For three games, the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff threw zeroes at the Miami Marlins. For 12 innings at Miller Park on Sunday, the Marlins matched that feat. But Caleb Gindl—starting in place of a still-recovering Ryan Braun—belted his first career home run down the left-field line to lead off the 13th inning to give the Crew a 1-0 win over the Marlins.
The win gave the Brewers their first series sweep in exactly three months. Milwaukee swept three games from the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park April 19-21. According to Brewers senior vice director of media relations Mike Massallo via Twitter, Gindl is the first player in Brewer history to hit a walk-off for his first major-league home run.
The pitching staff set a record and tied another in the series. It was the first time since April 19-21, 1990, that the Brewers have recorded three consecutive shutouts. They blanked the Texas Rangers 11-0 on April 19, 1990, and followed that up with 5-0 and 2-0 wins over the Boston Red Sox on April 20-21, 1990.
The Brewers beat the Marlins 2-0 on Friday, 6-0 on Saturday and 1-0 on Sunday to tie the record. Along the way, Milwaukee pitchers have now thrown a club record 35 consecutive scoreless innings.
For their part, the Marlins haven’t scored a run since the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals on July 14, a club-record string of 37 innings without a run.
Gindl had hit the ball hard the opposite way all day. He lined out to deep left in the second inning, flied to medium-deep left in the fourth and doubled over Justin Ruggiano’s head in left field in the seventh. He also lined out hard to right field in the 10th before belting the game-winner in the 13th.
According to STATS_MLB on Twitter, Sunday’s game was the longest a game remained scoreless since the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays played 15 scoreless innings on July 17, 2011. The Red Sox won 1-0 in 16 innings at Tampa Bay.
“I didn’t know for sure [if it was out of the park],” Gindl told Fox Sports Wisconsin after the game. “I was worried about it going foul. I thought it had a chance if it stayed fair.”
Almost lost in the shuffle of the late heroics was another outstanding start for right-hander Wily Peralta, who held Miami to just two hits over eight innings. The big Dominican right-hander struck out seven and walked two and is now 2-0 with two no-decisions in his last four starts despite allowing just one run in 29.1 innings—a 0.31 ERA. He has shaved more than a run off his ERA in July, from 5.58 after a loss to the Cubs on June 27 to 4.30 after Sunday’s performance.
Neither team had many chances to score, as Henderson Alvarez had his best performance since coming to the Marlins in the massive 12-player trade with the Toronto Blue Jays last January. Alvarez was out until July 4 with shoulder problems and was making just his fourth start of the season. Alvarez threw seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out one.
The Brewers sat Braun, who made back-to-back starts Friday and Saturday for the first time since returning from the disabled list on July 8, and catcher Jonathan Lucroy, while center fielder Carlos Gomez didn’t play because of soreness in his elbow. He is also in a 3-for-39 slump.
Milwaukee had a chance to score in the bottom of the third, even after Peralta bunted into a double play following Jeff Bianchi’s leadoff single. Norichika Aoki beat out a bunt single and motored to third on Logan Schafer’s infield hit. Jean Segura lined a ball back up the middle that Alvarez stopped with his backside before scrambling to throw out the speedy Segura to end the inning.
Miami, meanwhile, never advanced a runner to third base and only three times did a Marlin move into scoring position.
John Axford (4-3) picked up the win with two perfect innings of relief, while Francisco Rodriguez, Michael Gonzalez and Jim Henderson each worked one scoreless frame.
Ryan Webb (1-4) took the loss for the Marlins, surrendering Gindl’s homer after working a scoreless 12th. A.J. Ramos threw two perfect innings for Miami and Michael Dunn and Chad Qualls each worked a 1-2-3 frame.
The win was Milwaukee’s fourth in a row. The Brewers will now host the San Diego Padres Monday through Thursday at Miller Park. San Diego comes in having lost two of three on the road to the St. Louis Cardinals coming back from the All-Star break. Tom Gorzelanny (1-3) is scheduled to start for the Crew while Andrew Cashner (5-5) is slated to work for the Padres.
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