WP: Jimmy Nelson (4-2)
LP: Jered Weaver (3-1)
HR: Mike Trout (6)
It may be a little hard to believe after a very rough week, but the Brewers have won two in a row.
The Angels started quick, getting a 1-0 lead three batters in from a Yunel Escobar double, Rafael Ortega sacrifice bunt, and Mike Trout RBI single. The Angels would load the bases in the first but not record any more runs. Nelson settled down after that and both teams were held scoreless until the fifth inning, when the Brewers offense came alive. A walk by Aaron Hill and two singles from Yadiel Rivera and Jimmy Nelson gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead. Three batters later (after an intentional walk to Ryan Braun), Jonathan Lucroy hit a double to drive in two more and make it 4-1.
The Angels cut it to 4-2 with a Mike Trout home run in the top of the sixth, but the Brewers got four more in the bottom half. Three straight singles brought in a run, then Jonathan Villar brought in two more with a double. A Ryan Braun single added another to make it 8-2.
While he may not be a true ace, Jimmy Nelson is earning his title as the ace of the Brewers pitching staff. He turned in his fourth quality start of the season, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. He also had six strikeouts in the game. Nelson's starts have provided some relief to an overworked bullpen, who has had to cover for too many short days from the starters.
Meanwhile, the Brewers offense kept on going from yesterday. They recorded eight hits and fourteen runs on the day, getting seven runs and eleven hits off of Angels starter Jered Weaver. Ryan Braun had another three hit day, reaching base all four times he batted before being replaced in the eighth inning (likely just a little extra rest with a large lead). Jonathan Lucroy and Yadiel Rivera each also added two-hit games, and Jimmy Nelson helped his own cause tonight with two hits and an RBI. Every starter had a hit except for Alex Presley, who was a late addition to the lineup after Domingo Santana was scratched with shoulder tightness.
Overall, it was a slow game as well. The umpires ended up reviewing two plays in the game, both challenged by the Angels. The first was in the fifth inning, when they challenged whether Ryan Braun actually scored or not. That call ended up being upheld. There was another challenge in the eighth inning (at the umpire's discretion), where a collision at the plate was reviewed. That one was overturned and the Angels scored a run on it.
It's good that the offense was hot tonight, because the bullpen was not. Usually reliable relievers Michael Blazek and Jeremy Jeffress had some issues tonight. Blazek came out in relief of Nelson, and allowed two runs and four hits in an inning of work in the eighth. Jeffress followed and allowed a run and three hits in the ninth inning. The Angels loaded the bases in the ninth, but Jeffress got out of it with a ground out and finished the Brewers win.
The series against the Angels continues tomorrow evening. Junior Guerra will get the call to start for the Brewers tomorrow, and he will face Nick Tropeano. To clear room for Guerra, Sam Freeman was designated for assignment.
First pitch tomorrow is at 7:10 pm.