Any kind of loss carries a certain level of frustration, but losses like the one the Milwaukee Brewers suffered Friday night in Phoenix are the toughest to swallow.
The Brewers left 11 runners on base, went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and gave up two unearned runs in a 2-1 loss to Arizona.
“We certainly had opportunities,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “We just can’t get it done.”
After a pair of wild pitches scored Jean Segura in the first inning to put the Brewers up 1-0, an errant pickoff throw by Tom Gorzelanny allowed Adam Eaton to go to third and then score on Paul Goldschmidt’s groundout.
An error by third baseman Yuniesky Betancourt with two outs in the second allowed Cody Ross to score and put Arizona up 2-1. Gorzelanny and the bullpen were locked in after that point, but the Brewers offense couldn’t muster up a single run to tie the game.
In the fourth inning, Jonathan Lucroy stood at third base with nobody out and didn’t score. Rickie Weeks and Sean Halton popped out, while Betancourt struck out. Milwaukee had two on in the sixth inning, but Halton struck out to end the inning.
Betancourt led off the seventh with a double, and Logan Schafer followed with a single to give the Brewers runners at the corners with nobody out. In his first at-bat since being called back up from Triple A, Khris Davis struck out on a check swing.
Norichika Aoki tried to lay down a safety squeeze with one out, but he popped up the bunt right to Goldschmidt at first base. After a walk to Segura, Carlos Gomez struck out to end the threat.
“We don’t do a good job with people on base,” Roenicke said. “To have that many opportunities and not to have somebody come through, it shouldn’t go on this long.”
Milwaukee loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth inning, but Martin Maldonado’s flared line drive was caught by a diving A.J. Pollock in center field, saving the game for Arizona.
“He made a great play on it,” Roenicke said. “They are doing things not to lose. They are making plays. Fundamentally they are playing well, we are not.”
Gorzelanny shines: Just like in his last start, Gorzelanny gave the Brewers six strong innings and didn’t allow an earned run.
The left-hander hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 12 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.88. His strong performance July 7 earned him Friday’s start and Friday’s start may keep him in the rotation after the All-Star break.
“He’ll be in the conversation, no doubt,” Roenicke said. “We’ll regroup and figure out what our rotation will be in the second half. He’s done a nice job, and we’ll talk about him.”
Braun update: Left fielder Ryan Braun will likely stay on the bereavement list up until the All-Star break.
Back home in California to deal with a medical issue in his family, Braun exchanged text message updates with Roenicke on Friday. Though things have improved, the Brewers don’t anticipate Braun playing in the final two games before the break.
“Things are looking OK,” Roenicke said. “It’s still a tough situation.”
Estrada taking a step: Though Marco Estrada had his live batting practice session scheduled for Saturday at Chase Field cancelled due to back soreness, the right-hander will still throw a bullpen session Saturday.
Estrada is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, but the back prevented him from throwing live against hitters from Milwaukee’s rookie team in Arizona.
Minor-league addition: The Brewers signed right-handed pitcher and outfielder Micah Owings to a minor-league contract Friday.
Owings, 30, will report to Milwaukee’s spring training facility in Phoenix where he will pitch and play as a position player.
Last pitching in the big leagues with San Diego in 2012, Owings is 32-33 with a 4.86 ERA in 138 career games with Arizona, Cincinnati and San Diego.
Always with an ability to hit, Owings is a career .283 hitter with nine home runs and 35 RBI in 205 career at-bats.
Owings signed with the Washington Nationals this past offseason and was hitting .265 with eight home runs and 31 RBI in 57 games for Triple-A Syracuse.