Late offensive surge fuels Brewers road win
JUN 17, 2014 1:42a ET
Capitalizing on a few breaks that went their way late in the game, the Milwaukee Brewers turned what was a tie game into a comfortable victory with three runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth.
After appearing to swing at a 2-2 curveball, Aramis Ramirez received new life when first-base umpire Ted Barrett ruled he did not go around. The veteran third baseman took advantage, doubling in the decisive runs in Milwaukee's 9-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Monday.
"Listen, the check swing is probably the hardest thing and the most controversial thing that umpires do," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Every single night, I think somebody swung and it was called they didn't or I think somebody didn't swing and they called they swung. It is really hard to call. To make a judgment on something like that is really tough."
Pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks and second baseman Scooter Gennett were quickly retired by left-hander Joe Thatcher to start the eighth, but Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson went to right-hander Will Harris to face Ryan Braun.
Harris walked Braun and Jonathan Lucroy before surrendering the two-run double to Ramirez. Khris Davis drove in Ramirez with an RBI single, putting the Brewers up 6-3.
"I've been doing that my whole career," Ramirez said. "I've been able to drive in big runs, especially late in the game in key situations. I just try to put the pressure on the pitcher. He's the one in trouble. He's the one that has to get his team out of a problem.
"He made a good pitch and I (checked my swing). The next pitch was a breaking ball that he hung and I was able to put it in play."
Milwaukee was able to put together some more two-out magic in the top of the ninth, as the Brewers again capitalized on a call that went their way. With two outs and runners on first and second, Elian Herrera stole third base. Herrera initially was easily safe, but his foot looked to pop off the bag as the tag was applied.
Gibson came out and persuaded the umpires to review the play but wasn't pleased when the call was upheld, getting ejected after Herrera was called safe. Scooter Gennett followed with an RBI single and Braun added a two-run triple to blow the game open.
After the two teams combined for six runs on 14 hits in the first three innings, both starting pitchers settled down. The Brewers continued to hit the ball hard against Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy, but three double plays held them to just the three runs against the right-hander.
All three runs scored against Brewers starter Wily Peralta came in the second inning, as Arizona put together four straight hits, including a two-run single from McCarthy.
"That first inning my command was pretty good then that second inning I was missing some pitches, missing location," Peralta said. "After that I just got in my rhythm and threw more changeups than early on."
Peralta managed to get through seven innings with just the three runs allowed, as he didn't walk a batter and struck out six. His final pitch may have been the biggest of his night, as Peralta got Martin Prado to hit into an inning-ending double play with two on and Paul Goldschmidt on deck in the seventh inning with the game tied at the time.
"I still didn't think he was on, probably the last inning was his best," Roenicke said. "I still thought he fought it. It was still up in the zone too much. We have to get him back down in the zone so he can try and get some easy outs. He's working so hard to get almost every out."
After a lopsided loss Sunday against Cincinnati, Milwaukee bounced back to pick up just its third win over Arizona since the beginning of the 2013 season.
"Whether it's convincing or not, I was glad the offense did well," Roenicke said. "Wily threw better after that early trouble. They're a good team. I know you look at their record, but they're a good team. They always play us tough. They've got a good offense that we don't shut down very often, so we're always going to have trouble with them."
Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter