A Mike Moustakas homer in the 14th helps Brewers beat Houston

The Milwaukee Brewers continued to knock the ball out of the park Wednesday night in a 6-3 win in 14 innings over the Houston Astros.

Second baseman Mike Moustakas hit home run No. 21 on the year in the top of the 14th inning, a 2-run bomb that broke a 3-3 tie and proved to be the winning hit. His homer was one of four on the night for Milwaukee, with outfielder Ryan Braun, catcher Yasmani Grandal and first baseman Eric Thames all hitting solo shots. The Thames homer tied the game in the seventh inning.

Four of the players that make up Milwaukee’s everyday lineup — Moustakas, Grandal, Christian Yelich and Orlando Arcia — are on pace to set career-highs for home runs in a single season. As a team, the Brewers lead the National League with 121 homers, 13 more than the next closest team.

The long ball was pretty much all the Brewers could get going offensively against the Astros’ Justin Verlander. Twelve years to the day since he pitched a no-hitter against Milwaukee while with the Detroit Tigers, the righty struck out a career-high 15 batters over seven innings of work. In total, the Brewers whiffed 24 times.

Outside of a tough fourth inning, Milwaukee got a solid outing from Brandon Woodruff. He also went seven innings, giving up the three runs on four hits, walking three and striking out six. Five relievers followed him, allowing just one hit in the final seven innings. Adrian Houser picked up the win.

With the victory, the Brewers moved into the lead in the NL Central at 39-29, a 1/2 game in front of Chicago. They’ll now head to California, where they’ll open a series against the San Francisco Giants Friday night.

Peralta gets roughed up in start, Brewers fall to Astros 10-8

Freddy Peralta continues to struggle as a starter for the Brewers. It didn’t get any better Monday night in Houston. The Astros roughed him up pretty bad as they went on to top the Brewers 10-8.

Peralta was coming off a good start against the Miami Marlins giving up only four hits and one run. That success didn’t carry over to Houston. He allowed eight hits and six runs in four-plus innings including two of the Astros’ four home runs. Peralta went to 3-3 with a 5.81 earned run average in 13 outings.

Yasmani Grandal got the Brewers off to a good start in the first inning with a two-out single that plated a run. Milwaukee had a chance to do more damage with bases loaded but Jesus Aguilar grounded out.

Christian Yelich continued his terrific season smacking a MLB-leading 25th home run. It was his fourth home run over his last nine games.

The Brewers made it interesting in the ninth. They kept battling as Grandal smacked a three-run homer to pull them within two.

Next up, the Brewers (38-29) will try to avoid the two-game sweep against the Astros (46-22). Brandon Woodruff (8|13.87 ERA90 SO) will get the start for Milwaukee opposite of Justin Verlander (9|22.31 ERA, 110 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.

Brewers 5, Pirates 2: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers finished off the sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 5-2 victory Sunday afternoon.

Christian Yelich blasts HR #24 on his bobblehead day

The reigning NL MVP entered the day ranked first in HR, SLG and OPS. He added to all three in the sixth inning while the Miller Park fans held his bobblehead. It put Milwaukee on the board with their first run of the afternoon.

“That guy is on a different planet,” Mike Moustakas said.

Moustakas may be on to something. Starter Chase Anderson said after the game that Yelich wanted to prove last year’s MVP season wasn’t a fluke. I think he’s off to a good start this season.

Mike Moustakas wins a fan a car with his 20th dinger

“That homer won us the game and somebody a car, which is pretty cool,” Yelich said.

Moustakas did more than hit a home run on Sunday as Yelich pointed out. His 20th dinger of the season put the Brewers in front leading to the win and sent a couple fans home with a brand new car.

His game-winning two-run home run was his fourth in his last four games. You can’t overstate how big it was for the Brewers to be able to bring Moustakas back this off-season.

“I didn’t know that I actually won somebody a car until afterwards,” Moustakas said. “You came to ballgame and leave with a car is pretty cool.”

He has been on a tear so far this season. Moustakas and Yelich are two of the four players in MLB who have hit 20 home runs this season. The two are the first pair of teammates to each hit 20 homers within their team’s first 66 games since New York-AL’s Curtis Granderson (21) and Mark Texiera (21) in 2011.

Brewers pitching solid throughout

Chase Anderson made one mistake which cost his team two runs. However, he was terrific during the rest of his six innings of work. Anderson began the day retiring each of his first five batters and sent down 10 of his final 11 batters faced. He recorded a season-high-tying six strikeouts.

Adrian Houser relieved Anderson in the seventh inning to pitch a scoreless frame. Houser has not allowed an earned run in each of his last seven appearances and in each of his last 13 innings of work. Jeremy Jeffress took care of business in the eighth inning and picked up the win. Then, in the ninth, Josh Hader walked the first batter but struck out the next three to pick up his 16th save of the season.

What’s next?

The Brewers (38-28) get a well-deserved day off Monday before heading out to Houston for a two-game set with the Astros (45-22) beginning Tuesday.

Brewers 5, Pirates 3: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers took game two of a three-game series over the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 5-3 win Saturday afternoon.

Zach Davies improves to 7-0

Davies became the first starter in Brewers franchise history to begin a season 7-0 and the second to win at least his first 7 decisions with the team in a season (CC Sabathia began his tenure with the team 9-0 in his first 13 starts after being acquired in 2008).

Like everyone else in the clubhouse though, Davies is only worried about the team accomplishments.

“I think after the season that will be a fun time to kind of reflect back on it,” Davies said on his 7-0 start. “Coming up a game short of the World Series last year I think that’s the goal for us and our focus is forward on that.”

The most impressive moment for Davies came in the third inning. The Pirates had bases loaded with no outs and Davies was able to get out of the jam allowing just one run.

“The third inning he did a great job,” manager Craig Counsell said. “Two lead-off hits, a swinging bunt, the Josh Bell up at the plate, he fell behind him 3-1 then he came back and got the sac fly and came out of the inning with one run. That just limited the damage and that’s just about keep making pitches and he kept making pitches.”

Offensive contributions across the board

Counsell mentioned how good the offense can be when everyone contributes. We witnessed that on Saturday. Milwaukee did leave 13 runners on base but the way they were able to get on base was terrific.

9 batters reached base in one way or another. The Brewers drew nine walks as a team. Orlando Arcia got the Crew going in the second with an RBI-Double scoring Travis Shaw who walked on the previous at bat. Lorenzo Cain then drove in Arcia to the tie the game at 2-2.

The Brewers were down again in the third inning before Mike Moustakas blasted his 19th home run of the season to knot it up at 3-3.

Ryan Braun picked up an RBI in the fourth with a single driving in Lorenzo Cain. Their final run came in the eighth inning on Manny Pina’s second career pinch-hit home run.

“That’s just good offense and that’s something we want to do every day,” Counsell said. “We’ve done a wonderful job of it days one and two in this series. Really the first three innings were almost a carbon copy of yesterday | forcing the starter to throw a lot of pitches, we’re already twice through the order in three innings. That’s just good offense, I think we stranded a bunch of runners today but that’s the offense you want.”

Bullpen shuts the door

The bullpen looked great. Counsell went to four different pitchers over the last four innings and got four scoreless innings out of them. Alex Claudio pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning. Junior Guerra then came out in the seventh allowing one hit and striking out two batters.

Jeremy Jeffress dominated the eighth mowing down three straight batters. Finally, Josh Hader struck out the side to pick up his 15th save of the year.

“Good job by all of them for sure,” Counsell said. “We used four guys and they cleared their innings really nicely.”

What’s next?

The Brewers (37-28) will look for the sweep against the Pirates (30-33) on Sunday. Chase Anderson (3|13.93 ERA40 SO) will get the start for Milwaukee. Pittsburgh will counter with Steven Brault (2|15.45 ERA29 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.

Brewers 10, Pirates 4: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-4 Friday night.

Eric Thames gets the offense started

Thames got Milwaukee rolling early in the second with a two-run homer to put them in front 2-0.

“I think it shows what the offense is capable of when we get contributions from everyone,” manager Craig Counsell said. “A lot of guys had good nights tonight and did really good things.”

Milwaukee finished with 10 runs on 14 hits. This is the kind of performance we expected the Brewers to have a lot this season. The offense has so much potential and they showed it Friday night.

Brandon Woodruff ties strikeout career-high

Woodruff was terrific Friday night striking out 10 Pirates. He pitched six innings of three-run ball on four hits. Woody was almost untouchable early striking out five of the first six batters he faced on 24 pitches. He found some trouble in the third inning but settled down the rest of the way.

It was great to see the young right-hander perform at a high-level coming off his worst start of the season only a week ago.

“I was ready to get back out there and face these guys again,” Woodruff said. “[I] went back and watched film from last game and I just wasn’t executing well enough…tonight was just all about getting out there and if I made a good pitch, make an even better pitch and I think for the most part I was able to do that and get through six innings.”

He did allow a home-run in the sixth inning but recovered nicely retiring the next three batters to finish off his night.

It was his fourth quality start of the year and is second in the National League with eight wins.

“He’s been in a good groove here,” Counsell said. “He’s confident in what he’s doing and it’s mainly because of the fastball. I think the feedback that the league has given him has given him a lot of confidence…I was proud of him in the sixth inning. I thought he found an extra gear to finish that inning.”

Ryan Braun bat-flip

With the Brewers clinging to a one-run lead in the sixth, Ryan Braun came through in a big way. Entering the at-bat 0-3 with runners on the corners Braun blasted a three-run shot to put the Crew up 7-4.

Braun also added an epic bat flip on his way to first base.

“It was a big play, it changed the course of the game for sure,” Counsell said. “It was a good at bat. The guy fell behind 3-0, made a couple of pitches, and Ryan got a good pitch to hit down in the zone, did a nice job.”

What’s next?

The Brewers (36-28) will look to take game two from the Pirates 30-32) Saturday afternoon. Zach Davies (6|02.20 ERA45 SO) will get the start opposite of Jordan Lyles (5|33.38 ERA, 61 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 3:10pm.

Mike Moustakas homers twice in Milwaukee’s 5-1 win over Miami

Milwaukee managed to get one win in its three-game series with Miami, beating the Marlins 5-1 Thursday afternoon at Miller Park.

After getting outscored 24-3 in the first two games, the Brewers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a pair of home runs. Right fielder Christian Yelich blasted a two-run shot, his 23rd on the year. Third baseman Mike Moustakas followed that up with a solo homer of his own. The veteran made it a 4-0 game in the third with his 18th home run of the season.

That was more than enough offense for the Milwaukee pitching staff. Starter Freddy Peralta allowed just one run over six innings of work, while striking out nine to pick up his third win this season. Relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Josh Hader did the rest of the work, including Hader getting out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth inning.

Yelich finished the day going 3-for-4 and centerfielder Lorenzo Cain was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

The Brewers moved to within a 1/2 game of first-place Chicago in the NL Central with the win. They’ll now welcome Pittsburgh to town for a weekend series starting Friday. The two clubs faced off last week with Milwaukee taking three of four on the road.

Marlins 8, Brewers 3: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers lost their second straight game to the Miami Marlins falling 8-3 Wednesday night.

Jimmy Nelson struggles in return

It was Nelson’s first start in the majors since 2017 and it didn’t go as planned. He got through the first two innings allowing only one run which was unearned. However, trouble started in the third inning.

Nelson walked the opposing pitcher Sandy Alcántara to lead off the frame. Then, Nelson gave up a double and walked another Marlin to load the bases. Brian Anderson would take advantage blasting his first career grand slam to give Miami a 5-0 lead.

“This is very uncharacteristic of how I’ve been throwing, even over the last couple of months,” Nelson said. “It’s not necessarily like a change in competition level. It was a decrease in the execution of my stuff for that one inning, at least.”

Despite the performance from the returning pitcher, the crowd was happy to see him back out on the mound.

“The reception from the fans and the excitement of all the teammates and staff here the last day or two is something I’ll always remember and always appreciate,” Nelson said. “That was the best moment of the day, obviously.”

Marlins dominate in series so far

Miami has outscored Milwaukee 24-3 over the first two games of the series. The Marlins defeated the Brewers 16-0 on Tuesday and showed much of the same Wednesday night. Some thought this was a series the Crew could walk through with ease as the Marlins currently are tied for the third-worst record in the league.

“They are swinging the bats well, there’s no question,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We need to be better in all phases of the game. We haven’t been good in any phase of the game this series. They’re playing well, we’ve played two poor games and they’ve got two wins.”

What’s next?

The Brewers (34-28) will look to avoid the sweep against the Marlins (23-36) Thursday afternoon. Freddy Peralta (2|25.68 ERA43 SO) will get the start for Milwaukee. Miami will counter with Caleb Smith (3|33.10 ERA, 80 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.

Marlins 16, Brewers 0: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers were shutout by the Miami Marlins 16-0 on Tuesday night.

Home Runs hurt Chase Anderson

Not one, not two, but three home runs were hit by the Marlins off the Brewers starter. It was 4-0 when Anderson was pulled after just four innings. Anderson has pitched well since leaving the bullpen to become a starter. He entered the game 2-0 with a 2.78 ERA in five starts since moving to the rotation but this one was one to forget.

What the fifth?

Taylor Williams replaced Anderson in the fifth and suffered through one of the worst performances by a Brewers pitcher in recent memory. The Marlins scored a franchise-record 11 runs in the frame. They tallied three doubles and six singles while sending 15 batters to the plate to build a 15-0 lead.

“Look, you want to forget this one as fast as you can,” manager Craig Counsell said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. “Couldn’t get out of it. That’s what happened.”

Travis Shaw back in the lineup

Shaw returned to the starting lineup after coming off the 10-day injured list. He played well going 2-3 with a walk.

“It’s obviously nice to see those adjustments pay off,” Shaw said. “I felt like I was in a good place coming back here. You never know until you get back here and have that pay off in the first at-bat, the second at-bat, all the way through the night.”

Fan-favorite and rookie phenom Keston Hiura was sent down in favor of Shaw. It was good to see Shaw play well in his first game back.

Hernan Perez has some fun

The Brewers utility man took the mound in the ninth and recorded a 1-2-3 inning while having fun doing so.

“It was in the sixth inning,” Pérez said. “We were losing by a lot and I thought I was going to pitch, and I went to YouTube to see some crazy mechanics pitching.”

The clubhouse seemed loose after the big loss. Guys mostly chalked it up to something that doesn’t happen often and will be easy to move on from. Good for Perez doing his best to have fun which certainly trickled down to his teammates.

The good news is if you lose by 16 or by just one it’s still only one loss.

What’s next?

Milwaukee (34-27) will look to bounce back in game two of the three-game set against Miami (22-36) Wednesday. Jimmy Nelson will get the start for the Brewers in his first major league appearance in almost two years. Sandy Alcantara will get the nod for the Marlins.

Brewers add a pair of lefty arms in MLB Draft

The Milwaukee Brewers took two left-handed pitchers in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft on Monday.

Milwaukee selected Ethan Small of Mississippi State in the first round (28 overall). It is the same college that produced Brandon Woodruff who is currently pitching great in the Brewers’ rotation.

“He’s the consummate pitcher,” Brewers amateur scouting director Tod Johnson said of their first round pick. “He throws a ton of strikes, gets a ton of swings and misses. He’s not the hardest-throwing guy but he does have velocity in there when he needs it. He has been really successful in what’s the toughest conference in the country, especially for pitchers.”

Small was named the SEC pitcher of the year. He led the conference with 160 strikeouts in 96 innings and going 9-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 16 starts. He throws his fastball in the low 90s, has an effective changeup and can mix in a solid curveball. He missed the 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

In the second round (65 overall), the Brewers took Antoine Kelly of Wabash Valley Junior College in Mount Carmel, Ill. Kelly went 9-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 13 starts for Wabash Valley. He struck out 112 hitters in only 52 2/3 innings, with 21 hits and 31 walks allowed.

Brewers send Keston Hiura back to minors

The Milwaukee Brewers are sending their top prospect back to the minors.

General manager David Stearns announced Monday that Keston Hiura had been optioned to Triple-A San Antonio. The move is to make room for third baseman Travis Shaw to return to the club this week after a stint on the 10-day injured list.

Hiura was everything fans and the Brewers thought he could be in the 17 games he played. The second baseman batted .281 with five home runs and nine RBI. Still, Stearns decided to make the move.

“We believe that Travis has earned the right to play at the Major League level right now,” Stearns said, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. “He’s gone and done his rehab assignment, and we believe that it’s time for him to come back.”

Shaw has struggled mightily at the plate this year. Before a wrist injury last month, he was batting just .163 with four home runs and eight RBI in 40 games. It was tough going in the minors in his rehab stint as well before going 3-for-3 with a home run in a game on May 31.

The Brewers will open a 3-game series with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.