Brewers beat Marlins for 6th straight win

Brewers beat Marlins for 6th straight win

Christian Yelich belted a go-ahead, two-run homer against his former team as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the visiting Miami Marlins 4-2 on Sunday afternoon.

Yelich, traded by the Marlins to the Brewers this past offseason, hit his shot to center field in the fourth inning. It was his second homer of the season, and it helped the Brewers win their sixth straight game.

In his other three at-bats on Sunday, Yelich struck out.

The Marlins have lost four games in a row as the Brewers swept them in a four-game series.

Right-hander Junior Guerra (2-0) earned the win, allowing five hits, one walk and one unearned run in five-plus innings. He left the game with the bases loaded in the sixth, but reliever Jeremy Jeffress got out of the jam by striking out Brian Anderson, getting a pop out from JB Shuck and striking out Lewis Brinson.

Josh Hader pitched two scoreless innings for his third save of the season.

Marlins rookie left-hander Caleb Smith (0-3), still searching for his first major-league win, took a tough-luck loss despite striking out 10 batters. He allowed just two hits, no walks and two runs in six innings.

Miami opened the scoring in the first. JT Realmuto reached on catcher’s interference called against rookie Jacob Nottingham. Realmuto then scored from first on Justin Bour‘s two-out double.

Milwaukee took a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Lorenzo Cain led off the inning with a single, and Yelich followed with his homer.

The Brewers extended their lead to 3-1 in the seventh. Travis Shaw drew a walk, advanced to second on a Jesus Aguilar single and third when Eric Sogard drew a walk. With two outs and the bases loaded, Shaw scored when Bour bobbled and then kicked an Eric Thames grounder.

Bour atoned for his error by getting an RBI single in the eighth. Realmuto led off with a walk, took second on Jeff Bandy’s passed ball and scored when Bour smashed his drive to right. But Bour messed up again, losing track of the number of outs as he was easily doubled-up off first base on Anderson’s fly out to center.

Milwaukee stretched its lead to 4-2 in the eighth. Cain walked and advanced when Miami gave Shaw a two-out intentional pass. Cain then scored on Aguilar’s RBI single.

–Field Level Media

Yelich, Guerra lead Brewers to 4-2 win, sweep of Marlins

Yelich, Guerra lead Brewers to 4-2 win, sweep of Marlins

View photos

Miami Marlins’ Miguel Rojas argues with an umpire after striking out during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Milwaukee. The Brewers won 4-2. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich hit a two-run homer, Junior Guerra worked five innings and three relievers did the rest for the Milwaukee Brewers, who completed a four-game sweep of the Miami Marlins with a 4-2 win on Sunday.

Guerra (2-0), who began the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs, allowed one unearned run on five hits and struck out four in his third start in the majors this season. The Brewers have won six straight.

Caleb Smith (0-3) struck out a career-high 10 in six innings in his first career start against the Brewers. He didn’t walk a batter, but the only two hits he allowed in the fourth cost him.

Lorenzo Cain led off with a single and scored on Yelich’s second homer of the season and first since coming off the 10-day disabled list on April 17. Yelich was acquired from Miami in January in exchange for Lewis Brinson and three minor leaguers as the Marlins shed payroll.

Guerra was pulled after loading the bases with no outs in the sixth, and Jeremy Jeffress got out of the jam with a strikeout, a foul popup and another strikeout. Matt Albers retired the side in order in the seventh. Josh Hader pitched the final two innings for his third save.

Justin Bour‘s single off Hader drove in a run in the eighth, but then he ran into an embarrassing double play. Bour raced around second on Brian Anderson’s one-out fly to center and was an easy out at first.

Brewers added a run in the seventh when first baseman Bour muffed pinch-hitter Eric Thames‘ roller with the bases loaded.

J.T. Realmuto reached on catcher’s interference and scored on Bour’s double in the first.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas, batting .158 (3 for 19) during the nine-game trip, was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season. ”We know he’s playing every day, but guys need their days off,” manager Don Mattingly said. Rojas pinch-hit in the ninth.

Brewers: SS Orlando Arcia missed his second game after twisting his ankle Friday night. ”We’ll run him around today, check him out tomorrow and if he passes, he’ll be ready to go on Tuesday,” manager Craig Counsell said.

UP NEXT

Marlins: LHP Jarlin Garcia (1-0, 0.86 ERA) makes his first career start and fifth appearance against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of a three-game road series.

Brewers: After a day off, RHP Zach Davies (1-2, 4.84 ERA) makes his first career start against the Kansas City Royals in the opener of a two-game road series.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Jeter gets defensive over tanking questions

Jeter gets defensive over tanking questions

Reuters

Derek Jeter defends the course of action he’s set for the Miami Marlins in an interview with HBO’s Real Sports airing on Tuesday.

Jeter, 43, is in his first season as the CEO of the rebuilding Marlins and was in charge when the team parted ways with several star players during the winter, including Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon.

The roster overhaul has caused some to question whether the Marlins are trying to win games at all.

“Tanking? What is … tanking?” Jeter responded when asked by host Bryant Gumbel if that was the team’s mindset, according to a transcript in the Miami Herald.

“We’re trying to win ballgames every day,” said Jeter. “When you take the field, you have an opportunity to win each and every day. Each and every day. You never tell your team that they’re expected to lose. Never.”

Jeter cut off Gumbel as he tried to interject and turned the conversation toward the host.

“Now, you can think … now, I can’t tell how you think,” he said. “Like, I see your mind. I see that’s how you think. I don’t think like that. That’s your mind working like that. … You don’t get it.

“You don’t. … I can’t wait to get you on the golf course, man. We got … I mean, I can’t wait for this one. … You’re mentally weak.”

Gumbel also tells Jeter that it’s “delusional” to believe the Marlins, who are off to a 5-15 start, can contend.

“Well, call me delusional,” Jeter responded.

–Field Level Media

Advertisement

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.

Brewers send Guerra to mound in bid to sweep Marlins

Brewers send Guerra to mound in bid to sweep Marlins

MILWAUKEE — Junior Guerra was unsure of what to expect when he reported to Maryvale Baseball Park for the start of spring training.

The Milwaukee Brewers were not sure, either.

Milwaukee is giving Guerra another chance to hold onto his rotation spot Sunday when he faces the Miami Marlins in the finale of a four-game series at Miller Park.

Guerra spent nearly five years in baseball’s wilderness — bouncing around various independent leagues and even spent a season pitching in Italy before finally making his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox late in the 2015 season.

With the Brewers a season later, the then 31-year-old made an unlikely rookie of the year bid by going 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 20 starts and was the team’s opening day starter in 2017.

His opening day outing was cut short by a calf injury and when Guerra finally returned, he looked nothing like the unexpected success story of a year earlier.

Guerra had a decent run in spring training but opened the season with Triple-A Colorado Springs where made one start before the Brewers summoned him.

When given the opportunity, Guerra made the most of it. He pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his season debut April 11 at St. Louis and followed that up with 5 2/3 shutout innings his last time out Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds.

“We need, and I think every club needs, some surprises,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell. “You need some positive surprises. I think we can definitely say Junior thus far has been one. But at the same time this is a player that had a highly impressive season and we’re not talking five years removed from it. It (was) 2016. And he’s off to a good start. It’s certainly a boost for us and something we needed.”

After losing a tick off his fastball last year, Guerra’s velocity returned and his split-finger fastball, his bread-and-butter pitch, is back to finding the strike zone on a regular basis. He credited a return to winter ball play in his native Venezuela for part of the turnaround, but also the simple fact of being healthy again.

“Last year, I didn’t feel good all year,” he said. “Everything was different. My arm didn’t feel good. My delivery was wrong. But that’s what happens sometimes. That’s baseball.”

Guerra is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two appearances (one start) versus Miami.

Guerra will get the chance to extend Milwaukee’s season-high five-game winning streak into an off-day Monday, as well as an opportunity for the Brewers to record their second sweep of the season. The Brewers kept the streak going with a 6-5 victory Saturday when Jesus Aguilar capped a 13-pitch at-bat by leading off the ninth inning with a walk-off home run against Junichi Tazawa .

It will be up to Miami left-hander Caleb Smith to keep Milwaukee’s brooms at bay as he looks for his first victory of 2018.

Smith could not get out of the third inning his last time out. He allowed five runs on five hits and five walks while striking out three over 2 1/3 innings of a 12-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday.

He wasn’t expected to open the season in Miami’s bullpen but injuries to veteran starters like Dan Straily — who’s slated to make a rehab start Tuesday — and Wei-Yen Chen created spots for rookies such as Smith, Trevor Richards and Dillon Peters.

“You’re asking a lot of young guys, but that’s OK,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “They’re going to learn, and that’s how they’re going to get better. So, it’s how they’re going to handle it. You talk about Dan, and Wei-Yin — and he’s throwing the ball well and keeps advancing — those kind of guys, they’ve been through it.”

Aguilar's walk-off homer leads Brewers past Marlins, 6-5

Aguilar's walk-off homer leads Brewers past Marlins, 6-5

View photos

Milwaukee Brewers’ Jesus Aguilar hits a walk-off home run during the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. The Brewers won 6-5. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jesus Aguilar homered on the 13th pitch leading off the bottom of the ninth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied past the Miami Marlins 6-5 on Saturday night for their fifth consecutive win.

Aguilar, who entered the game as a late-inning replacement, hit his first home run of the season off Junichi Tazawa (0-1).

Milwaukee tied the score in the eighth when Miami left fielder Derek Dietrich misplayed Eric Sogard‘s two-out popup to left, allowing Travis Shaw to score from second. Eric Thames was thrown out at the plate attempting to score the go-ahead run from first.

Jeremy Jeffress (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning of relief to get the win.

The Marlins, who have lost six of seven, jumped out to 1-0 lead on Dietrich’s homer off Brent Suter in the first inning. Lewis Brinson‘s three-run shot in the second extended Miami’s lead to 4-0.

Shaw’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the second off Jose Urena got the Brewers on the scoreboard. Shaw has reached first base 11 times (six walks, four hits, including two home runs, and hit by pitch) in the first three games against the Marlins.

Milwaukee scored twice in the fourth on Thames’ run-scoring single and an RBI groundout by Sogard.

Miami extended the lead to 5-3 in fifth when Brian Anderson‘s base hit drove in Starlin Castro, who singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

The Brewers again pulled within a run in their half of the fifth on Ryan Braun’s sacrifice fly.

Suter gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out four.

Urena, who made his first road start of the season, gave up four runs and four hits in five innings. He walked two batters and struck out three.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: INF Martin Prado (left hamstring strain) had a double and an RBI in three at-bats on Saturday night in a rehab assignment for Class-A Jupiter. … RHP Dan Straily (right forearm strain) is expected to pitch Tuesday for Double-A Jacksonville. ”We would love to have him back right away to bring some of that veteran (presence) into that rotation but we want him to be ready and feel like he is ready to compete.”

Brewers: SS Orlando Arcia sat out after twisting his ankle attempting to get back to first base after singling in the eighth inning of Friday night’s game. ”He just kind of jammed his ankle and had a little swelling,” manager Craig Counsell said. ”I don’t think we are completely out of the woods with it, but we will give him at least today (off).”

UP NEXT

Marlins LHP Caleb Smith (0-2, 6.89 ERA) makes his fifth start of the season in the series finale on Sunday against Brewers RHP Junior Guerra (1-0, 0.82).

Brewers 6, Marlins 5: Fantastic at-bat by Jesus Aguilar culminates with walk-off home run

Brewers 6, Marlins 5: Fantastic at-bat by Jesus Aguilar culminates with walk-off home run

It was the best at-bat of the season for the Milwaukee Brewers, with a fantastic result.

Jesús Aguilar stayed alive for 13 pitches leading off the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night, finally crushing a long home run to right-center that gave the Brewers a scintillating 6-5 victory over the Miami Marlins at Miller Park.

Aguilar fouled off six two-strike pitches to stay alive during the epic at-bat against reliever Junichi Taza. It was Aguilar’s first home run of the season and his first walk-off homer, boosting the Brewers’ winning streak to five games, most since the first half of last season.

BOX SCORE: Brewers 6, Marlins 5

MLB: Live scoreboard, box scores, standings, statistics

The Brewers trailed, 5-4, entering the eighth inning but were presented a gift run by the Marlins to tie it. With two down, Eric Sogard lifted a high fly to shallow left field that Derek Dietrich muffed for a run-scoring error. Eric Thames also tried to score from first on the play but was thrown out. 

Brewers starter Brent Suter put the Brewers in an early 4-0 hole, courtesy of two home runs by the Marlins. Dietrich sent a one-out shot to right-center in the first and Lewis Brinson lined a three-run shot to left-center with none down in the second.

Brinson, the Brewers’ former No. 1 prospect sent to the Marlins in late January in the Christian Yelich trade, came to town in a deep slump, with a .131 batting average and no extra-base hits. The shot off Suter was his third homer of the series, however, including two in the opener.

The Brewers kept pecking away at Miami starter José Ureña to stay in the game. Actually, it was more than a peck in the second as Travis Shaw led off with a home run, his second in two nights.

The Brewers had a chance for a big rally in the fourth when Ryan Braun opened with a double, Shaw walked and Thames ripped an RBI single. They settled for two runs, however, cutting the Marlins’ lead to 4-3.

After the Marlins boosted their lead to 5-3 in the fifth on Brian Anderson’s two-out single off Suter, the Brewers came back with a run in the bottom of the inning to make it a one-run game again.

FIVE TAKEAWAYS

ANOTHER BIG ROUND NUMBER: Braun, who collected his career 1,000th RBI with a pinch-hit, three-run home run Thursday night, reached another milestone with a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth. It was the 700th career extra-base hit for Braun, who ranks second on the Brewers’ all-time list behind the 960 by Robin Yount.

OPPOSITE NUMBERS ARE THE SAME: In what had to be a major-league first, two pitchers wearing No. 71 covered all six outs in the seventh. After the Brewers’ Josh Hader took care of the side in order in the top of the inning, Miami reliever Drew Steckenrider pitched scoreless ball in the bottom of the inning.

THE PEN DOES IT AGAIN: Even with closer Corey Knebel on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, the Brewers’ bullpen has performed well. With Jacob Barnes, Josh Hader, Matt Albers and Jeremy Jeffress contributing a scoreless frame each, the relief corps extended its scoreless stretch to 17 2/3 innings. 

SLUMPING SANTANA SITS AGAIN: For the second consecutive game, rightfielder Domingo Santana was out of the starting lineup. Santana, 0 for his last 16, has been unable to get going at the plate, managing just one extra-base hit – a double – with three RBI. With outfielders Braun, Lorenzo Cain and Yelich all missing time with injuries, Santana has seen more action than might have been anticipated but has not taken advantage. “It gives him a couple days to kind of clear the slate a little bit,” manager Craig Counsell said. “There’s going to be five guys on the bench every day. Everybody will play. I’ve tried to state that, and it’s happened, and it will continue to happen.” Santana pinch-hit to lead off the bottom of the fifth, walked and later scored.

STARTING PITCHING HAD BEEN BETTER: Before Suter stumbled, the starting rotation had been on a roll, going 4-1 with a 1.86 ERA over the previous seven games with a .184 opponents batting average. That stretch helped calm the fears of those who worried that not adding an established starter over the off-season would sink the team. “The starters have kind of turned this a little bit,” Counsell said. “They’ve been doing a heck of a job. Lessening the bullpen’s innings is always valuable, especially on these home stands. We’ve carried seven relievers for a couple of April home stands. That’s a credit to the whole staff. Everybody is pulling the wagon equally, as far as innings.”

RECORD

This year: 13-9

Last year: 11-11

ATTENDANCE

Saturday: 37,175

This year: 424,368 (32,644 avg.)

Last year:  384,735 (29,595 avg.)

COMING UP

Sunday: Brewers vs. Marlins, 1:10 p.m. Milwaukee RHP Junior Guerra (1-0, 0.82) vs. Miami LHP Caleb Smith (0-2, 6.89). TV: FS Wisconsin. Radio: FM-94.5.