MILWAUKEE — For whatever reason, the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t been able to hit in their home ballpark this season.
The trend continued Tuesday, as the Brewers went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base in a 2-1 loss in 12 innings to the San Diego Padres at Miller Park.
The Brewers are scoring just 2.4 runs per game at home this season, as opposed to averaging 6.0 runs in their 10 road games. That’s mostly the reason why Milwaukee is 9-1 on the road and fell to 6-5 at Miller Park with Tuesday’s loss.
Wasted scoring opportunities early cost the Brewers late, as they left six runners on base in the first three innings, including not scoring after having runners at second and third with nobody out in the second inning.
Jonathan Lucroy singled to start the second and moved to third when Will Venable missed a shoestring catch in center to give Khris Davis a double. Padres starter Ian Kennedy came back to strike out Mark Reynolds, got Jean Segura to pop out to the catcher and then struck out Yovani Gallardo to end the inning.
An inning later, Carlos Gomez was standing on third base with nobody out after singling, stealing second and moving up 90 feet on a throwing error by Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal. Scooter Gennett then flew out to shallow center and Ryan Braun did the same to right for the first two outs of the bottom of the third.
Kennedy then walked Aramis Ramirez and Lucroy to load the bases, but Davis was called out on strikes to leave the bases loaded.
"We had some good opportunities to score," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Kennedy made some good pitches. I thought he was on his game today. But when you let those runs get away, it’s tough. When you play these close games, you always look back and wonder what you could do better to score that run. Tough loss."
The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, executing a safety squeeze. With runners at first and third with nobody out, Gallardo bobbled the ball trying to field Kennedy’s bunt and get Yonder Alonso at the plate. Gallardo was able to work out of the jam without another run scoring, but feels he should have made the play on the bunt.
"I think I would have been able to get him there at home," Gallardo said. "It just hit the palm of my hand and bounced off. I was a little frustrated about that. You have runners on. For myself, it was big just to give up that one run. It could have easily gotten away. It could have been a huge inning."
Gennett tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the fifth, but that was all the Brewers could muster offensively Tuesday night. After needing 73 pitches to get through the first three innings, Kennedy used just 27 to get through the sixth.
The lack of offense put forth by the Brewers wound up wasting another solid effort from Gallardo. The right-hander allowed just the one earned run over seven strong innings. Zach Duke and Jim Henderson worked scoreless innings, before Alfredo Figaro kept the game tied at 1 into the 12th inning.
Chase Headley eventually homered off Figaro leading off the 12th, and the Brewers went quietly against Padres closer Huston Street.
"Kennedy did a good job today," Gallardo said. "He mixed his pitches well. It takes a lot to keep the lineup that we have to one run.
"We know the guys are going to hit. We just have to keep us in the ballgame and wait for that to happen."