MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers were one out away from escaping the fifth inning with the lead, one out away from keeping the game tied in the sixth and one out away from entering their last at-bat trailing by just two runs.
Instead, Toronto came through with seven RBI with two outs over the final five innings Wednesday, as the Blue Jays snapped Milwaukee’s five-game winning streak with a 9-5 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park.
"That’s been hurting us a lot," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of opponents scoring with two outs. "We’ve been doing that, you know more often than you really should, when you get two outs you shouldn’t put up a bunch of runs after that."
With the Brewers leading 2-0 in the fifth, Jimmy Nelson served up back-to-back doubles to Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera to score Toronto’s first run of the afternoon. Nelson responded with a big strikeout of Jose Bautista, but Edwin Encarnacion tied the game with a two-out single to center.
Milwaukee answered back with a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead, but consecutive doubles from Josh Thole and Munenori Kawasaki tied the game at 3-all.
Following a strikeout of Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey for the second out of the sixth, Nelson turned the ball over to left-hander Zach Duke. Although he was flipped around to the side of the plate in which his numbers are lower at, Reyes lined a base hit to right to score Kawasaki and put Toronto up 4-3.
"I mean, the starter’s job is to get (your team) deep in the game and give them a chance to win," Nelson said. "I wanted to complete that sixth inning, obviously. I felt like I didn’t do my job there."
The game completely changed after Reyes’ go-ahead single, as Melky Cabrera singled off Duke before Bautista greeted right-hander Brandon Kintzler by blasting a three-run home run to left-center field to put Toronto up 7-3.
"Obviously the sixth inning we didn’t make too many good pitches in it," Roenicke said. "They did a pretty good job I thought of hitting some pitches that Duke threw. I didn’t think they were too bad of pitches, and then they went out and did a nice job of hitting. Before that we made some bad pitches and after that we did.
"So we just didn’t pitch that well today. Offensively I thought it was a really good day."
Nelson’s run of five consecutive quality starts was snapped Wednesday, as the rookie was charged with four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He needed 41 pitches to get through the first two innings and finished at 103 pitches.
"That’s not going to work," Nelson said. "That’s not going to get it done. I need to do a better job second and third time through. I need to mix my pitches up better and put guys away better. That’s really it.
"They put some good swings on some fastballs. I just have to either get them down more or I have to start mixing up my sequences more."
Carlos Gomez got the Brewers back in the game with a two-run home run in the sixth, and Milwaukee had chances to even the score in the seventh and eighth innings.
After Scooter Gennett legged out an infield single to give the Brewers two on with two outs in the seventh, Mark Reynolds just missed what would have been a three-run home run to give Milwaukee the lead.
The Brewers had two on with one out in the eighth, but Dustin McGowan got Jonathan Lucroy to hit a comebacker for an easy 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Will Smith got two quick outs to start the top of the ninth, but a missed sliding catch by Ryan Braun extended the inning for Colby Rasmus to all but end the game with a two-run homer, extending Toronto’s lead to 9-5.
Milwaukee’s loss gives St. Louis a chance to move to within 1 1/2 games of the Brewers in the National League Central with a win over Cincinnati later Wednesday night. In a strange week schedule-wise, the Brewers have Thursday off before hosting third-place Pittsburgh for a three-game series beginning Friday.
"We’re playing good baseball," Roenicke said. "We didn’t pitch that well, you know a few innings there today. Besides that we’re playing really well. I’m really happy to see what our offense is doing, we’re starting to swing the bats really well again.
"The lineup’s getting deep where everybody is helping us, and I think we have to be able to do that. As we know we’re going to be facing some good pitching and that offense has got to be able to do something."