It was Chase Anderson’s return to active duty tonight, and his teammates on the Milwaukee Brewers gave him some breathing room in the first inning. Lorenzo Cain led off the game with a double, and with one out Ryan Braun drew a walk to put two runners on base. A Mike Moustakas fielder’s choice groundout moved Cain up to third, and Moustakas would later steal second base to put both runners in scoring position. Jesus Aguilar singled on the ground back through the box to score both of them, giving Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
The Braves got their first run on the board in the third inning. Ronald Acuna Jr. reached base and moved to second on an error by Mike Moustakas to lead off the frame. Dansby Swanson walked and then, an out later, Josh Donaldson walked to load the bases. Nick Markakis hit a fly ball to medium-ish left field that should not have been deep enough to score Acuna, except for Ryan Braun’s inexplicable decision to fire his throw to second base instead of home plate. The sacrifice fly slashed Milwaukee’s lead in half, 2-1.
After standing a pair of runners in the first and leaving the bases loaded in the third, Milwaukee’s offense went dormant in the middle innings. The offense went down in order in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings as Kevin Gausman finished his day up for the Dogwood City Nine. A walk by Orlando Arcia in the 7th against Dan Winkler broke up a streak of 11 batters set down in a row, but then the next six hitters went down in order to finish out the 7th and 8th innings.
Chase Anderson was done after 4.0 innings today, allowing just the one unearned run on 2 hits and four walks with three strikeouts. He threw only 76 pitches, leading one to believe that he was on a limited count in the game. Matt Albers followed him with a scoreless 5th, then walked Donaldson to begin the 6th. That prompted manager Craig Counsell to call upon left-hander Alex Claudio. He punched out southpaw swinging Nick Markakis, but then right-handed hitting rookie Austin Riley jacked an 87 MPH sinker on the outer half over the fence in right to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead. Jeremy Jeffress would eventually finish out the inning, then toss a scoreless 7th to keep the deficit at one run.
Our Hero Junior Guerra got some help en route to tossing a scoreless 8th. Markakis led off the inning with a single and moved up to second base by the time Ozzie Albies came up to the plate with two outs. He lined a single to right that was played by Christian Yelich, who came up firing to home plate. Markakis was apprehended as he tried to score by a perfectly thrown strike from the reigning NL MVP.
Luke Jackson plunked Keston Hiura with a 96 MPH heater on a 3-2 count to lead off the ninth. After an Eric Thames strikeout, Orlando Arcia beat a ball into the ground so hard that it bounced up over the head of Freddy Freeman at first base, putting runners on the corners. Then, Lorenzo Cain did almost the mirror image by chopping a ball high in the air over the head of the third baseman to score the tying run. Christian Yelich was intentionally walked, but Ryan Braun punched out and then Mike Moustakas grounded out to short to end the inning at a score of 3-3. Josh Hader pitched the bottom half of the ninth scoreless with a pair of strikeouts, and for the third Saturday in a row, the Pigsville Nine headed to extra innings.
Aguilar, Yasmani Grandal, and Hiura went down in order in the top of the 10th inning against Jacob Webb. Freeman led of the bottom of the 10th as Hader came out for a second inning, and he launched a 94 MPH fastball to deep right field to send the home fans happy. The walk-off dinger was Freeman’s 10th long ball of the year. It was the fifth homer allowed in 21.1 innings for Josh Hader this season, or 2.11 HR/9. He allowed nine home runs in 81.1 innings last year.
The Brewers (27-21) will try to salvage at least one win in the series in tomorrow’s finale against Atlanta (25-21) at 12:20 PM central. Brandon Woodruff is scheduled to square off versus Mike Foltynewicz.