The Milwaukee Brewers were looking desperately to stave off a sweep this afternoon in San Diego, and thanks to Ryan Braun, they jumped out to an early lead. With two down in the first inning, Braun launched a chanegup off Padres’ starter Matt Strahm over the fence in right field to stake Zach Davies to a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately, Davies did not arrive at Petco Park with his best stuff today. He gave the lead back to San Diego within the first two batters of the game, issuing a base on balls to Fernando Tatis, Jr. to lead things off before Eric Hosmer smashed a sinker out of the park for a 2-1 advantage. The Padres would continue to apply the pressure in the first, eventually loading the bases and batting around before Davies retired the side, but managed just those two runs.
San Diego was back at it in the second inning. Hits by Tatis and Hosmer brought Manny Machado to the plate with two runners on and one out, and he crushed a deep drive to left-center field. The ball bounced off the top of the wall and everyone on the Padres’ side of things appeared to believe that the ball was a home run, despite it bouncing back into the field play. Lorenzo Cain fired it back into the infield; Tatis crossed home plate, but Travis Shaw tagged Hosmer as he lollygagged around the bases towards home. Upon review, it was determined that was not, in fact, a home run, and Machado was credited with only one RBI. That made it a 3-1 game, and Davies was able to escape the inning with no further damage.
Milwaukee got back into the game in the top of the third. Cain and Christian Yelich had back-to-back hits with one out to bring Braun to the plate once again. He laced a hanging slider from Strahm to the left field wall that went for a two-run double and tied the game at 3-apiece. It could have been a reset for Davies, a brand new ballgame in the third inning, but things only worsened for the diminutive right-hander when he took the mound in the bottom half. Franmil Reyes led off with a single, then was replaced on the bases by Francisco Mejia when he grounded into a fielder’s choice. Greg Garcia was next and clubbed an RBI triple to make it 4-3. Davies walked Strahm on four straight pitches to put runners on the corners, then served up an RBI single to Manuel Margot. 5-3 San Diego. Tatis struck out, but that was the end of Davies’ day — 2.2 innings, five runs allowed on nine hits, with three walks and three punchouts. The rough outing took his ERA up over 3.00 (now at 3.06) for the season.
Adrian Houser came on in relief of Davies and struck out Eric Hosmer to end the third inning and get his outing started. He wound up working into through the sixth and looked downright filthy in the process. He allowed only one hit across 3.1 innings, striking out four while walking zero. The 26 year old righty now owns a 2.35 ERA with 35 strikeouts through 30.2 innings and continues to entrench himself as an important part of the pitching staff.
The Cream City Nine got a run back in the fifth on Yelich’s league-leading 27th home run of the season to make it 5-4, a 447-foot blast that is so far his longest dinger of 2019. Then, in the seventh, the squad appeared to take control of the game. Pinch-hitter Ben Gamel led off with a single and was followed by a base hit from LoCain. After Yelich and Braun were retired, Yasmani Grandal walloped a no-doubt, three-run bomb to right field to give the Brewers a 7-5 advantage.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as Grandal’s heroics with the bat wound up going for naught. Jeremy Jeffress came on to protect the lead in the seventh inning and induced an infield fly off the bat of Machado to begin the frame. Miscommunication among the infielders — which Grandal would later own the blame for — allowed the ball to drop, however, giving Manny a “single” to start things off. Jeffress then walked Hunter Renfroe, and left a first-pitch fastball over the plate to Franmil Reyes. He didn’t miss it, launching a three-run bomb over the wall for his 20th home run of the year and an 8-7 San Diego lead.
Jeffress retired the side after that, and then Our Hero threw a scoreless 8th on the 31st #JuniorGuerraDay of the regular season. The Brewers mounted a mini-rally in the ninth, with Yelich singling with one out and Braun following with a walk. But then Grandal tapped a ball out front of home plate that should have gone for a game-ending 2-5-3 double play; but after the out was recorded at third, Machado threw across the diamond to first and Hosmer dropped the baseball while he appeared to be attempting to make some kind of slick, showboat-y sort of catch. It didn’t end up mattering, though, as Hernan Perez struck out to end the ballgame.
The Brewers will be licking their wounds as they return home to the Menomonee Valley on the heels of a 2-6 roadtrip. Their record falls to 40-34 and pending the outcome of tonight’s Cubs-White Sox game (which the Northside Nine was leading at the time of this writing), could wake up in second place tomorrow. Milwaukee will begin a four-game set against the Reds on Thursday, with first pitch of the first tilt scheduled for 7:10 PM central. Jimmy Nelson will toe the slab for the home team, and Tanner Roark of the Queen City Nine will oppose him.