An old friend re-introduced himself to the faithful fans of the Milwaukee Brewers in this game, as recently-acquired Jordan Lyles made his re-debut while getting the start against the Oakland Athletics. He was staked to an early lead when the first batter of the game, Lorenzo Cain, walloped the second pitch he saw for a leadoff home run to left field.
The Brewers added a second run in the top of the third. With one out, Orlando Arcia singled off Oakland hurler Brett Anderson. Two batters later, Christian Yelich smacked a line drive to right field that went for a double. Arcia motored all the way around from first to score while Yelich ended up at third base on the throw, although he would end up stranded there.
Lyles worked around some traffic while stranding three runners across the first two innings, but the Athletics’ offense finally broke through in the bottom of the third. Marcus Semien began the frame with a double, moved up to third base on a groundout, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Chapman to cut the lead in half at 2-1.
That would be the only damage that Oakland could manage of Milwaukee’s newest starting pitcher, however. Lyles threw a 1-2-3 fourth inning, then worked around a walk to pitch a scoreless fifth. His day ended after 94 pitches, and in five complete innings he allowed merely three hits and the one run, with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. There was some consternation when Jordan was the addition to the rotation by the time the trade deadline struck, but if he can deliver in a fashion similar to how he pitched against Oakland going forward, that would be exactly what the team needs out of his spot.
Milwaukee’s third run of the game came in the fourth inning, which started with a base knock by Yasmani Grandal. A double by Keston Hiura moved runners up to second and third, and Mike Moustakas’ groundout brought Yaz home for a 3-1 lead.
After Lyles was removed, Matt Albers came on and threw a scoreless sixth inning with a pair of strikeouts. Jeremy Jeffress got the call in the seventh but continued his recent slide. Consecutive one-out doubles by Chris Hermann and Jurickson Profar plated Oakland’s second run before he was able to work out of trouble and retire the side. Jeffress has now been scored upon in his last three outings, allowing a total of six runs in 3.0 innings. His ERA stands at 4.64 in 42.2 innings on the season.
Brett Anderson wound up working seven innings for the A’s in this game, but the Cream City Nine managed to rough up the man who relieved him a bit in the eighth. Lou Trivino got the call and after he retired Yelich to begin the frame, Ryan Braun hit a one-out double and was pinch-ran for by Ben Gamel. Grandal whiffed for the second out, but then Hiura and Moose walked to load the bases. With Manny Pina at the plate, Trivino uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Gamel to cross the plate as Milwaukee’s fourth run. He would eventually walk Pina to re-load the bases, and then was pulled in favor of old friend Wei-Chung Wang. The former Rule 5 southpaw retired Eric Thames on a lineout and owns a 2.63 ERA in 18 games and 24.0 innings for Oakland this year. Nice to see him finally experiencing some extended success at the big league level.
Our Hero entered the game in the eighth and worked around a walk to post his fifth consecutive scoreless outing, lowering his ERA to 3.97 in the process. Junior Guerra’s 56.2 innings pitched are 2⁄3 of an inning off the National League lead for relievers, currently held by Robert Gsellman of the Mets (57.1 IP). Josh Hader gave up the walk-off home run in the series opener but came on to close out the bottom of the ninth in this game, and worked around a single by Profar to pitch a scoreless inning and record his 24th save of 2019.
The 4-2 victory improves the Brewers to 57-52 on the season, moving them to just one game back of the Cubs and Cardinals to the top spot in the NL Central. They are also a half-game out of Wild Card position. The series finale against the Golden State Nine will come on Thursday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 2:37 PM central time. Chase Anderson will toe the slab for Milwaukee against an old divisional foe in Homer Bailey.