One day after narrowly avoiding being no-hit by the Minnesota Twins, the bats for the Milwaukee Brewers failed to rise from the dead on Easter Sunday as the offense again struggled. The lineup could manage only five hits and a pair of runs on their way to getting blown out in the rubber match of their opening series of the year.
Adrian Houser toed the slab for the home team and immediately spotted the visitors with an advantage in the first inning. Luis Arraez led off with a single to start the contest, then he was replaced on the bases on a fielder’s choice by Jorge Polanco. After that, Byron Buxton doubled to left off an 86 MPH slider to bring Polanco home and make it 1-0. Houser settled in after that, though, and wound up putting together a quality performance in this game.
The Brewers played some small ball in the second inning to push their first run across and knot up the game. Facing Michael Pineda, new outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. reached base with one out on an error by the second baseman Polanco. A double by Luis Urias moved runners to second and third with one out, bringing Manny Pina up to the plate. He delivered a sacrifice fly to center to bring home JBJ and tie the contest at 1-1.
Houser kept Minnesota off the board until the fifth inning, when he served up Mitch Garver’s first home run of the season to give the Twinkies a 2-1 advantage. His day ended after 5.0 complete innings and 77 pitches; he allowed four hits, two walks, and a pair of earned runs while punching out four. Milwaukee’s offense, meanwhile, put runners on base in the third, fourth, and fifth innings, but failed to generate any runs before the game unraveled in the sixth.
Drew Rasmussen entered in relief of Houser, and he walked Arraez right out of the gate. Polanco then reached on a throwing error by Keston Hiura on an attempt at second base, and Rasmussen uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners up to second and third. Brent Rooker struck out, but Max Kepler singled to left to score both runners and make it 4-1. After Kepler stole second, Miguel Sano lined a two-run homer to right to make it 6-1 and a four-spot in the inning. To add injury to insult, Hiura was involved in a collision at first base on a ball in play by Mitch Garver, though both players ultimately stayed in the game.
The Brewers got one back in the bottom of the sixth when Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit his first home run as a Brewer, which was also the team’s first dinger of the season. Josh Lindblom came on in the seventh and after working around a pair of walks to post a zero in his first inning of work, he allowed a single, a pair of doubles, and a sacrifice fly on the way to two runs in the eighth. That put the Twins up 8-2, which is where this game ended after Eric Yardley pitched a scoreless ninth ahead of the offense going down 1-2-3 to Jorge Alcala to end the game.
After losing two of three in their home series against the rival Twins to begin the year, the Brewers now head south down the highway to Chicago and Wrigley Field to take on the Cubs for a series beginning tomorrow. Brett Anderson and Trevor Williams are slated to face off in game one, with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM central.