Brewers’ Davies out-pitched by Diamondbacks’ Ray in series-opening loss
MILWAUKEE — Robbie Ray followed up his stellar outing in last start with another gem on the road Thursday night.
Ray pitched seven innings of two-hit ball to lower the NL’s second-best road ERA to 0.081, Gregor Blanco and Chris Owings homered, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 for their ninth win in 10 games.
“The day was paced by Robbie,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “On a night where we really needed it with a bullpen that might have been a little bit tired or short in certain places, Robbie gave us seven great innings.”
Ray (4-3), coming off a dominating performance against San Diego in his last start, did not allow a run for the second straight outing.
“I’m just going out there every day, home or road, just trying to put up zeroes,” Ray said. “I don’t know if there’s anything different. It’s the same approach.”
Ray, who came in with a 1.03 ERA on the road, struck out nine and walked none to send the Brewers to their season-worst fourth straight loss.
“I went out there and I did what I needed to do,” Ray said. “My fastball command was good. My offspeed was good off that, slider, curveball. I was just keeping them off balance today.”
Arizona, coming off a three-game sweep against the Chicago White Sox, has won four straight to move 11 games above .500 for the first time since 2011.
Blanco, who went 3 for 4, hit the second pitch of the game off Milwaukee starter Zach Davies (5-3) for his fourth career leadoff home run. Owings tied his career high with his sixth of the season leading off the second. David Peralta had a RBI double in the third and Paul Goldschmidt scored on a wild pitch in the eighth.
Archie Bradley pitched the eighth and T.J. McFarland the ninth to preserve the shutout.
Ray drilled Manny Pina in the left elbow in the second, knocking the Brewers’ catcher flat. Grimacing in obvious pain, he eventually walked off the field accompanied by the trainer Dan Wright and manager Craig Counsell. Jett Bandy ran for Pina and took over behind the plate.
“Manny has a left-elbow contusion,” Counsell said. “X-rays were negative. He’s day-to-day and was feeling OK after the game.”
Diamondbacks: RHP Taijuan Walker (10-day DL, blister on right index finger) continues to make progress. . . . OF A.J. Pollock (10-day DL, strained right groin) did not make the 11-game road trip. However, he resumed baseball activities back in Arizona.
Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra tests his strained right calf Friday when he comes off the 10-day DL. He won’t be on a pitch count despite not pitching since opening day.
Jesus Aguilar pinch hit in the fourth for Ryan Braun who left game with left calf tightness. Braun had just been reinstated Sunday from the 10-day DL with a left calf strain.
“It’s the calf again and he’s most likely headed to the DL again,” manager Craig Counsell said of Braun’s injury. It would be his fourth stint on the DL in his career.
Braun made a running catch of Owings’ flyball to left in the third inning.
“Same calf, same situation,” Braun said. “I knew when I came back that I wasn’t at 100 percent, but it was good enough that I was optimistic I’d be able to work through it. It just kind of grabbed on me when I ran to catch that pop up.”
A total of 5:51 was spent reviewing and then confirming three plays which were out calls. Each manager challenged a call. There also was a crew chief (Jim Reynolds) review. The clubs had unlimited challenges due to a technical malfunction with some part of the replay system.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (1-1, 2.45 ERA) makes his fifth start this season and second of his career against the Brewers. He is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA with seven strikeouts in his two previous appearances.
Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra (0-0, 6.00 ERA) comes off the 10-day DL to face the Diamondbacks for the first time. He hasn’t pitched since his abbreviated opening day start against Colorado on April 3. He strained his right calf while running to first base on a sacrifice bunt in the third.
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