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Brewers win series opener against Padres 4-3

Wily Peralta looked solid and the offense came up big against a tough starter in Andrew Cashner.

Mike McGinnis

Winner: Wily Peralta

Loser: Andrew Cashner

SV: Francisco Rodriguez (8)

HR: Aramis Ramirez (3)


Until today Wily Peralta had never faced the Padres before. I learned that from Bill Schroeder on the broadcast. First time for everything indeed. Anyway, the Peralta was sharp in the first inning retiring the Padres in order with a strikeout, and two ground balls.

Andrew Cashner started off the bottom of the 1st inning by walking Carlos Gomez as we all knew he wouldn't!  Gomez then attempted to steal second base but wound up at third on a throwing error. Scooter Gennett grounded out but was unable to score Gomez. Ryan Braun was also unable to score on a grounder. Aramis Ramirez would fly out and the inning would end with Gomez standing at third base.

In the second inning Peralta struck out two batters before allowing a double to Yonder Alonso. It wouldn't matter as he got the next batter to hit a grounder back to him for the third out.

Jean Segura was able sneak a grounder past Cashner in the bottom of the second. He too would steal second. The throw was on target but the fielder dropped the ball. I think he was safe anyway, but with Cashner on the mound you'll take any help the Padres want to give. Just like the first time around, the Brewers were unable to drive the run in.

Peralta led off the third inning by hitting catcher Rene Rivera. Cashner bunted the runner over and would have reached base safely were it not for a nice stab by Scooter Gennett covering first. Up next was Everth Cabrera who would strike out for the second time. Peralta's pitch count was getting pretty high at this point so Will Venebal did him a solid by lining out on the second pitch of the at-bat.

Wily "I Was Originally an Outfielder" Peralta led off the bottom of the third inning with a line drive double. Gomez would advance the runner on a ground out, but it was unnecessary as Scooter Gennett followed that effort up with an RBI triple! Ryan Braun then drove him in on sac fly that I totally thought was home run off the bat. Aramis Ramirez then hit what I totally thought was a home run off the bat. That one did go out and the Brewers quickly found themselves with a 3-0 lead.

Seth Smith led off the fourth with a single and then Peralta issued a walk to Chase Headley. Jedd Gyorko scared the crap out of me when he hit a long loud out to center. Thankfully Smith misread the ball, didn't tag up, and had to stay put at second base. Gomez almost doubled him up with his throw to the infield. However Smith would come around to score on a single from Yonder Alonso. Chris Denorfia grounded out to shortstop and it looked like Gennett was going to be able to turn a double play. Unfortunately as Alonso slid into second his arm came up and made contact with Gennett's throwing arm. This allowed Headley to score. Gennett was assessed an error as the umpires ruled it incidental contact. Had they ruled it interference the inning would have ended without the second run scoring. I'm not familiar with the rule, but it didn't look like Alonso did anything intentionally. The final out would be made by Mark Reynolds on a popout in front of the Brewers dugout. Martin Maldonado almost pushed his glove out of the way also trying to catch the ball. After the snafu in Pittsburgh with Reynolds and Ramirez, I'm thinking Reynolds needs to work on his communication.

Peralta pitched a quick, clean 1-2-3 fifth inning, which is exactly what he needed since his pitch count was nearing 70. After yesterday's 14-inning marathon the Brewers really needed a deep start from Peralta.

In the bottom of the fifth Gomez laced a grounder down the third-base line for a double. Because Ron Roenicke is Ron Roenicke, he had Gennett lay down a bunt with 2 strikes. This time it worked and Gomez advanced the third base. Once again Braun would drive in the runner, this time on a single. He would get caught stealing almost immediately. I can't blame him for going though, they'd been pretty successful earlier in the game. Ramirez would ground out to end the inning.

Wily Peralta was going good in the top of the sixth. Seth Smith hit a long fly out and Chase Headley struck out. Gyorko hit a line drive single but it wouldn't matter as Yonder Alonso popped up. Peralta ended the inning having thrown 79 pitches, leaving him in good shape.

Nothing much happened in the bottom of the 6th for the Brewers offense, but Elian Herrera did get his first hit of the season.

The Padres would get a run back right away in the 7th as Denorfia hit a lead of home run. Nick Hundley, pinch hitting for Rivera, hit a double and it looked like the end was near for Wily Peralta. Tommy Medica pinch hit for Cashner and was able to reach on a wide throw from Jean Segura. It would have been close, but I think a perfect throw gets him. The runner did not advance on that play, but Everth Cabrera would advance them both on a sacrifice bunt. Will Smith would then take the mound in relief to face lefty Will Venable. The Padres would counter with Xavier Nady who drew a walk to load the bases. Thankfully Seth Smith would pop up for the second out and Chase Headley would strike out on 3 pitches to end the inning.

Lyle Overbay hit for the pitcher and lined a single. For some reason Gomez decided to attempt a bunt but hilariously bunted it way far and it was an easy out for the first baseman. Gennett then hit a single. Overbay successfully took the extra base and Gennett reached second on the throw. With first base open the Padres elected to walk Ryan Braun in hopes that Ramirez would hit into a double play. Ramirez obliged them...I still say it's a stupid call.

Tyler Thornburg came on for the 8th. He got Jedd Gyorko to ground out, but give a big assist to Scooter Gennett for making a great stab and throw to get the out. It was a tough play. Yonder Alonso would pop out on the first pitch and Thornburg quickly had 2 outs on 3 pitches. However Chris Denorfia was able to draw a walk and after getting Hundley to popup Thornburg would end the inning with 15 pitches. I thought maybe he'd be able to go out for a second inning after the second out, but it wasn't meant to be.

In the bottom half of the 8th Jean Segura was able to get his second hit of the night on a line drive. Elian Herrera would sneak a ground ball passed the second baseman and Segura would advance to third. With one out and runners at the corners Martin Maldonado was forced by Roenicke to bunt for a squeeze play. The first two bunts went foul but it wouldn't matter because Elian Herrera was caught stealing and then on the same play Jean Segura was caught in a run down. It was ugly. The Brewers would go to the 9th with a 4-3 lead.

Even though closers aren't things, Roenicke decided it was a good idea to put Francisco Rodriguez on the mound for the 4 game in a row. That made 5 appearances in the last 6 days. The first batter grounded out and then Everth Cabrera reached on a grounder. Yasmani Grandal came in to pinch hit for Nady. K-Rod got him to strikeout. Seth Smith flew out to shallow right to end the game. All said and done K-Rod threw 14 pitches. Hopefully his arm will be okay as 4 games in a row a lot to ask.

The Brewers win 4-3 and improve their season record to 15-5. Tomorrow will see Yovani Gallardo taking on Ian Kennedy. First pitch is at 7:10 pm CT.