The Milwaukee Brewers only got three hits yesterday in losing to the New York Mets, 2-to-1 at Miller Park. Jeremy Hefner struck out eight Brewers in seven innings, while giving up just two hits. Tom Gorzelanny took the hard-luck loss as a late replacement for Wily Peralta, who has a bad hamstring. Gorzelanny struck out eight in six frames and gave up two unearned runs – both after throwing errors by Juan Francisco on a pair of slow rollers to third base. Josh Satin doubled home the eventual winning run in the sixth inning. Satin went 3-for-4 and scored once for the Mets, who took 2-of-3 from the Crew to win four of their last seven series. Jonathan Lucroy homered in his second straight game. He was the only Milwaukee player to touch third base. Norichika Aoki and Sean Halton had the only other Brewer hits, both infield singles. Hefner won his third straight decision, and is now 4-and-6. Bobby Parnell earned a four-out save, his 15th. Gorzelanny’s loss dropped him to 1-and-2. The Brewers are still entrenched in last in the National League Central. But they dropped their dubious distinction of having the biggest deficit in the six Major League divisions. Milwaukee is 18 games behind first-place Pittsburgh and Saint Louis, while Houston is now 20 back in A-L West. The Brewers open a home series against Cincinnati tonight. Right-hander Kyle Lohse faces Cincy’s Homer Bailey, who threw a no-hitter his last time out.
Don’t be surprised if Ryan Braun returns to the Milwaukee lineup this week. The left fielder has been out since June 10th with nerve damage in his right hand. Braun took full batting practice on Saturday for the first time since he went out. Manager Ron Roenicke says Braun also needs to get his legs back in shape. For now, the goal is to get him in at least some of the four games Milwaukee has at Arizona starting on Thursday night. Those are the last contests before the All-Star break. Meanwhile, Brewers’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez is expected to miss at least some of the Arizona series. The skipper says Ramirez needs extra time to rest the left knee he sprained twice this season while sliding into a base. He tweaked it again recently. It caused him to leave in the sixth inning of Saturday night’s Milwaukee win over the Mets. Yesterday was a scheduled day of rest. It’s possible that Ramirez could go on the disabled list but Roenicke wants to avoid that.
Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin does not expect to make a trade before next week’s All-Star break – but he adds, quote, “You never know.” For now, Melvin says some of the teams he’s heard from are still trying to decide if they’re in the playoff hunt. The non-waiver trade deadline is 23 days away. Most trade rumors have involved Milwaukee pitchers – including starters Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse, and relievers John Axford, Jim Henderson, and Francisco Rodriguez. All but Lohse are said to be considered by the Arizona Diamondbacks, who host the Brewers for four games starting on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs reportedly traded veteran outfielder Scott Hairston to Washington. Fox Sports-Dot-Com said the Nationals are giving up a minor league pitching prospect. Hairston has not played much for Chicago, hitting just .172 in 51 games with eight homers and 19 R-B-I’s.