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Bullpen & defense break down, Brewers fall to Athletics 5-3

Three unearned runs from the bullpen are the difference as the Brewers fall 5-3.

Milwaukee Brewers v Oakland Athletics Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

WP: Sean Doolittle (2-2) | LP: Will Smith (1-2) | SV: Ryan Madson (13)

HR: None

Box Score

Though the Brewers offense did put up a few runs, and Jimmy Nelson pitched well enough to keep the Brewers in the game, it wasn’t enough to overcome struggles from the bullpen and the defense.

The first three innings went by relatively quietly. Nelson had to work a bit, allowing a total of five baserunners in those three innings. However, he managed to keep the Athletics offense off the board in each inning. Meanwhile, the Brewers couldn’t get much going, though the did manage to get two baserunners in the second.

The Brewers ended up striking first in the fourth inning. Jonathan Lucroy and Aaron Hill singled to put runners at first and third for Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who doubled to drive Lucroy in and give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. The Athletics responded in the fifth, with two singles and a groundout from Stephen Vogt to tie it at 1-1. That was the only run Nelson allowed in his start, though he still wasn’t quite as good as he has been. He only pitched five innings, allowing six hits and striking out just two. He also needed 103 pitches to get through those five innings.

Each team got another run in the sixth inning. In the top half, Ryan Braun singled and then advanced to third on a throwing error from Sonny Gray. Chris Carter then drove Braun in with a single. Meanwhile, in the bottom of the inning, Khris Davis singled off of Blaine Boyer to lead off the inning, and a passed ball by Martin Maldonado allowed Davis to take second. A single from Marcus Semien re-tied the game at 2-2.

Will Smith then came out to start the seventh inning. He allowed a triple to Stephen Vogt, and Michael Blazek came in to replace him. Blazek first faced Danny Valencia and induced a groundout, but an error from Jonathan Villar allowed Valencia to reach base. Blazek got another groundout to get Vogt at home, and then struck out Billy Butler. However, a Yonder Alonso single and Marcus Semien triple scored three unearned runs to give the Athletics a 5-2 lead. Jacob Barnes came in and walked Max Muncy, but got Coco Crisp out to end the inning.

The Brewers did get another run in the eighth on back-to-back doubles from Scooter Gennett and Ryan Braun. However, that was all their offense could muster as they fell to the Athletics 5-3.

The quick two-game series concludes tomorrow afternoon. Junior Guerra will try to end the four-game losing streak, and the Athletics will send out Daniel Mengden. First pitch is at 2:35 pm.