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Brewer closers implode, Padres rally for 8-4 win in 9th

Corey Knebel, Joakim Soria awful in 9th inning...and Jacob Barnes no better

MLB: San Diego Padres at Milwaukee Brewers Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Kirby Yates (4-0); LP: Corey Knebel (2-3); Save: none; Homeruns: SD - Freddy Galvis (7), Hunter Renfro GS (12), Franmill Reyes (9); Mil - none

I’m not sure you want to see this Box Score

As a baseball manager, all you can do is put your best players in position to do their jobs and then watch what they do. Sometimes, that can be excruciating, and this afternoon’s game at Miller Park was all of that.

The Milwaukee Brewers (66-52) took a 4-2 lead into the top of the ninth against the lowly San Diego Padres (46-71), only to have closer Corey Knebel walk the first three he faced - the bottom of the order, no less - and then allow an infield RBI single to Travis Jankowski to make it 4-3 with the bases still loaded.

That was it for Knebel, and with Josh Hader unavailable Craig Counsell went with Joakim Soria. Soria retired Eric Hosmer on a short flyball to right, leaving the bases loaded with one down and the score still 4-3. Soria got to 1-2 on Hunter Renfro, but an up an in fastball was driven way out to left for a stunning grand slam, putting the Padres up 7-4. Soria got the count to 1-2 on Frenmill Reyes before leaving with a groin injury after a foul ball. Jacob Barnes came on with as many tosses as necessary to get ready, and either he didn’t use enough of them or he was never going to be ready as Reyes homered to right to make it 8-4.

The Brewers went down with only a whimper 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth against Craig Stammen.

Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when a Manny Pina double off of Padre starter Robbie Erlin drove in Jonathan Schoop. San Diego tied things up against Junior Guerra in the top of the fourth in an inning that could have been much worse. The Padres had a one out double, then a walk, then an RBI single, then another walk to load the bases, before Guerra finished the inning with a strikeout and fielder’s choice.

The Crew responded with a three run bottom of the fourth frame. Hernan Perez and Travis Shaw singled leading off the inning, then stole second and third with Jonathan Schoop at the plate. Schoop doubled with a liner down the left field line to plate two. Erlin retired the next two, but Lorenzo Cain’s slow roller into the hole was over-run by Freddy Galvis, dribbling to the back edge of the infield. Schoop never stopped around third and beat the throw home to put Milwaukee up 4-1.

Guerra allowed a two out homer to Galvis in the sixth before exiting with a 4-2 lead. Dan Jennings had a one hit, no run seventh, and Jeffress the same in the eighth with two strikeouts. Guerra ended up working his six innings with eight hits allowed, three walks, the two earned runs, and three strikeouts.

The Padres had at least one hit in every inning, ending the day the day with thirteen hits, six walks, and an excellent 4-3 record in back to back road series in Chicago and Milwaukee.

The Brewers, through eight innings, held their lead with some good defense. They turned four double plays and only one of them was of the traditional variety. In the second inning, with one out and Jose Pirela on third, Counsell pulled in the infield. AJ Ellis lined one directly to Perez at short, and Pirela was an easy out well off of third. After an easy DP in the third, the third DP came on a bouncer up the middle that Perez cut off, changed direction and nipped Jankowski at second before getting the second out (Hosmer) at first. Then in the seventh Carlos Asuaje led off with his first hit in 33 at bats, but Jankowski’s grounder to second had Asuaje stopping in front of Schoop. Jonathan got the out at first and the Brewers retired Asuaje in a run-down, 4-3-6-4...Schoop both started and finished the DP.

A tough loss isn’t a good way to take off on an important road trip, but there you are. The Brewers head to Atlanta for three over the weekend and then get two at Wrigley after an off day Monday. Tomorrow the Brewers will face new Braves’ starter Kevin Gausman, who the Brewers were connected to at the trade deadline. Gausman is 5-9 with a 4.47 ERA this year. Milwaukee rookie Freddy Peralta (5-2, 3.54) goes for the Crew.

Game Notes:

  • Travis Shaw had three singles, one a liner to left, one pulled between first and second, and the third a bunt down the third base line.
  • Perez had a very good game in the field and at the plate; besides the double plays, he made a tough play on a slow roller by Pirela and had two more hits.
  • The Brewer line-up again had a 3 person void spot in the line-up, but it was 2-3-4 (Christian Yelich, Jesus Aguilar, and Ryan Braun) who went 0-11 with a walk and four strikeouts. 5-8 had eight hits and all four runs scored and three driven in.
  • After the game, Craig Counsell said that Knebel would probably have to be used in some non-leverage situations to get his stuff straight. Corey only was able to throw one strike with his curve ball today...well, he didn’t throw very many with his fastball, either. He also said that he expects Soria’s injury to be minor, and that he is day to day.
  • Renfro homered in all three games of the series, and has homered in four straight games.
  • Reyes looks like a good hitter - today he was 3-4 with a double and the homer, scoring twice.