Depleted by injuries, the Milwaukee Brewers turned to swingman Brent Suter to begin Friday night’s series opener against the Miami Marlins. Suter has been tremendous in that role for the Brewers during his parts of six MLB seasons, but in the face of Milwaukee’s mounting losses, he failed to deliver a quality outing.
Miami got on the board first in the bottom of the opening frame. Miguel Rojas led off with a single, and later moved up to second on a groundout. With two down in the inning, a Jacob Nottingham passed ball allowed Rojas to get to third base, and then he scored on a single by Adam Duvall, which deflected off Luis Urias. 1-0, Miami took the early lead.
In the third inning was when things got out of hand. Again, Rojas got things going, this time by drawing a leadoff walk. With one out, Garrett Cooper singled to put runners on first and third. The game was then paused as Suter was visited by the trainer, and was added to Milwaukee’s casualty list as he too left this game with an injury. It was deemed a right calf cramp and doesn’t sound like anything serious, but it was enough to knock Suter out of this contest. Enter Patrick Weigel, who promptly walked Adam Duvall to load the bases, then served up a first-pitch grand slam to Isan Diaz. That was the fourth salami allowed by the Brewers this year, most in MLB, and made the score 5-0.
The Crew got a run on the board in the top of the fourth, with Urias doubling with one out then coming around to score on a Pablo Reyes single. The Marlins answered right back against Alec Bettinger in the bottom half, with Rojas and Jesus Aguilar creating a mini-rally by themselves with back-to-back two-out doubles that made it a 6-1 game.
Bettinger settled in after that, though, and provided three innings of quality relief. He allowed just the one run on those two hits, walking one and striking out four. Jordan Zimmermann, too, got some mop up action in this game, cleaning up the final two innings without allowing a run on three hits, with no walks or strikeouts.
Milwaukee’s offense could manage nothing else, as 12 men were set down in a row from innings five through eight before the string was broken with a Avisail Garcia hit by pitch to start the ninth. Urias also singled in the ninth, giving him two of the Crew’s five hits in this game, but nothing came of it as this contest ended at a score of 6-1.
Now riding a six-game losing streak and sitting two games back in the NL Central, the 17-16 Brewers will send Adrian Houser to the mound for Saturday’s tilt in Miami. The Marlins’ starter is still TBD, but first pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM central.