After losing on Wednesday, it was time for the Milwaukee Brewers to start a new winning streak this afternoon in their series finale against the San Diego Padres. Jordan “Ace” Lyles got the start for the Cream City Nine and had his good curveball working from the get-go. He mostly cruised through the first four innings, allowing only one run on a solo homer to Eric Hosmer. He yielded one other hit, walked one, and punched out eight batters by the time he finished his fourth frame.
In the fifth, though, Lyles’ command was suddenly mislaid. He punched out Travis Jankowski to begin the inning, then walked Greg Garcia, walked Nick Martini, and fell behind 2-0 to Wil Myers. Catcher Manny Pina came out for a Kwik Trip to the mound to settle Jordan down, and he was able to induce an infield pop-up out of Myers. With a pair of runners on base, though, and 92 pitches on his ledger, Craig Counsell decided that would be good enough out of Lyles for this afternoon and went to his bullpen.
Milwaukee’s relief corps shut the door over the final 4.1 innings. Freddy Peralta punched out three of the four batters he faced, retiring them all. Drew Pomeranz threw a scoreless seventh with another two strikeouts. Ray Black put up a zero in the eighth and was given the opportunity to finish the game, but he was yanked when he allowed the first two batters to reach on a walk and a base hit in the ninth. Closer Josh Hader entered the into the game with a no-out, runners on first and third jam, but he was able to wriggle his way out of it. He whiffed Manuel Margot for the first out then ended the game on a double-play off the bat of Luis Torrens. That secured Hader’s 34th save of the season, giving him a new club record for saves by a left-handed pitcher.
On offense, the Brewers got things going right away in the first inning of San Diego starter Joey Lucchesi. Mike Moustakas drew a free pass with two outs then motored around the bases and was safe at home on Ryan Braun’s double after a belly-flop slide. Milwaukee’s second run was a gift in the third inning. Keston Hiura doubled to lead off the inning and Ryan Braun’s one-out single moved him up to third base, but Tyler Austin and Hernan Perez struck out back-to-back, which should have ended the inning. But the ball was mishandled on the strike three offering to Perez, allowing him to reach first base safely and Hiura to dash home to make it 2-0.
It was 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Lorenzo Cain rocketed his 10th home run of the season, a laser-beam over the wall in left field. Cain would leave the game shortly after that, though, and is now considered day-to-day with left ankle discomfort. It’s the same leg that he has also had knee issues with throughout the season. But he’ll continue to try to play through these maladies, it seems.
The Brew Crew scored their final two runs in the sixth inning. Travis Shaw drew a pinch-walk with two outs, bringing Trent Grisham to the plate. The rookie outfielder smashed a double to left that scored Travis Shaw. Grisham was in the process of advancing to third on the throw home, then Padre catcher Austin Hedges threw wildly trying to gun Grisham down on the bases. That allowed Grisham to come in and score with a little league home run to stretch the advantage to four runs at 5-1.
With this victory, the Brewers wind up taking three of the four games in their series with San Diego to push their record to 83-70. While the Cubs and the Cardinals duke it out over the next few days, our beloved local nine will welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to Miller Park for the final home series of the regular season. Friday’s opener is scheduled to begin at 7:10 PM central, with Chase Anderson scheduled to toe the slab against Steven Brault.