Brewers’ first-half struggles allow Wily Peralta’s development

There haven’t been too many positives for the Milwaukee Brewers this season, as the Brewers were going to go into the All-Star break with one of their worst first-half records in a decade.

The development of Wily Peralta is becoming one of the more positive things to come in the last month, as the young right-hander continued his roll with seven strong innings Sunday in Milwaukee’s 5-1 victory over Arizona.

“Wily was great,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “When you lose three tough games like we did, we need to come out with a win somewhere. This is a good start for us.”

Allowing just a solo home run to Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero in the fifth inning, Peralta gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out a career-high eight batters. Peralta lowered his ERA to 1.08 in his last five starts and 2.86 since June 1.

Montero’s solo home run is the only run Peralta has allowed in three July starts, as his season ERA is down to 4.61 after it was 6.45 on May 22.

“(Wily was) really good as far as command with his fastball,” Roenicke said. “We are always concerned when he comes out and he’s all over the place with his fastball. He was down in the zone with it, always has velocity, and he mixed in a nice changeup and slider today.”

Knowing there was going to be a learning curve in his first full season in the big leagues, the Brewers were patient through Peralta’s early season struggles. Their patience is now paying off, as Peralta seems to be figuring it out.

In what is a lost season, Peralta’s development is as important as anything in the second half. His final five starts before the break are certainly encouraging.

Rotation set: Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo will start Milwaukee’s first two games after the All-Star break, the team announced Sunday evening.

Lohse will start Friday night at Miller Park against Marlins right-hander Jacob Turner, while Gallardo will square off with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi on Saturday night.

Peralta will slide into the rotation somewhere, but Roenicke and the Brewers must determine who their other two starters moving forward will be. Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny has a good chance to stay in the rotation, leaving Roenicke to slot his lone left-hander into the mix with right-handers.

Davis optioned: The Brewers optioned outfielder Khris Davis back to Triple-A Nashville following Sunday’s game.

Davis, 25, was called up Thursday night when Ryan Braun went on the bereavement list. With Braun expected back after the break, Davis will head back to playing every day in Triple A.

In his lone at-bat during his second stint in the big leagues, Davis struck out on a check swing with one out and the tying run on third base  in the seventh inning of Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Diamondbacks.

Davis is hitting .176 without an RBI in 17 at-bats over 15 games with the Brewers this season.

Nelson shines: Brewers pitching prospect Jimmy Nelson pitched a scoreless seventh inning in Sunday’s Futures Game at Citi Field in New York.

Nelson walked Giants prospect Jesus Galindo with one out in the seventh inning, but he recovered to get Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Milwaukee’s second round pick in 2010 out of the University of Alabama, Nelson is 1-3 with a 3.62 ERA in six starts since being promoted to Triple-A Nashville. In 12 starts for Double-A Huntsville, Nelson was 5-4 with a 2.74 ERA.

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