May 28, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Khris Davis (18) hits a three run home run during the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Milwaukee Brewers used another fast start and a big eighth inning to down the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 on Wednesday to take the series 2-1. The win brings the Brewers up to 12-14 in May, with two games left this month against the Cubs they could still finish at .500 for the month.
Yovani Gallardo returned to the hill for the first time since May 20th when he sprained his ankle after 3 1/3 innings in Atlanta.
It was an inauspicious start for Gallardo, walking the Oriole leadoff hitter Nick Markakis. But Scooter Gennett turned an Adam Jones grounder into a double play after Gallardo struck out Manny Machado to end the Orioles’ first.
After a Jean Segura line out, Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy drew walks ahead of a Carlos Gomez single to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Oriole starter Bud Norris (3-4, 3.92 ERA) got out of the inning with any further damage.
After Chris Davis flew out to open the second before Nelson Cruz hit his major-league leading 18th home run to tie the game. The Brewers came right back in the bottom half of the frame though. Khris Davis lead off with a walk ahead of a Lyle Overbay double. After quick outs to Gallardo and Segura, Braun doubled (10) to right scoring both Davis and Overbay.
Gallardo had an easy go of it in the third, setting the Orioles down in order. Gomez lead off the third by getting plunked. He stole second base, and reached third on a fly out by Mark Reynolds. Gomez went on to score on a Gennett sac-fly to center to give the crew a 4-1 lead.
After two quick outs in the fourth Gallardo walked Cruz, JJ Hardy and Nick Hundley to load the bases. But Monday’s hero Jonathan Schoop grounded out to Gennett to end the threat. Gallardo had the only hit for the crew in the bottom half of the frame but was erased when Segura grounded into a double play.
Both clubs went down one-two-three in the fifth inning.
After two quick outs in the top half of the sixth Nelson Cruz popped another home run (19) off Gallardo to make it a 4-2 game. The Brewers went down quietly in their half of the frame.
After a ground out by Schoop and a strikeout by Delmon Young, Markakis doubled (10) to right to end Yovani Gallardo’s night. Brandon Kintzler came on in relief and gave up singles to Manny Machado and Adam Jones to bring the lead down to one run, at 4-3. Will Smith came in to replace Kintzler. A wild pick-off throw by Smith moved Machado and Jones to second and third, but ended up striking out Davis to end the threat.
Brad Brach came in to pitch the seventh for the Orioles. He got Elian Herrera to pop up a bunt to first and struck out Segura before giving up a single to Braun. Lucroy flew out to end the inning.
Smith struck out Cruz to open the eighth before a Hardy single. Smith then struck out Hundley and Schoop. With Brach still pitching Gomez opened the Brewer half of the eighth with a double (15). He advanced to third on a single by Reynolds.
Brian Matusz replaced Brach, and Rickie Weeks, pinch-hitting for Gennett, knocked the first pitch he saw into the outfield to drive in Gomez. Davis followed with a three-run home run (9) to make it 8-3.
Zach Duke came on to pitch the ninth for the Brewers. Steve Pearce and Markakis quickly hit singles to put two men on with no outs. Pearce moved to third on a double-play ground out by Machado but Duke struck out Jones to end the game.
Five Walks was a season high for Gallardo who picked up the win bringing his record to 3-3. His final line was 6 2/3 innings pitched, allowing three runs on three hits with five strike outs.
Bud Norris picked up the loss for the Orioles, and drops to 3-5. He threw six innings, and allowed four runs on five hits and three walks, he struck out one.
The Brewers are off on Thursday and will take on the Cubs over the weekend. Friday features Marco Estrada (4-2, 3.98 ERA) versus Travis Wood (5-4, 4.35 ERA), Saturday has Wily Peralta (4-4, 2.12 ERA) taking on Jason Hammel (5-3, 3.08 ERA) and the Sunday game will see Kyle Lohse (6-1, 2.92 ERA) take on Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 1.68 ERA).
Milwaukee’s Three Stars
- Will Smith – 1.1 IP, 4K, Hold
- Ryan Braun – 2-for-3, 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB
- Carlos Gomez – 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI