The Toronto Blue Jays and their fearsome offense came into Milwaukee on Tuesday evening and they got shut down in a 6-1 Brewers win.
The Brewers sent Mike Fiers (2-1, 1.29 ERA) to take on J.A. Happ (8-7, 4.20 ERA). Fiers struck out 14 Cubs in just six innings his last time out, and in his two starts since replacing Matt Garza he’s given up just one run in 14 innings of work.
Happ had a string of four-straight quality starts snapped last time out, when he gave up five runs, four earned, in six innings to the Seattle Mariners.
The Brewers knocked Happ around, launching double after double off of him and chasing him in the fourth inning as they walked away with another win and another terrific start from Mike Fiers.
Fiers worked around a two-out, full-count walk to Jose Bautista in the top of the first, but that was it for the Blue Jays, as Fiers recorded his first two strike outs of the night.
Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy had back-to-back doubles to open the Brewers half of the first inning, giving Milwaukee a quick lead. Ryan Braun broke his bat on a fly ball to left that hung up just long enough for Melky Cabrera to run it down.
Aramis Ramirez followed with the team’s third double of the inning to drive in Lucroy and make it 2-0. Khris Davis followed with a walk to put two on for Rickie Weeks who struck out. Martin Maldonado struck out to end the inning.
Juan Francisco became Fiers third strike out victim of the game for the first out. Munenori Kawasaki knocked a swinging bunt toward first base, Fiers fielded and ran to first for the out, but Navarro came in to score, cutting the lead in half. Fiers struck out Happ to end the inning.
Happ settled down and set Milwaukee down in order in the bottom of the second to keep the Milwaukee lead to just one run.
Fiers had a three-up, three-down inning in the top of the third, setting down Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Bautista.
Lucroy knocked his second double of the night, and 42nd of the season, to lead off the bottom of the third for Milwaukee. Braun followed with a double down the line in right to bring in Lucroy; it was Milwaukee’s fifth double in 2-plus innings.
Ramirez flew out to right, moving Braun to third. Braun came home to score on a Davis fly out to deep center, making it 4-1. Weeks reached on an error by Reyes who got eaten up by Weeks’ ground ball. Maldonado flew out to end the inning.
Fiers worked another three-up, three-down inning in the fourth, adding a strike out of Navarro. Fiers knocked his first hit of the year with one-out in the bottom of the fourth for the Brewers.
Happ walked Gomez on four pitches to put two on; that was it for Happ has the Jays called for Dustin McGowan to relieve him. McGowan got Lucroy to line out and Braun to ground out to end the inning.
The final line on Happ was just 3 1/3 innings pitched, allowing for runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out three.
Fiers set down the side in order in the top of the fifth, including pinch-hitter Drew Hutchison, who is actually a pitcher for the Jays. Manager Jay Gibbons didn’t want to burn his hitters that early.
Ramirez launched a ground-rule double to right center to lead off the bottom of the fifth against new pitcher Todd Redmond. Davis followed with another Brewers double, this time off the wall in right, to bring in Ramirez. It was Milwaukee’s 7th double of the game.
Weeks singled up the middle to bring in Davis and make it 6-1. Maldonado, Segura and Fiers all flew out to center to end the inning.
Fiers rolled through the sixth inning without any issues, making it 15 straight Blue Jays retired. Redmond set the Brewers down in order in the bottom half of the frame, setting down Gomez, Lucroy and Braun.
Fiers opened the seventh by getting a line out from Encarnacion. Navarro followed with a fly ball to Braun, and Rasmus grounded out back to Fiers to end the inning.
That was it for Fiers; he threw seven innings and allowed just one run on two hits and one walk. He struck out six and finished by retiring 18 straight Blue Jays.
Davis knocked a one-out single to left in the bottom of the sixth but that was it for the Crew against new Jays pitcher Kyle Drabek.
Zach Duke came on to pitch the eight for Milwaukee, still holding a 6-1 lead. Danny Valencia pinch hit for Francisco to lead off the inning. He grounded out to third as Duke worked a one-two-three inning.
Drabek returned to the hill in the bottom of the eighth for the Blue Jays and he set the Brewers down in order.
Brandon Kintzler came on to pitch the ninth for Milwaukee. He put down Reyes, Cabrera and Bautista in order to give Milwaukee the 6-1 win.
Fiers got the win for Milwaukee; it was their fifth in a row. Happ took the loss for the Blue Jays. The two-game series wraps up tomorrow when Jimmy Nelson (2-3, 3.86 ERA) takes on yet another Cy Young Award winner in R.A. Dickey (9-12, 3.95 ERA).