the eighth inning, and after a leadoff walk by Ben Zobrist, Alvin Almora Jr. hit a fly ball to deep center. Cain caught it easily and had Zobrist dead to right at second base after he tagged up. Only problem? Jonathan Villar couldn’t handle the throw, allowing Zobrist to slide in safely. Two pitches later, Jason Heyward singled to right, scoring Zobrist. It tied the game at two and gave all the momentum to Chicago, something Milwaukee never got back.

The Cubs jumped on Matt Albers in the 11th inning, with Anthony Rizzo drilling a home run on the first pitch to take a 3-2 lead. Chicago would add four more runs on the Brewers’ reliever before the inning was done.

You can’t put all that happened on Villar, obviously, but it turned out to be the clear turning point in the game.

Ryan Braun’s defense

He may be in his 12th season and playing first base at times, but Ryan Braun showed he’s still got some skills in the outfield Monday night — twice actually. The veteran took a hit away from Rizzo in the third inning on a diving backhanded grab. But he was only getting started. With Milwaukee holding a 2-1 lead in the sixth, it looked like Wilson Contreras had tied things with a shot to left. It wasn’t to be, though, as Braun went up and pulled the ball back for the third and final out. Making things even more dramatic, he held the ball behind his back, with almost no one knowing he had caught it.

Junior Guerra gets it done

For the second straight start against the Cubs, Junior Guerra brought some of his best stuff. He made it six innings and gave up just one run, earning his fourth straight quality start. The 33-year-old certainly got some defensive help from Braun, but it was another outing that showed he’s back to what he was in 2016 when he came out of nowhere to go 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA. It’s tough to imagine a Milwaukee rotation without Guerra this season.

Brewers open up six-game home stand with Cubs

After the Brewers held a divisional lead of over four games just two weeks ago, it has shrunk down to just a half-game as the team returns home following a three-city, eight-game road trip.

Milwaukee struggled at times on the road trip, as the Crew finished the trip with a 3-5 record. The Brewers lost two of three in Chicago against the White Sox, dropped both games of a two-game set in Cleveland, and then won two of three in Philadelphia.

Milwaukee now returns home for a home stand of six games beginning Monday night against the second-place Chicago Cubs. The Brewers will then have Thursday off before taking on Philadelphia this weekend.

Offensively, Milwaukee struggled in Chicago and Cleveland, scoring just seven runs in five games before breaking out for 25 runs in the three games against the Phillies.

The 12 runs on back-to-back games was just the sixth time in franchise history that they had score 12 runs in consecutive games.

HOME STAND PROBABLES

Monday vs Cubs 7:10 p.m. CT
Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.83 ERA) vs Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.20)

Tuesday vs Cubs 7:10 p.m. CT
Chase Anderson (4-5, 4.57) vs Tyler Chatwood (3-4, 3.86)

Wednesday vs Cubs 1:10 p.m. CT
Jhoulys Chacin (5-1, 3.58) vs Mike Montgomery (2-1, 3.56)

Probables against the Phillies have yet to be released.