Marlins suffer scoreless sweep at hands of Brewers

BY foxsports • July 21, 2013

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- It was an empty weekend for the Miami Marlins' offense.

Caleb Gindl hit his first career home run in the bottom of the 13th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat Miami 1-0 on Sunday, shutting out the punchless Marlins for the third consecutive game.

Ed Lucas, one of only three Miami batters to get a hit, complimented his team's pitching despite the offensive slump.

"We continue to get great pitching, but our bats have been hit or miss -- a lot more miss," he said.

"We just can't get that timely hit," he said. "It's pretty embarrassing to have a three-game series and not score a run."

Miami has gone a club-record 37 innings without a run, the longest drought by a major league team in 28 years. The Houston Astros were held scoreless for 42 consecutive innings in July 1985, according to STATS.

"To get completely shut out in what I think is the best hitters' park in baseball is unbelievable," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "We put so much pressure on our pitchers because of our hitting."

The Marlins haven't scored since Derek Dietrich drove in two runs in the fourth inning of a 5-2 loss in 10 innings to the Washington Nationals on July 14.

"It isn't fair to them," Redmond said of his pitching staff.

Sunday's game was the longest scoreless game in the majors since Boston won 1-0 in 16 innings at Tampa Bay on July 17, 2011.

Miami's Henderson Alvarez and Milwaukee's Wily Peralta had a stellar pitching duel.

Alvarez allowed five hits and a walk in seven shutout innings. Peralta gave up two hits and two walks and seven strikeouts in eight shutout innings.

"I felt like I was locked in from the first pitch," Alvarez said. "I was very excited to get my first hit."

Adeiny Hechavarria singled in the third and added a bloop hit in the ninth. He raised his batting average to .428 (27 for 63) in that span while hitting safely in 15 of his past 16 games. Alvarez got his first major league hit in the third. He grounded a single past first baseman Juan Francisco.

The Brewers beat the Marlins for the 14th time in the past 17 games at Miller Park, dating to 2009. Miami has just five wins in its past 22 games against Milwaukee.

"It's really tough to see every single guy in the lineup struggle," Redmond said. "I don't think I've seen that before."

Alvarez made his fourth start since being recalled July 4. He began the season on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

The 23-year-old right-hander made a nice fielding play to start a double play in the third.

The next batter, Norichika Aoki, pushed a bunt between the mound and first that Alvarez raced after, but couldn't field.

Logan Schafer followed with an infield single to third with Aoki advancing to third on the play.

Alvarez escaped the jam when he knocked down Jean Segura's liner back to the mound. He tumbled as he fell, but his off-balance throw got to first in time to end the inning.

The Brewers were the last team in the majors to produce a shutout this season, but now have eight in the team's past 31 games. While the Marlins have been blanked 12 times.

John Axford (4-3), the fourth reliever for the Brewers, pitched the 12th and 13th for the win. He helped the Brewers pitching staff set a franchise record with 35 scoreless innings. The previous record of 31 was set April 18-22, 1990.

Facing reliever Ryan Webb (1-4) in the bottom of the 13th, Gindl hit a 1-0 pitch down the left-field line and around the pole, dropping just over the wall and sending what remained of the crowd of 30,773 into a frenzy.

"I was thinking pop up foul and it went over the fence," Webb said as the bullpen's streak of eight consecutive scoreless innings was snapped.

Gindl was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on July 11. He made his second stint with the team this season a special one even though he doubted it would happen.

"I didn't think I would be the one to hit the walk-off," he said after becoming the first player in franchise history to hit a walk-off home run for his first career homer. "No, not a chance. I thought maybe Brauny or Rickie or somebody like that, but not me."

As Gindl completed his home run trot, he turned around third expecting to see all his teammates. All he saw was Segura.

Axford said the team planned it that way.

"Nobody did except for Segura," Axford said. "I don't think he got the memo. Everyone took off and went and hid in the tunnel. Segura was there for him, to congratulate him, though."

NOTES: The loss dropped the Marlins to 5-18 against the NL Central, including 1-5 to Milwaukee. ... The Brewers kept CF Carlos Gomez and LF Ryan Braun out of Sunday's game. Gomez has nagging injuries to his elbow and thumb while Braun continues to recover from a right thumb injury. Braun struck out swinging in the 11th when manager Ron Roenicke used him as a pinch-hitter. He was expected to return to the lineup Monday, when the Brewers open a four-game series against the Padres in Milwaukee.