Rodriguez, Brewers blow it in ninth vs. Marlins
By Andrew Wagner The Sports Xchange MILWAUKEE -- Add another chapter to the nightmare that is September for the Milwaukee Brewers. Closer Francisco Rodriguez gave up back-to-back ninth-inning home runs to third baseman Casey McGehee and center fi...
By Andrew Wagner
The Sports Xchange
MILWAUKEE - Add another chapter to the nightmare that is September for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Closer Francisco Rodriguez gave up back-to-back ninth-inning home runs to third baseman Casey McGehee and center fielder Marcell Ozuna as Milwaukee fell 6-3 to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Miller Park.
“Miserable. That’s what it is,” Rodriguez said. “Disgusting. All the bad words you can use to describe it. It’s extremely disappointing.”
Rodriguez (4-5) was a strike away from getting out of the inning unscathed, rallying back from an 2-0 hole to Giancarlo Stanton but missed on his next two pitches to walk the right fielder.
His first offering to McGehee missed low, then Rodriguez left a change-up too high and McGehee clubbed it to left-center for just his fourth of the season, putting Miami up 5-3.
Rodriguez again was a pitch away but missed on a 3-2 fastball to Ozuna, who hit his 21st on a high fly to left, to cap off a three-hit, two-walk day.
“Huge win. Huge win. Huge win,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “That was probably as good of a feeling in the dugout as we’ve had all year. Our guys were fired up. That was a big hit.”
The Brewers’ offense blew a chance to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth, loading the bases with nobody out against right-hander Bryan Morris (8-1), but failed to score.
“Bases loaded, no outs and we’ve got Rickie (Weeks), (Carlos) Gomez and Scooter (Gennett) coming up,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “I think we should score a run.”
Weeks, pinch-hitting in the pitcher’s spot and Gomez, making his second start in center after missing a week with a sprained wrist, each bounced into force plays at home and Gennett let Morris off the hook with a fly ball to right, ending the inning.
“I should have done more with that pitch,” said Gennett, who had two hits on the day. “Even when we do hit the ball hard, when we need that knock, it’s right at somebody. That’s how things have been the last couple of weeks.”
The past couple weeks have been miserable for the Brewers, who have lost four in a row and 13 of their last 14. Their frustration was evident after the game, especially from Rodriguez, who threw his glove to the ground after McGehee’s home run.
“That’s how everybody feels right now,” Gennett said. “Once we get that opportunity to do something, we want to perform and get out of this hole that we’re in. It’s tough when it’s your time to do something and you can’t execute, not only on the pitching side and offensively. Tonight, that was on us (the offense).”
Milwaukee got another chance in the ninth, putting two on with one out to bring the tying run to the plate but were stymied for the second straight night by right-hander Steve Cishek, who recorded his 34th save of the year.
“I’m tired of coming in here and talking about another loss,” Roenicke said. “We’re playing hard, we’re working hard. These guys are putting everything they can into it, and we keep coming up with the same results. It gets old. They will be at it again tomorrow.”
Right-hander Matt Garza made his second start since coming off the disabled list with a strained oblique and struck out seven while allowing one earned run over four innings of work while his Miami counterpart, right-hander Tom Koehler went five innings and held Milwaukee to two runs on six hits and three walks.
The Brewers remain 1 1/2 games behind the Pirates, who also lost Tuesday, for the second National League wild-card spot but the Marlins won their third straight and are just two games behind Milwaukee and Atlanta.
CREW CUTS: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez will return to the rotation for a Friday start against the Philadelphia Phillies. Alvarez left his Sept. 1 start with a strained oblique. He reported no issues after a light bullpen session Monday and was given the green light to return to full action. Alvarez leads the NL with three shutouts this season and has a 2.88 ERA in 26 starts. ... Milwaukee RF Ryan Braun was held out of the lineup in order to rest his ailing right hand. The hand, especially the thumb, has bothered Braun all season and contributed to his .235 average since the All-Star break, manager Ron Roenicke said. ... Roenicke said RHP Jimmy Nelson will move from the rotation to the bullpen for the remainder of the season.