It had been awhile since the Milwaukee Brewers had seen the upside of Wily Peralta flash before their eyes. After four losses in a row, Peralta showed Saturday why the Brewers have shown patience in his development.
Putting forth his best effort of the season, Peralta worked a season-high seven innings, allowed just two runs in Milwaukee’s 4-3 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.
The win clinched the Brewers’ first series win since April 30-May 1, and Milwaukee will go for its first series sweep since April 19-21 in Sunday’s series finale.
Though he allowed eight hits, Peralta was able to work out of trouble and walked just one, tying a season-low in walks.
“He was throwing strikes and putting people away by keeping the ball down,” Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “Whenever he does that, he’s very, very good. You saw the 96-97 mph sinkers. I don’t care who you are, that’s really tough to hit. He did a good job of executing it.”
Catching a break: After what seemed like a month stretch of breaks going against them, the Brewers had things go their way for the second consecutive day.
The biggest break came in the ninth inning, helping Milwaukee secure the win. With pitcher Kyle Kendrick pinch-running at second base in the ninth inning, Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez spun and delivered a low pickoff throw to second base.
Brewers shortstop Jean Segura lunged over the runner to try and catch the ball, but the ball clearly popped out of his glove. The ball rolled under Kendrick, and Segura quickly picked up the ball with his bare hand.
Second base umpire Mike Estabrook was fooled on the play and called Kendrick out, though the ball clearly hit the ground and rolled. One pitch later, Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez roped a double off the wall in right. Without the blown call, Philadelphia would have tied the game. Instead, Rodriguez got Michael Martinez to ground out to Segura to end the game.
Saturday’s big break comes a day after the Brewers capitalized on a few infield singles and an error to propel themselves to a big third inning against Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels.
“We got breaks again today,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “That’s why this game, it’s fun because you can’t figure it out and you are always trying to figure it out and it’s a challenge. But it’s frustrating because the breaks, things that happen, are so out of your control that it’s frustrating because you can’t do anything about it. You can’t do anything about when a guy makes a good pitch and a guy goes out and breaks a bat and bloops it over somebody’s head and it may be a game-winner. Pitcher made a good pitch and the outcome is strange. It’s not fair. It’s not a fair game.”
Because he didn’t have a good vantage point of the play, Roenicke had no idea Segura actually dropped the ball and instead thought the controversy was over Segura making a tag or not.
“All I could see was (Segura) diving over,” Roenicke said. “I couldn’t see if he made the tag or not.”
Honored: Brewers left-hander Michael Gonzalez and Segura were named the team’s pitcher and player of the month for May.
Segura, who also won the player of the month award in April, hit .345 with five home runs, 13 RBI and eight stolen bases in May.
The second reliever to win Brewers’ pitcher of the month this season, Gonzalez appeared in 17 games with a 1.46 ERA in May. Gonzalez struck out 17 and opponents hit just .159 against him over 12-1/3 innings.