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When Hunter's Away, The Brewers Will Play: Offense Comes Alive After Trade For 4-0 Win

WP: Randy Wolf (7-8)
LP: Jordan Lyles (0-6)

HR: None

MVP: Randy Wolf (+.400)
LVP: Ryan Braun (-.054)

Win Expectancy Graph

It was a tale of two games for the Brewers offense tonight.

Through the first four and a half innings, it was a pitcher's duel.  Randy Wolf was pitching well, allowing only two walks and two hits through his first five innings.  On the other side, Jordan Lyles was even better.  He allowed only one hit and faced the minimum through his first four innings.  It looked like it would be another game with the Brewers struggling against a rookie pitcher.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Astros front office was working.  Rumors of Hunter Pence being traded were swirling for days, and in the middle of the fifth inning, it was close enough for the Astros to protect their player.  Hunter Pence was removed from the game, went into the dugout, said goodbye to his teammates, and left the dugout.  When he left, the seal on the Brewers offense was broken.

In the fifth inning, four of the Brewers first five hitters collected hits against Lyles, and they were on the scoreboard first with a 2-0 lead.  The Brewers would tack on two more runs to boost that lead to 4-0 against the Astros bullpen in the seventh inning.  Felipe Lopez made an immediate impact in his first game back as a Brewer, going 2-4.  All of the Brewers starters except for Ryan Braun and Randy Wolf recorded at least one hit.

Of course, Randy Wolf didn't need to provide any offense because he was on tonight.  It wasn't his most efficient game in terms of pitch usage, but the results were excellent.  He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and three walks on 116 pitches and picking up his first win in over a month.  On the other side, Jordan Lyles was decent for the Astros.  He went six innings, allowing six hits and two runs.  Unfortunately, that was too much, and the Astros lost for the tenth time in his eleven starts.

The Brewers bullpen continued their scoreless inning streak, going to 12 1/3 with scoreless innings from Takashi Saito and Kameron Loe, and also giving John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez a needed day off.

The Brewers continue their home stand tomorrow against the Astros.