Brewers lose again to Yankees 5-2Wisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers lost their second straight game at Yankee Stadium last night, 5-2 – and by the end of today, the Brewers could lose their division lead
NEW YORK CITY - The Milwaukee Brewers lost their second straight game at Yankee Stadium last night, 5-2 – and by the end of today, the Brewers could lose their division lead.
After being three games in front, Milwaukee is now just one game ahead of second-place Saint Louis in the National League Central standings. The Cardinals have won two straight at Baltimore, and third-place Cincinnati is just two-and-a-half games back.
Brewers’ starter Shaun Marcum lost his first game since May 27th, giving up four runs on five hits in five innings with six strikeouts. Marcum is now 7-3 on the year, and 1-5 lifetime against the Yankees. The fourth inning was the back-breaker for Milwaukee, when Russell Martin broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer. Jorge Posada hit a solo homer later on. Ryan Braun went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Brewers, and he extended his career-long hitting streak to 19 games. Prince Fielder drove in Milwaukee’s other run with a fielder’s choice. A.J. Burnett broke a three-game home losing streak, giving up two runs on seven hits in seven-plus frames. He’s now 8-6. Mariano Rivera earned his 21st save as the Yankees won their fourth straight overall, and 8-of-their-last-10 Interleague games.
The Brewers reached the halfway point of the season at 44-37, with the NL’s worst road record at 15-26. They’ll try to salvage a win from the Yankees this afternoon in their series finale. Left-hander Randy Wolf goes against former Brewers’ southpaw C.C. Sabathia.
Milwaukee traded reliever Sergio Mitre to the Yankees after their game last night. The Brewers will get cash in the deal, after they designated Mitre for assignment earlier this week. Mitre returns for a second stint with New York. He made a dozen starts and 27 relief appearances in Yankee pinstripes in 2009 and last season. The Yankees traded him to Milwaukee at the end of spring training this year for backup outfielder Chris Dickerson. Mitre pitched in 22 games for Milwaukee with an 0-1 record and a 3.27 ERA. Mitre is expected to be a long reliever for New York, and make a spot start when necessary. The Yankee pitching staff has been banged-up lately, but Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes are expected to return from injuries in the next few days.
The Milwaukee Brewers will continue to have a minor league connection in Wisconsin for at least five-and-a-half more years. The Brewers today announced a four-year extension of its affiliation with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of Appleton, running through 2016. The Timber Rattlers are the lower of two Class-“A” farm clubs, with Brevard County being slightly higher in stature. But Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin calls the affiliation with the Timber Rattlers a “perfect fit.” He says it has given the Brewers the convenience of sending players close by for minor league rehab assignments – and it gives the Rattlers a chance to play in a big league ball park on occasion. Tonight, the Rattlers face Peoria at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Brewers started their connection with Wisconsin in 2008.
We’ll find out Sunday if the Brewers will have three starters in the All-Star Game for the first time in their history. Outfielder Ryan Braun and second baseman Rickie Weeks lead the fan voting in their positions. First baseman Prince Fielder ranks second in his spot – but the leader, Albert Pujols, will miss the All-Star Game with a broken forearm so it’s possible that Fielder could be named the starter. Braun leads all National League players in the fan ballot with just over three-million votes as of Monday. He says it would “pretty cool” to have three Brewers in the starting NL lineup – and he credits the Milwaukee fans for being “extremely passionate and supportive.” The fan voting continues through late tomorrow night at Brewers-Dot-Com and MLB.com.
Brewers’ reliever Takashi Saito might return to the Milwaukee bullpen by Friday night, when the team opens a weekend series at Minnesota. The 41-year-old Saito struck out two and gave up a hit in one inning last night for Triple-“A” Nashville. The Sounds won that game 3-2. Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke says Saito will have a throwing session today – and if all goes well, he could return to the big club by the end of the week. Saito has missed most of the season with an injured hamstring, followed by a strained oblique muscle. The Brewers signed the veteran Saito last winter to be a set-up man for John Axford. Kameron Loe has moved into that role instead.
Mat Gamel says it’s way too early to think about the possibility of replacing Prince Fielder at first base for the Milwaukee Brewers. Gamel was moved from third base to first at Triple-“A” Nashville this season, to get him ready should Fielder bolt or get traded during his contract year. Gamel was called up to Milwaukee this week to be a designated hitter for the Brewers’ six Interleague road games at New York and Minnesota. He said he was reluctant to make the change to first. But now, he says he’s more comfortable at first – and he’s making fewer errors at first than at third, when his miscues became a problem at times both in the minors and his previous short stints with the Brew Crew. Gamel had an eight-game hitting streak at Nashville when he was called up. He was batting .375 in his last 19 games with the Sounds – and he continued that hot streak Tuesday night in Milwaukee’s 12-2 loss at Yankee Stadium. Gamel went 2-for-4 in that game with an RBI single. While he’s with the Brewers, manager Ron Roenicke says he might let Gamel start at first for a game to let Fielder rest his legs while still being a DH. As for replacing Fielder, Gamel says whatever-happens-happens. He says he doesn’t want to see Fielder leave.
Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke thinks reliever Zach Braddock will be okay, after dealing with a sleep disorder and problems with being late for things. Roenicke and general manager Doug Melvin gave Braddock a lecture after his latest call-up from Triple-“A” Nashville. The left-hander was put on the disabled list a few weeks ago with complications from an occasional sleep disorder. But Braddock’s latest demotion was for being five-to-10-minutes late in reporting to the ballpark. Roenicke said Braddock needs to fulfill his responsibilities, and he believes he’ll do so. The manager says Braddock wants to stay with the Brewers – and the team needs him. He pitched an inning in New York last night, after the Yankees had the game well in hand. Braddock gave up one run on one hit with a walk.