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Milwaukee Brewers melt down in extras innings, lose to Giants 9-5

A thrilling 9th inning comeback goes for naught.

San Francisco Giants v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Box Score

After losing the opening game of this series against the Giants, the Milwaukee Brewers won the next two games and came into today looking for a victory to take the series 3 games to 1.

Paolo Espino got the start for the Brewers today, taking the place of the injured Matt Garza in the rotation for the time being. Espino labored through his outing today, throwing 81 pitches across 4.0 complete innings. He started the game with a 1-2-3 first inning, but he allowed single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings. Altogether, he allowed five hits and three earned runs (including two solo homers), with two walks and three strikeouts. His ERA through his first 2 big league starts now stands at 5.63, and it’s unclear if he’ll get another start before Garza is ready to return from the DL.

The Brewers offense got things going again in the with another first inning run, making it 1-0 on an RBI single by Domingo Santana. They stranded the bases loaded in that inning however, setting the tone for other missed scoring opportunities as the game went on. Milwaukee added another in the 3rd inning on a solo homer by Eric Thames, his 16th of the season, and scored their third run of the game in the 5th inning. With Travis Shaw and Domingo Santana on base, the Brewers executed a double steal and Giant catcher Nick Hundley threw the ball into center field, allowing Shaw to come around and score.

Wily Peralta entered the game for the Brewers in the top of the 5th and worked a scoreless inning before coming back out for the 6th. That’s when he ran into trouble, allowing a one-out RBI double to old friend Aaron Hill to give the Giants a 4-3 lead. He would get yanked after that in favor of Oliver Drake, who allowed the inherited runner to score to make it 5-3 in favor of San Francisco. Peralta has now been scored upon in each of his last 4 relief outings, and owns a 5.98 ERA on the season. Drake wasn’t charged with any earned runs today, but has a 4.91 ERA on the year and is walking nearly 5 batters per 9 innings. What are these guys still doing here?

The score would stay at 5-3 until the bottom of the 9th inning thanks to scoreless outings from Carlos Torres (1.2 IP, K) and Neftali Feliz (1.0 IP, 3 K). Folk hero Eric Sogard lead off the bottom of the 9th with a solo home run off Giants closer Mark Melancon to make it 5-4. Eric Thames followed with a walk, and then Jesus Aguilar hit what looked like a game-tying double that would have scored Thames. Upon review, however, it was determined that the ball had lodged underneath the padding and was ruled a ground rule double, even though the Giants’ outfielder played the ball as though it was live and didn’t signal that it was unplayable. Thames’ run was rescinded and runners were put on 2nd and 3rd for Travis Shaw, who promptly singled to left field to score Thames and tie the game at 5-5.

So with no outs and runners on the corners, the Brewers had three chances to score the run and win the game. Domingo Santana struck out for the first out of the inning, and then Jett Bandy hit an absolute laser that would’ve easily won the game, but it wound up getting speared by third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who had a great defensive game. Hernan Perez couldn’t deliver with two outs, grounding out to first to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.

Jacob Barnes has generally been one the few reliable relievers for Craig Counsell this year, and he was called upon to preserve the tie in the top of the 10th. Unfortunately Barnes suffered what was likely his worst outing of the season. He allowed a leadoff single to Gorkys Hernandez, and then got a bit unlucky when the next batter Kelby Tomlinson was at the plate. Hernandez broke for 2nd base on a stolen base attempt, and Tomlinson hit a ground ball to the left side. Shortstop Orlando Arcia had moved to cover 2nd base, and the ball went right to the spot he had vacated. Arcia dove for it but to no avail, and suddenly runners were on the corners with nobody out. Hunter Pence followed with a pinch hit single to give the Giants a 6-5 lead, and Denard Span then hit an RBI double to make it 7-5. An RBI single by Eduardo Nunez would make it 8-5 and that would be it for Barnes, who couldn’t retire a single batter in the inning.

Rob Scahill came on and a 4th run scored (and was charged to Barnes) when Eric Thames dropped a routine fly ball in left field to make it 9-5. Scahill was able to end the inning with no further damage, and though Orlando Arcia and Eric Sogard (tying the bow on a 3-5 day and raising his OPS to 1.213 as a Brewer) were both able to get singles in the bottom of the 10th, Thames grounded into a double play to complete a 9-5 Milwaukee loss.

Oh, yeah, there was a streaker that got tackled pretty hard on the field during this game, too.

The Milwaukee Nine wind up splitting this four-game series with the Giants and could fall back into a tie for 1st in the division if the Cubs win later tonight. The 32-29 Brewers will head to Arizona next for a three-game set, with tomorrow night’s game scheduled to start at 8:40 PM CST. Zach Davies (6-3, 4.69 ERA) is slated for face off against Randall Delgado (1-1, 3.24 ERA).

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs