Tyler Thornburg threw the ball well enough to earn another start in the near future. Unfortunately, the Milwaukee Brewers likely will need a starter five days from now due to an injury.
While two comeback victories over the Chicago Cubs paced Milwaukee to its first doubleheader sweep since 2010, the Brewers may have lost right-hander Yovani Gallardo in the process.
Gallardo left the Tuesday’s first game in the fifth inning with a tight left hamstring. He’ll return to Milwaukee on Wednesday to be examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch.
Thornburg, who worked six scoreless innings in Milwaukee’s 3-2 victory in game two, would be on normal rest and would be the logical answer if Gallardo needed to miss at least one start.
“I don’t want to say that he will, but after that ballgame it would be a nice fit,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “We’ll see what happens with Yo and we’ll make that decision.”
Gallardo is the fourth Brewers pitcher to deal with a hamstring injury this season, as Jim Henderson and Marco Estrada both needed time on the disabled list, while Kyle Lohse didn’t miss a start with his injury.
“I don’t know,” Roenicke said when asked why his team has had so many hamstring issues. “It’s unusual to see hamstring pulls, especially with pitchers. I don’t remember seeing too many guys getting pulls.”
Gallardo felt a tweak in his hamstring while diving to catch a sacrifice bunt attempt in the fourth inning. Gallardo stayed in the game and hit in the top of the fifth inning, but left after loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Cubs greeted John Axford with four straight hits to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead, but the Brewers were able to rally in the seventh to take back the lead. Khris Davis’ pinch-hit, three-run home run tied the game at 5-all, while Jean Segura’s two-out double scored Norichika Aoki with the go-ahead run.
Making his first start of the season in the nightcap, Thornburg had stretches Tuesday where he lost command, but he fought his way out of a few jams.
The outing certainly is encouraging to the Brewers, as Thornburg left many in the organization scratching their heads with his 0-9 record and 5.79 ERA in Triple-A this season.
“Real nice outing for him,” Roenicke said. “First inning he came out throwing strikes. Changeup was great, and his fastball was located well. The fastball remained that way all game. He kind of lost the changeup, but the curveball was great the whole game. That was really good.”
A sloppy seventh inning that included two errors, a passed ball and two unearned runs appeared as if it would ruin Thornburg’s outing, but the Brewers found some more ninth-inning magic at Wrigley Field.
After scoring five runs to win Monday, Milwaukee scratched two runs across in its final at-bat Tuesday against Cubs closer Kevin Gregg.
Juan Francisco led off the inning with a single and gave way to Aoki to pinch run. Gregg bounced back to get two quick outs, but pinch hitter Jean Segura kept the game alive by beating out an infield single.
Logan Schafer took a close pitch on a full count offering to load the bases and set up Jeff Bianchi. Making one of the errors that cost the Brewers in the seventh inning, Bianchi got his revenge by singling off the tip of a diving Starlin Castro’s glove to score two runs and give the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
“He hit his spots and got ahead 0-2 with good pitches,” Bianchi said. “I was able to battle some other some good pitches, and he left a fastball over the plate. I was able to turn on it and luckily it got through to score two runs.
“That’s where you want to be. Just let yourself stay calm, and he got a pitch out over the plate and I put a good swing on it.”
Brewers closer Jim Henderson shut the door in the bottom of the ninth to become the first Brewers pitcher since Mike DeJean in 2003 to record two saves in one day.
“We’re ready to get out here and we’re ready to put something together,” Schafer said. “We put together a couple of comeback wins and nothing feels better than coming back on the road especially on a long day today. We were able to stick with it and come back in the ninth.”