MILWAUKEE (AP) – The last team in the major leagues to produce a shutout this season, the Brewers now have seven in the team’s last 30 games.
Including two straight over Miami.
Yovani Gallardo and four relievers combined on a five hitter and Jonathan Lucroy and Rickie Weeks belted home runs in Milwaukee’s 6-0 victory over the Marlins on Saturday night, extending Miami’s scoreless streak to 24 innings.
“Yovani had great command today. He was really efficient,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “When we command the ball we’re tough to get a lot of runs off of and the relievers keep doing their jobs.”
Roenicke said he was confident his staff would come around during their 67-game stretch to start the season without a shutout.
“Some of the guys we knew were going to pitch well eventually,” he said. “We all knew that sooner or later (Wily) Peralta was going to put it together once he got his command. We knew (Gallardo) was going to pitch better. It’s good to see.
“Early in the season we were getting down by so many runs early. It was tough on the offense. It was tough to stay in a ball game.”
That the Brewers pitchers have faced the NL’s worst offensive team the past two games shouldn’t diminish the accomplishments of his staff, Roenicke said.
“I just know when we don’t pitch well everyone hits us hard,” he said.
Gallardo (8-8) gave up five hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out five and walking two.
Lucroy collected four hits in four at-bats and finished a triple short of a cycle.
“He can really hit,” Roenicke said. “This year, I know he didn’t start off well. But we really believe this is a guy who can drive in runs and hit for average.”
Lucroy knew he’d come around.
“It’s just a matter of putting the work in,” he said. “I’m trying to stay within myself and find an approach that works. I’m pretty much keeping it simple.”
The Brewers continued their dominance at home against the Marlins, having won 13 of the last 16 games at Miller Park, dating to 2009.
The Brewers got to Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi (2-1) for two runs in the first inning. Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura hit back-to-back singles to start the frame and Ryan Braun followed with a two-run double off the base of the center field wall. The Brewers loaded the bases later in the inning but failed to score.
The Brewers extended their lead to 3-0 in the third when Lucroy hit a home run that caromed off the heel of the glove of Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton.
“Baseball is a crazy game,” Lucroy said. “I told (Stanton) I owe him dinner when we play in Miami next year.”
Stanton was frustrated by his failure to make the catch.
“Little things like that hurt us. It wouldn’t have been a homer,” he said.
Weeks led off the fourth inning with a homer to center field. Jeff Bianchi followed with a double and later scored on Aoki’s single, giving the Brewers a 5-0 advantage. Lucroy’s double drove in another run, as the Brewers sent eight batters to the plate in the inning.
Eovaldi surrendered 10 hits and six runs in four innings. He struck out five and walked two. Miami’s bullpen held Milwaukee scoreless over the final four innings.
“Most of the counts, I was behind and the ball was up in the zone. It’s frustrating. It’s tough to pitch like that,” Eovaldi said.
Lack of control hurt Eovaldi, Miami manager Mike Redmond said.
“He struggled with his command, he was up in the zone with his fastball, and they hit him pretty good,” Redmond said.
The Marlins’ loaded the bases in the sixth inning with one out, but Logan Morrison grounded into an inning-ending double play.
“I thought we came out flat these first two games, especially offensively,” Redmond said. “We’re getting completely shut down. We’re not getting guys on base and we’re not getting big hits.”
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