Davies tagged for six runs

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - SPORTS - TOM HAUDRICOURT

Af­ter us­ing eight re­lief pitch­ers the pre­vi­ous night to cover nine in­nings of a “bullpen game,” the Mil­wau­kee Brewers felt good about hav­ing their top win­ner, Zach Davies, take the mound Saturday night against Miami.

Noth­ing is guar­an­teed in base­ball, how­ever, and Davies turned in one of his worst out­ings of the sea­son at an in­op­por­tune time.

With Davies al­low­ing six runs over four in­nings — his short­est out­ing of the sea­son — the Brewers never re­cov­ered and lost to the Mar­lins, 7-4, at Miller Park in the sec­ond game of the re­lo­cated se­ries from hur­ri­cane-stricken Miami.

Every loss hurts this time of year when you’re chas­ing teams for play­off berths. The Brewers fell four games be­hind Chicago

in the NL Cen­tral with 14 to play, and 31⁄2 games be­hind Colorado for the sec­ond wild-card berth.

Ear­lier in the sea­son, Davies was hav­ing so much trou­ble in the first in­ning at home, he al­tered his rou­tine to give him more time on the bench be­fore tak­ing the mound. That was not an is­sue in this game be­cause as the “road” team, the Brewers bat­ted first.

Nev­er­the­less, Davies found im­me­di­ate trou­ble as the first four bat­ters col­lected hits and scored runs. Dee Gor­don got it started with a bunt hit and Gian­carlo Stan­ton fol­lowed with a chop­per over first base­man Jesús Aguilar, an un­usual hit for the slug­ger.

Chris­tian Yelich lined a 3-2 changeup to cen­ter for a RBI sin­gle that tied the score, 1-1. Mar­cell Ozuna then ripped an op­po­site-field hit to right, send­ing home Stan­ton. Justin Bour lined out to deep cen­ter for a sac­ri­fice fly, and J.T. Real­muto lined out to third, Derek Di­et­rich sin­gled to make it 4-1.

Davies’ com­mand is­sues con­tin­ued in the sec­ond as Bour dou­bled with one down and Di­et­rich ham­mered a first-pitch changeup out to right with two outs for a tworun homer that put the Mar­lins on top, 6-1. Miami en­tered the game with six con­sec­u­tive losses and 16 in their last 18 games.

The Brewers chis­eled a cou­ple of runs off that lead with two swings of the bat in the sixth. Ryan Braun led off with an op­po­site-field homer to right and Travis Shaw fol­lowed with one to al­most the same spot, his 30th of the sea­son. Both shots came off slid­ers from Con­ley, who didn’t make it through the in­ning.

The Brewers went on to load the bases with two down be­fore re­liever Ju­nichi Tazawa re­tired Hernán Pérez on a pop fly to shal­low right to al­low Miami to es­cape with a 6-3 lead.

The Mar­lins tacked a run onto that lead in the sev­enth. With two on and one out, for­mer starter Matt Garza re­placed Oliver Drake to make his first re­lief out­ing since 2015 and only the fifth of his 12-year ca­reer.

Garza re­tired Ozuna on a fly to cen­ter but Bour lined a RBI sin­gle to right to make it 7-3. BE­HIND THE BOX SCORE

■ Davies was given an ex­tra day of rest be­fore his start, which con­ve­niently lines up his next out­ing against the Cubs in a huge four-game se­ries at home. Man­ager Craig Coun­sell said the matchup against Chicago was not the No. 1 pri­or­ity, how­ever.

“He had pitched four or five in a row on the stan­dard four days of rest,” Coun­sell said. “So, I thought it was bet­ter to give him the ex­tra day now, then make three more starts on reg­u­lar rest.

“That does put him in the Cubs se­ries but I thought this was the time to give him the ex­tra day. The No. 1 thing is that Zach is ef­fec­tive for the next four starts. That’s what’s most im­por­tant.” STAT SHEET

■ With the Mar­lins pitch­ing a lefty, Coun­sell had his hottest bat on the bench: left-handed hit­ting Eric Thames, who had home­red in three con­sec­u­tive games and was bat­ting .467 (7 for 15) over a five-game hit­ting streak. Thames was smoked on the right hand Fri­day night by a fast­ball from Jar­lin Gar­cía and was wear­ing a com­pres­sion ban­dage but said he was ready to play.

“He’s got­ten hot,” Coun­sell said. “He’s putting

good swings on the pitches he gets to hit. It sounds sim­ple but we don’t know when that’s go­ing to hap­pen. That’s why you stay con­sis­tent with hard work and put your­self in a po­si­tion to let it hap­pen. And it’s hap­pen­ing at a big time of year for us. With his power, he can im­pact games re­ally fast, and we’ve seen him do it.”

Thames pinch hit in the ninth with no one on base and the Brewers trail­ing, 7-3, and struck out.

■ Fri­day was only the fourth time in fran­chise his­tory the Brewers “home­red for the cy­cle” (bases empty, two-run, three­run, grand slam) with ex­actly four home runs. TAKE­AWAY

Hav­ing burned through eight re­lief pitch­ers Fri­day on a “bullpen day,” the Brewers were look­ing for a long, pro­duc­tive out­ing from their top win­ner, Zach Davies. In­stead, he gave them a short, un­pro­duc­tive out­ing and the Brewers never re­cov­ered. RECORD

This year: 78-70 (42-34 home; 36-36 away)

Last year: 66-82 AT­TEN­DANCE

Saturday: 25,079 NEXT GAME

Sun­day: Brewers vs. Mar­lins, 1:10 p.m. Mil­wau­kee RHP Bran­don Woodruff (1-2, 3.14) vs. Miami LHP Dil­lon Peters (0-1, 2.50). TV: FS Wis­con­sin. Ra­dio: AM-630.

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