Braun’s HR gives Nelson, Brewers win over Corbin, D-Backs
PHOENIX (AP) Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson and Arizona’s Patrick Corbin were locked in some kind of a pitching duel.
The only difference was one swing of Ryan Braun’s bat.
Braun homered, Nelson threw seven innings in one of his best starts of the season and the Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 2-1 on Friday night.
”It was a well-pitched game,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. ”You got the feel after about the third that it was going to be tough to score. I think that feeling kind of crept over the game that one run was going to be a big run.”
Nelson (8-9) allowed five hits and escaped a couple of early jams to improve his record to 5-1 over his last six starts. He struck out five and walked three, one intentionally.
Nelson credited his recent success to ”really not letting the stuff before affect me, not trying to do too much, not trying to go out there and paint corners and strike everybody out, just going to my strengths and let the defense do it job.”
Corbin (1-3) went seven innings in his fifth and longest outing since his return in early June from Tommy John surgery. The lefty allowed one run, matched his career high with 10 strikeouts, walked one and hit a batter. He blanked the Brewers on three hits before Braun homered on the first pitch of the sixth inning.
The Diamondbacks targeted Corbin for 90 pitches. He threw 89.
”He pitched beautifully,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. ”He did a good job. He had good stuff, and his stuff seemed to last `til his pitch count, and that’s the important part. We’ll see how it is next time.”
It was the first time Corbin had pitched on the fifth day. He had been given extra time his first few outings.
”Everything just felt good, even the pitch to Braun,” he said. ”First pitch, trying to get ahead. It was down, kind of came back over the middle and he put a good swing on it. We had a chance to score early on in the game, which would have helped a lot.”
Milwaukee’s second run scored on Brad Ziegler’s two-out wild pitch in the ninth.
Chris Owings led off the Arizona ninth with a triple and scored on Nick Ahmed’s one-out sacrifice fly to center. Pinch-hitter Welington Castillo grounded sharply to shortstop for the final out to give Francisco Rodriguez his 22nd save in as many tries.
Jonathan Lucroy had three hits for Milwaukee in its fifth victory in the last seven games. Arizona has dropped nine of 11 and is 2-6 with two games left in a 10-game homestand.
The Diamondbacks wasted two early chances.
Ender Inciarte opened the first with a double and Paul Goldschmidt drew a one-out walk. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with one out but Nelson struck out David Peralta and Owings to end the threat.
An intentional walk to Goldschmidt loaded the bases for Arizona with one out in the third, and Peralta promptly bounced an inning-ending double-play ball to the pitcher.
Corbin allowed only one runner to reach second – Hernan Perez’s two-out double in the second – before Braun hit the first pitch of the second inning into the seats in right field, his 18th home run of the season.
”You try to be prepared for every pitch,” Braun said. ”Sometimes it’s the first (pitch) at bat is the first pitch to hit, sometimes it might be the fifth or sixth, but a guy of his caliber, as good as he is, I don’t think you have the luxury of giving him a strike, so I always try to be prepared for everything.”
Goldschmidt’s two walks gave him a major league-high 77. His 21 intentional walks are by far the most in the majors.
Brewers: RHP Willy Peralta (strained right oblique) is continuing his rehab with Double-A Biloxi. He was placed on the DL on May 25, retroactive to May 23.
Diamondbacks: Castillo missed his third straight start with a sore hamstring. Hale says he expects Castillo back in the lineup on Saturday.
Brewers: RHP Taylor Jungmann (5-1, 2.04 ERA) takes the mound in the series finale, his ninth start since being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Jungmann has a 1.29 ERA in his last five starts.
Diamondbacks: Arizona looks to rebound at home with Rubby De La Rosa (7-5, 4.83) on the mound.