WP: Jhoulys Chacin (2-1); LP: Jason Hammel (1-3); Save: none; Homeruns: Mil - none; KC - Mike Moustakas (7)
A winning Box Score is fun!
Jhoulys Chacin turned in a solid start for the Milwaukee Brewers (16-9), and the bullpen did their usual job of shutting down the opposition as they topped the Kansas City Royals (5-17) in Kansas City.
Chacin improved to 2-1 on the season with a sub-4 ERA (well, 3.99 is sub 4) by working 5 2⁄3 innings, allowing four hits and two (earned) runs. He walked one and struck out three. Chacin retired the first eleven Royals before Mike Moustakas took him way deep down the rightfield line for his seventh homer in the fourth.
The Brewers had put up a four spot in the top of the inning, though, so the inning ended with Milwaukee up 4-1. The Crew was also hitless entering the inning with Christian Yelich their only baserunner on a first inning walk. Yelich led off the fourth with his second walk and moved to second on an infield single by Ryan Braun. Travis Shaw pulled a two strike slider down the rightfield line for an RBI double, with Braun stopping at third. Domingo Santana lifted a sacrifice fly into right that Jorge Soler flat-out dropped, leaving runners at first and third and up 2-0.
Jesus Aguilar had a more ordinary sac fly next, and Manny Pina singled Santana to third. Even with a drawn-in infield, Sunday was able to score on a slow tap by Jonathan Villar, concluding the scoring with an unearned run.
Chacin took his 4-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but allowed consecutive singles to start the inning. The Royals’ second run scored on a Salvador Perez fielder’s choice, and Dan Jennings came in to face lefty Lucas Duda. Duda grounded to first to end the inning. Chacin needed just 64 pitches to work into the sixth.
Milwaukee’s final two runs came in the top of the eighth. Ryan Braun collected his third hit of the game, scorching a double down the leftfield line to lead off the inning. An infield out sent him to third and Kansas City seemed to pitch around Santana to get to Aguilar. Jesus singled to right center on a two strike pitch to score Braun and send Santana to third. After Pina flew out to right, Villar grounded to Alcides Escobar but the ex-Brewer booted it to allow Milwaukee’s second unearned run of the night, and Milwaukee led 6-2.
The Brewers’ pen continued their strong pitching, shutting out the Royals the rest of the way, but it wasn’t as easy as it looks on paper. Jacob Barnes walked the first man he faced in the seventh, but a double play helped him escape the frame in three batters. Barnes gave up a lead-off double in the eighth, and that was followed by a single to put runners at first and third. A first pitch popout by Whit Merrifield to Villar kept the runners where they were, and Craig Counsell brought in Josh Hader in to face Moustakas. The Royals were Haderaded, as Josh struck out both Moose and Perez to keep the Royals at a four run deficit.
Taylor Williams also gave up a lead-off double in the bottom of the ninth but retired the next three with two strikeouts to preserve the win.
So it’s on to Chicago to face the Cubs (11-10), 4-1 losers in Cleveland tonight. Chicago will start Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 4.09) and the Brewers have Chase Anderson (2-1, 3.25) going after switching Chacin and Anderson in the rotation for the last game in KC and the opener in Wrigley Field.