Sep 8, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo (49) sits in the dugout after giving up 6 runs in 3 plus innings against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers were looking to reverse their fortunes this week after a disastrous week last week. They played host to Florida Marlins to kick off the week.
Yovani Gallardo (8-8, 3.43 ERA) took the ball for Milwaukee, tied with Ben Sheets for the franchise all-time record in strike outs. The ghost of Brad Penny (1-1, 6.61 ERA) took the hill for the Marlins.
This was Gallardo’s first start since the Boston Globe ran a rumor column that Milwaukee was seriously considering not picking up his option, which was considered a lock just a few weeks ago as Gallardo’s 3.43 ERA is a career low.
Penny sat out the 2013 season and signed a minor league deal with the Marlins earlier this year. He had only throw 16 1/3 innings this season and had walked more batters than he’d struck out coming in.
Gallardo was awful today and didn’t get through four innings of work. Penny on the other hand pitched like it was 2007 again and despite an 8th inning Brewer rally the Marlins cruised to a 6-4 win.
The Marlins opened the scoring in the first inning. Christian Yelich led off with a single and moved to second on a Donovan Solano ground out. Two batters later Casey McGehee knocked a two-out single to right to bring in Yelich. McGehee was thrown out at second to end the inning.
The Brewers answered back in the bottom of the inning. Carlos Gomez drew a lead-off walk and came around to score on a Scooter Gennett double to right-center. Gennett took third on a wild pitch and came in to score on a Jonathan Lucroy ground out to make it 2-1 Brewers.
The lead didn’t last long however as Marcell Ozuna (20) and Garrett Jones (14) hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the second inning and give the Marlins a 3-1 lead. Gallardo struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the first out of the inning. The whiff gave Gallardo sole possession of the Brewers all-time strike-out lead with 1,207.
After the strike out Adeiny Hechavarria singled up a bullet up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Penny. He came around to score on a single up the middle by Yelich to make it 4-2 Marlins before Solano grounded out to end the inning.
The Marlins extended the lead in the top of the third when Giancarlo Stanton led off with a home run (37) to right to make it 5-2. Two batters later Marcell Ozuna reached on a throwing error by Aramis Ramirez. He fumbled Ozuna’s grounder, and threw it in the dirt to first. Jones doubled down the right to bring in Ozuna and make it 6-2 Marlins.
Gallardo, somewhat surprisingly returned to the mound for the fourth inning. Brad Penny led off with a single, but was erased at second on a Yelich fielder’s choice ground out. Solano flew out for the second out but Gallardo walked both Stanton and McGehee to load the bases.
Gallardo went just 3 2/3 innings tonight and allowed six runs, five earned, on nine hits and two walks. He struck out just one batter. Penny worked his third straight scoreless inning in the bottom of the fourth, to make it yet another game in the recent losing stretch that saw the Brewers down three or more runs after four innings.
Penny and Estrada shut down their opponents for the next two innings. The Brewers briefly threatened in the bottom of the sixth. Gomez lined out sharply to lead off the inning, but Gennett and Lucroy had back-to-back singles to put two on but Ramirez ended the inning on a double-play ground out.
That was Penny’s final inning. He went six innings and allowed two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out one Brewer. It was the first time Penny went six innings in an outing since 2011.
Estrada got Stanton and McGehee to start the top of the seventh before an Ozuna single to give the Marlins their first base runner against Estrada but that was it for the Marlins in the inning as Jones flew out to end the inning.
Estrada returned to the hill for the eighth inning. Hechavarria managed a one-out single, but he was erased on a double play line out to end the inning. Estrada went 4 1/3 innings and allowed just two hits while striking out four.
Parra grounded out back to the mound, advancing Segura to second. Gomez followed with a sharp double down the line in left to bring in Segura and cut the lead to three runs. Gomez moved to third on a Gennett fly out.
Lucroy knocked an infield single to short to bring in Gomez and make it 6-4. Hechavarria had to go to his knees to make the play, and he fired to first by Jones couldn’t handle it. That was it for Ramos as Mike Redmond called for Bryan Morris to take on Ramirez who grounded out to end the inning.
Jonathan Broxton came on to toss the ninth for Milwaukee, suddenly back in the game. He struck out Yelich to open the inning and induced a ground out by Solano for the second out. Stanton flew out to Gomez to end the inning.
Marlins closer Steve Cishek came on to pitch the bottom of the night with Braun, Davis and Reynolds coming up. Braun struck out looking on three pitches for the first out. Davis grounded out back to the mound for the second out. Lyle Overbay pinch hit for Reynolds and grounded out to end the game.
Gallardo earned the loss for Milwaukee and Penny got the win for the Marlins. Cishek picked up his 33rd save of the season.