The Milwaukee Brewers were looking for their first road sweep of the season heading into Sunday’s game with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field and their first three-game sweep of the Mariners in Seattle since 1989.
Felix Hernandez, the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner for the M’s, said not so fast. Hernandez dominated the Crew over eight innings, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out nine and the Mariners blanked the Brewers 2-0.
Wily Peralta (8-12) was almost as good for the Brewers, but a pair of mistakes cost him. Peralta surrendered a leadoff double to Dustin Ackley in the bottom of the third. Ackley moved over to third base on a groundout and scored when Peralta spiked a breaking ball into the dirt in front of home plate.
In the bottom of the fifth, Peralta left a fastball up in the middle of the plate and Justin Smoak hammered it out of the park to right field, his second homer of the series and 13th of the year, to give the M’s a 2-0 lead.
That was more than enough to King Felix.
The only real trouble Hernandez (12-5) faced was in the second inning. With one out, Caleb Gindl coaxed a walk and went to third on Juan Francisco’s double. But Jeff Bianchi struck out and Scooter Gennett popped up to second to end the threat.
Hernandez, who lowered his American League-leading ERA to 2.28, didn’t allow another runner past first base.
Danny Farquhar continued to dazzle since being installed as Seattle’s closer, notching his fourth consecutive save, striking out Jean Segura on a nasty breaking ball and allowing only Jonathan Lucroy’s two-out single. Farquhar is unscored upon in his last nine outings covering 13.2 innings, during which he has allowed just four hits and four walks while striking out 21.
The Brewers are now 4-3 on their current road trip and can clinch their second straight winning trip with a split at Texas Tuesday and Wednesday. Milwaukee was 4-3 at Colorado and the Chicago Cubs July 26-31 and split four games at San Francisco earlier this week.
The only other hits for the Crew were a sixth-inning bunt single by Martin Maldonado and an infield single by Segura in the sixth and an eighth-inning base knock to right field by Gennett.
In what has been an up-and-down year for the Brewers, it seems only natural they would be shut out after scoring 20 runs in their last two games.
For Peralta, it was his second complete game of the season, becoming the first Brewer since Yovani Gallardo in 2010 to have more than one route-going effort in a season. He is the first Milwaukee pitcher to lose a complete game since Chris Capuano went the distance in a 4-2 loss at Colorado on July 31, 2006.
The Crew now gets an off-day in Texas on Monday before opening their quick two-game set with the Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday.
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