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Bullpen falters again as Brewers fall to Giants, 8-3

How much more rope does Corbin Burnes get?

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Hoping to avoid another dropped series, the Milwaukee Brewers drew first blood in their tilt this afternoon versus the San Francisco Giants. Starter Jhoulys Chacin threw a scoreless top of the first and let his offense get to work. Lorenzo Cain led off with a single against Tyler Beede and then stole second base. A line drive single by Christian Yelich put runners on the corners. Yasmani Grandal then hit a liner that deked center fielder Kevin Pillar and ended up dropping in front of him, but Yelich was apparently thrown off by the ball’s flight as well and tripped up on the basepaths. He wound up being thrown out at second at LoCain came across to score, so the play was recorded as an 8-4 fielder’s choice.

The Giants got that run right back against Chacin in the top of the second. The right-hander walked Brandon Crawford to lead things off, then a one-out error by Eric Thames with Mike Yastrzemski at the bat put runners on the corners. Donovan Solano lifted a sac fly to center field to tie the game at one-apiece and record the second out. Opposing pitcher Beede was the next batter and he lined a single to left, but Chacin avoided further damage when a throw from Ryan Braun and relay by Orlando Arcia beat Yastrzemski at home for the final out of the inning.

The game remained knotted up at one until the fifth inning, when Chacin gave up a one-out, solo home run to Brandon Belt to give the Giants a 2-1 advantage. The fifth would be Chacin’s final inning of work, and he finished with the two runs allowed (one earned) while yielding four hits with a pair of walks and five punchouts.

Alex Claudio worked around a double and a walk and got help from a Grandal caught-stealing during a scoreless sixth, and then Christian Yelich’s first home run of the second half, and 32nd of the season, tied with the game leading off the bottom of the frame. With the score at 2-2, Craig Counsell turned to Corbin Burnes to preserve the tie in the top of the 7th. As has been the case far too often with Burnes on the mound this season, things did not go well.

Solano doubled to lead off, then Beede grounded an RBI single up the middle to give San Fran a 3-2 lead. Yup, two hits for the pitcher Beede today — raising his batting average to .167. Belt rapped a single to right to put runners on first and second, and then after a mound visit, old friend Stephen Vogt doubled to score Beede and make it 4-2. Out came Counsell to replace Burnes, who recorded zero outs, with Matt Albers. Needing a punchout or a pop-up, Albers got a whiff from Austin Slater for the first out, and then intentionally walked Pablo Sandoval to set up the double play. But he un-intentionally walked Crawford on five pitches to force in the fifth run of the game. That was Milwaukee’s 11th bases-loaded walk of the season, tying for the most in baseball. Kevin Pillar beat out an infield single for an RBI to make it 6-2, and then Yastrzemski grounded into what was originally ruled as an inning-ending double play. But the call was overturned on replay and Sandoval crossed the plate as the 7th run of the game while only the second out of the inning was recorded. Solano, who began the inning with a double, smacked an RBI single to make it 8-2. Finally, mercifully, Tyler Beede grounded to third and Mike Moustakas tagged third base to force out Yastrzemski and end the inning. Burnes was charged with four runs and now owns an even 9.00 ERA through 46.0 innings this year, second behind only Our Hero Junior Guerra among Brewer relievers. Albers allowed two earned runs of his own, and his ERA now stands at 4.85.

Milwaukee scored a third run on an RBI single by Lorenzo Cain in the bottom of the 7th, but stranded two runners in the eighth and before going down 1-2-3 in the ninth. Jay Jackson pitched two scoreless, hitless innings to finish off the game for the Brewers, walking one while recording four strikeouts. But it goes in the books as an 8-3 loss, dropping the Cream City Nine to 48-46 and 2.5 games back of the Cubs for first place in the National League Central.

Next, the Braves come to town for a three-game set beginning tomorrow night at Miller Park. The Cobb County Nine will send Max Fried to the mound to oppose Adrian Houser, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm central.