WP - Matt Garza (4-4)
LP - Jayson Aquino (1-2)
HR - Keon Broxton (14)
For the past month or so, the Milwaukee Brewers have been a team that's been hard to sweep, but hadn't been able to lock down any sweeps of their own. Since sweeping the Mets on May 12-14, it felt like every day the 'L10' column in the standings said 5-5 next to the Brewers.
Luckily, the Baltimore Orioles came to town this week looking disinterested in doing anything required to win baseball games. After beating the Orioles fairly easily in the first two games of the series, the Brewers completed the sweep Wednesday night with a 4-0 win.
Matt Garza threw 6.1 unlikely shutout innings, but it wasn't easy early on. He had runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, only to escape each time. Things looked especially dire in the second inning, when Garza loaded the bases with nobody out. He responded by striking out Ruben Tejada and pitcher Jayson Aquino before getting Seth Smith to fly out to end the inning.
Garza faced a similar scare in the third inning, putting two men on after recording two outs to start the inning, but that rally was snuffed out when Jonathan Villar was able to knock a screamer down and throw to first for the inning-ending out.
Facing a rookie making a spot start in Aquino, the Brewers offense took a little time to get things rolling, but did score the game's first run in the 2nd inning, when Keon Broxton followed a double by Travis Shaw by hitting a chopper to the normally sure-handed Manny Machado at third. The two-time Gold Glove winner let a short hop eat him up, allowing Shaw to score after the ball bounced into left field.
Broxton nearly got himself picked off after that, but pulled his own Matrix-style escape of a rundown that was only slightly less impressive than Orlando Arcia’s run-scoring magic act from the other day:
¿Out? No, no, ¡Keon Broxton trabaja su magia en las bases! #LasMayores #MLB pic.twitter.com/dJ1qwc16ji— Las Grandes Ligas (@LaPelotaMlb) July 6, 2017
The second time through the order was much more productive for the Brewers, with Ryan Braun taking a changeup low and away and nearly hitting it for a home run out to right field in the 4th inning. Instead, it was short by a hair, and Braun settled for a leadoff double (Braun, by the way, has at least one hit in every game since returning from the disabled list). Domingo Santana drove Braun in with an RBI single, and Broxton followed by jumping all over a first-pitch hanging slider for another monstrous home run to make the score 4-0.
Keon Broxton launches a two-run home run over the wall in left-center field, extending the Brewers' lead to 4-0 in the 4th inning!!! pic.twitter.com/pjpSqZAFbm— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) July 6, 2017
Following Garza's exit from the game, Oliver Drake and Jared Hughes combined for a scoreless 7th and 8th, paving the way for Corey Knebel to get some work in the 9th.
After giving up a leadoff single to Trey Mancini, Knebel struck out Wellington Castillo and Tejada. He had Joey Rickard in a 2-strike count, but surrendered a two-out double. Knebel struck out Seth Smith with a 99 mph fastball to end the rally and the game, securing a 4-0 win.
The Brewers improve to 7 games over .500 with the sweep of the Orioles and maintain their 3.5 game lead over the Cubs, who won earlier in the day. The two face off tomorrow in Chicago to make up the Rainout That Had No Rain before the Brewers head east to finish the first half against the Yankees.