Hitting with runners in scoring position has been a problem area all season long for the Milwaukee Brewers. In a lineup that has been without Corey Hart all season, is missing Ryan Braun and has been without Aramis Ramirez for long stretches, the Crew just hasn’t been strong in those situations … sort of the way they were in a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels Friday night at Miller Park.
The Angels, meanwhile, got a solo home run from rookie Kole Calhoun in the fourth inning and jumped on starter Wily Peralta and reliever Rob Wooten for four runs in the seventh to take the win in the series opener.
After Calhoun’s homer in the top of the fourth, the Brewers had a shot at getting that run back … and then some. Ramirez led off the inning with a single and Carlos Gomez was hit by a pitch. After Khris Davis flied out, Scooter Gennett lined a single to right field to load the bases.
On a 3-0 pitch, No. 8 hitter Martin Maldonado had the green light and hit a ball right up the elevator shaft. First baseman Mark Trumbo made the catch near home plate and Peralta flew out to center to end the threat.
It remained 1-0 until the seventh. Peralta walked Calhoun and Trumbo lined a single to center to start the inning and manager Ron Roenicke brought Wooten out of the pen. After striking out Hank Conger, Luis Jimenez lined a single back up the middle to load the bases.
Unlike the Crew, the Angels knew what to do.
Grant Green laced a ground ball down the third-base line that just stayed fair, clearing the bases with Green ending up with a double. J.B. Shuck drove in Green with a single to right center.
It was a hard luck loss for Peralta, who pitched better than his final line indicated, thanks to the two runners he left for Wooten coming around to score. He fell to 8-14 after allowing three runs on just four hits in six-plus innings, with a pair of walks and six strikeouts. It was the 11th time this season Peralta got zero runs of support in one of his starts.
Tyler Thornburg, who will be returning to the starting rotation on Monday with Tom Gorzelanny returning to the bullpen, worked a scoreless eighth inning and Burke Badenhop pitched a scoreless ninth.
Jered Weaver (9-7) was good enough for the Angels, allowing just three hits in six shutout innings, with three walks and three strikeouts. Michael Kohn pitched a scoreless seventh, working out of another bases-loaded jam unscathed, and Cory Rasmus worked the final two innings.
In the seventh, Jean Segura slapped a two-out single off the glove of a diving Green at second base and Jonathan Lucroy walked. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, Ramirez walked to load the bases. Carlos Gomez hit a ball right on the screws, but right at Green for a loud final out.
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