WP: Danny Barnes (1-2) LP: Jimmy Nelson (2-3); Save: Roberto Osuna (7) ; HR: Tor. - Kendrys Morales (8); Mil. - none
The Milwaukee Brewers couldn’t push across the tying runs after fighting back from an early four run deficit to the Toronto Blue Jays at Miller Park tonight, leaving runners on second and third in the fifth and first and second in the seventh. Ryan Braun left two on in both innings. The Jays scored all four of their runs off of Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson.
Nelson was shaky from the start, giving up two hits in the first inning but escaping with a double play grounder from clean-up hitter Kendrys Morales. The Blue Jays kept up the pressure in the second, and began the inning with two singles, a walk, and another single - that one an RBI knock from Ryan Goins. Starting pitcher Joe Biagini hit a slow tapper to short that scored Russell Martin and the Jays led two-zip.
Jimmy settled down and it was still 2-0 with two down and nobody on in the fifth, but Jose Bautista singled and Morales homered to center, giving Toronto a four run lead into the bottom of the inning. Nelson exited having allowed the four earned runs in five innings, with eight hits, a walk, and three strikeouts.
Biagini entered the bottom of the fifth having allowed only a first inning single to Eric Thames and two walks, but he could only retire one hitter in the bottom of the fifth. The Brewers had consecutive singles from Hernan Perez, Manny Pina, and Orlando Arcia to start the inning, with Arcia’s hit plating Perez. Craig Counsell opted to go for the big inning and sent Jesus Aguilar up to hit for Nelson. Aguilar’s slow roller to short put runners on second and third, and Jonathan Villar singled to the hole on the right side, scoring two. Biagini walked Thames on four pitches, and his night was done.
Unfortunately, the Brewers were done as well. Reliever Danny Barnes struck out Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw on high fastballs (Shaw’s third straight K of the night on his way to a golden sombrero) to end the inning. Barnes retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth as well, and Ryan Tepera worked around a two out walk and stolen base from Villar and a hit batter (Thames) by retiring Braun on a flyball to right.
Villar ended the game with three stolen bases, giving him eleven on the season. Thames also nabbed a base, on the back-end of a double steal with Villar.
Toronto reliever Joe Smith had a perfect eighth and closer Roberto Osuna worked the ninth to finish the night for the Blue Jays. Their pen combined for 4 2⁄3 hitless and scoreless innings, walking two, hitting one, and striking out eight. Barnes earned his first major league win.
Neftali Feliz worked two perfect innings in the eighth and ninth, striking out two. Nice to see!
Wednesday’s contest will be an afternoon affair, and is telecast on FSWisconsin. The Blue Jays (20-26) start ace Marcus Stroman (4-2, 3.00) against the Brewers’ (25-20) Matt Garza (2-0, 2.43). Game time is an early 12:10 pm.