Braun notches 1,500th hit as Brewers beat Athletics 5-4
MILWAUKEE -- Zach Davies is making a case to stay in the majors for good.
The young right-hander keeps getting better for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Davies took a no-hitter into the seventh before allowing a two-out home run to Oakland's Billy Butler, and the Brewers withstood a shaky ninth inning to hold on for a 5-4 win over the Athletics on Tuesday night.
Davies (4-3) allowed two hits and three walks over seven innings while striking out five. Butler turned on an 0-1 fastball from Davies to end the shutout.
"My focus these last few games has been trying to get deep into games," Davies said. "Just kind of staying me out there and making sure I'm putting the ball on the ground."
His command got better as the game wore on. Davies isn't known as a fastball pitcher, though he does throw four effective pitches.
"When you've got four pitches and you're able to make pitches, it's difficult on a hitter," manager Craig Counsell said.
Davies, a 23-year-old rookie, made six starts in the majors last season in September after the rebuilding Brewers acquired him from Baltimore for outfielder Gerardo Parra. He began this season at Triple-A Colorado Springs before getting called up on April 17.
That first month back in the big leagues was rough -- Davies went 0-3 with an 8.78 ERA. He's been solid ever since then, including a career-best, eight-inning outing against St. Louis on June 1. He struck out nine and gave up three hits in that 3-1 win.
"You know, I think just coming up, my mentality is that I kind of just (have) to show that I belong here. I don't think that mentality has changed to that `I'm confident now, that I wasn't earlier,'" Davies said. "I think just getting on a roll ... just a snowball effect kind of thing."
The A's mounted their best rally in the ninth against closer Jeremy Jeffress after getting runners on second and third while trailing by three. The inning started after Billy Burns' hard bouncer up the middle deflected off Jeffress' glove for a single.
One run scored on a groundout before another came home on a throwing error by shortstop Jonathan Villar.
With runners on the corners, Jeffress got Marcus Semien swinging on a pitch out of the zone before ending the game by getting Chris Coghlan to fly out to the warning track in left.
Jeffress held on for his 16th save.
"The intensity turned up real quick once we scored a couple of runs," manager Bob Melvin said. "We certainly had an opportunity against a closer who has been pretty good this year."
Oakland rookie Sean Manaea (2-4), turned in seven solid innings but allowed two home runs to Chris Carter.
The cleanup hitter slugged a two-run shot in the second and a three-run shot four innings later, with both homers going to center.
Manaea allowed six hits and five runs, striking out six.
"One of his better games. It really came down to two pitches. He got deep into the game and gave us seven innings," Melvin said.
Reliever Tyler Thornburg tossed a perfect eighth and extended a franchise record for a reliever with 26 straight batters retired before Jeffress provided some nerve-wracking moments in the ninth.
For the Brewers, outfielder Ryan Braun got his 1,500th career hit with an infield single in the sixth.
Athletics: Third baseman Danny Valencia was scratched from the starting lineup with a stomach bug, replaced by Yonder Alonso. ... OF Khris Davis returned to Miller Park for the first time since being traded by Milwaukee to Oakland for two minor leaguers in February. Davis was not in the starting lineup because of numbness and tingling in his hands and fingers after getting hit in the elbow with a pitch on Saturday against Houston.
Brewers: RP Corey Knebel (left oblique) is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list later this week after wrapping up his rehab assignment. He has yet to pitch this season.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn (2-3) is 1-2 with an 8.05 ERA in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville on May 17.
Brewers: After an inconsistent start to the season, RHP Chase Anderson (3-6) is 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA in his last four outings.