MILWAUKEE — A sellout crowd of 42,889 was about to leave Miller Park happy on Memorial Day when things changed in a hurry for the Milwaukee Brewers.
One out away from dropping the series opener, the Baltimore Orioles rallied for two runs to tie the game and scored again with two outs in the 10th to send the Brewers to a frustrating 7-6 loss on Monday afternoon.
A solo home run from Jonathan Schoop and an RBI double by Nick Markakis tied the game against closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth, as the right-hander blew his second save of the season after quickly getting the first two outs of the inning.
Milwaukee wasted a slew of opportunities to score early and squandered a key chance to add on to its 6-4 lead in the eighth inning, something that was magnified when the Orioles rallied to tie the game. The Brewers went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners on base, including six in scoring position.
"It was a tough day all around," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "The bullpen didn’t throw as well as they had been, which is going to happen. But we had plenty of chances offensively to get guys in. It was a ballgame that nothing went right."
The Brewers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, but they couldn’t plate Ryan Braun from third base with one out as Mark Reynolds struck out and Scooter Gennett flew out to center. Another runner at third with one out was stranded in the second inning when Kyle Lohse struck out and Segura flew out.
Lohse allowed three runs on five hits in the third inning, as Adam Jones delivered the big blow — a two-run triple to put Baltimore up 2-1. Nelson Cruz followed with a hustle double through the drawn-in infield and Lohse had allowed as many runs in one inning as he had in any previous start this season.
"It just kind of got weird right there," Lohse said of the third inning. "Every groundball seemed to find a hole. After that, I was back to normal and was just doing my thing."
Milwaukee’s offense helped Lohse overcome the three-run third inning and led, 6-3, before Schoop’s first home run of the day pulled Baltimore within a run in the seventh.
Up 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth, the Brewers had a chance to add onto their lead by failing to score after loading the bases with one out. Pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks appeared to get hit by a pitch which would have forced in a run, but home plate umpire Tom Woodring ruled otherwise.
Weeks went on to strike out, while Segura grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
"We could have busted open the game," Roenicke said. "Like I said, there wasn’t much that went right. Rickie was hit by the pitch but you couldn’t see it enough for them to overturn it. Everything we did went wrong."
That continued in the bottom of the ninth after the Orioles had tied the game. Jonathan Lucroy singled with one out and advanced to third when Orioles catcher Nick Hundley threw away a bunt attempt by Carlos Gomez.
Roenicke opted to pinch run for Lucroy with Elian Herrera, but he wasn’t out on the bases long. Reynolds hit a looping line drive to J.J. Hardy at shortstop — an easy double play as Herrera was going on contact and was well off third base.
"He was going on contact," Roenicke said. "Any time there’s just runner on third base, I have a decision to make. Those are hard because sometimes you want that next batter to come up. But if there are runners at second and third, we’re always going on contact.
"The one thing that’s going to hurt you is a line drive and that’s what happened. That’s not his fault at all. He was doing what he was told to do."
Just as they did in the ninth, the Orioles strung together a pair of hits with two outs in the 10th to grab the lead for good. Rob Wooten retired the first two batters he faced before Hardy lined a double that deflected off Khris Davis’ glove in left and fell.
Hundley followed with a single to left to score Hardy and put Baltimore in front, 7-6.
"I couldn’t hold onto it. It just slipped out," Davis said. "It’s a tough play. I wish I could go back and jump a little higher, maybe."
The Brewers had yet another opportunity in the bottom of the 10th after Davis singled and Lyle Overbay walked with one out, but pinch-hitter Irving Falu, fresh up from Triple-A, grounded into a game-ending double play.
In a somber locker room, the Brewers all preached how important it is to put Monday’s tough loss beind them as quickly as possible.
"It was tough, but this team will bounce back," Lohse said. "We’ll forget about it tomorrow and come back and do what we’ve got to do. It’s always tough when you have the lead like that, but you don’t go perfect for the whole year holding leads.
"Those things happen. It was just unfortunate to get back here playing good and have it happen. We’ll get over it."
Bianchi sticks around: Infielder Jeff Bianchi has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Nashville and will report to the Sounds on Wednesday.
Bianchi was outrighted off the 40-man roster Saturday by the Brewers and had 72 hours to decide whether to stay in the organization or become a free agent.
"He knows why he’s going down," Roenicke said prior to learning Bianchi had accepted the assignment. "He knows we really like him and want him here. We want him to hopefully get his swings. I like what he does for the team. If he gets his swing back, I like him back up here."
After hitting .304 in spring training, Bianchi struggled to get on track offensively and had just eight hits in 55 at-bats (.145 batting average) this season.
"I think it is simply the case of he didn’t play very much," Roenicke said. "He came out of spring training swinging great. He swung the bat well early and then he didn’t get in for a week without any at-bats. Then all of a sudden it is another week. It is too hard to be productive in the amount of at-bats I was giving him."