The Milwaukee Brewers sent their so-called ace to the mound against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night, but Brandon Woodruff did not pitch like a #1 starter in this ballgame. He did manage to put up some early zeroes, but stranded runners in the first, second, and third innings in order to do so. After getting staked to a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Dan Vogelbach doubled in Keston Hiura, Woodruff’s luck ran out and he hit a wall in his fifth inning of work.
Oscar Mercado drew a one-out walk, then Cesar Hernandez doubled to center off of a 95 MPH sinker from Woodruff to drive the runner home and tie the game at 1-1. After a mound visit, the next batter was Jose Ramirez, and he worked Woodruff for a 10-pitch battle. With the count at 1-2 after fouling off six two-strike offerings, Ramirez got a pitch he could handle and sent a 96 MPH fastball out over the fence in right to give Cleveland a 3-1 advantage. That would end Woodruff’s day at 4.1 innings pitched, with four hits and three earned runs allowed, and three walks versus seven strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches.
After Woodruff, the Milwaukee bullpen kept Cleveland’s offense in check and allowed for a comeback to happen. Freddy Peralta walked three batters in 1.2 innings, but also did not allow a hit or run and punched out four. Devin Williams followed with two perfect innings of his own, also including four strikeouts.
The Brewers scored their second run of the game in the sixth inning on a solo blast by Hiura leading off. They eventually had runners on first and third with one out in the frame, too, after Ryan Braun tripled and Vogelbach walked, but failed to score either of those runners. Orlando Arcia tied it up in the eighth inning, however, with a solo blast of his own to make it a brand new ballgame at 3-3.
In the top of the ninth, Tyrone Taylor led off with a double and moved to third with one out after Christian Yelich singled, but they were stranded when Braun punched out and Mathias popped out to first. In the bottom half, Josh Hader came on for Milwaukee, but he failed to record an out before the end of the ballgame. Mercado doubled to left on Hader’s second pitch of the inning, then Hernandez singled to score him for the walk-off win.
The 4-3 defeat drops Milwaukee’s record to 18-20 on the season, with Cleveland improving to 24-15. Sunday’s series finale between these two clubs will begin at 12:10 PM central time and feature Brett Anderson versus Shane Bieber.