MILWAUKEE -- Brent Suter pitched brilliantly in a spot start and the Brewers backed him with a torrent of early offense in an 8-1 win over the Orioles on Monday at Miller Park.
Making the first start in place of injured starter Chase Anderson, Suter dug deep for 97 pitches and held Baltimore to one unearned run on four hits over six quick innings. Suter walked one and set a career high with eight strikeouts, the most for a left-handed Brewers starter since Tom Gorzelanny struck out eight Mariners on Aug. 10, 2013, in Seattle. Suter became the first lefty starter to win a home game for the Brewers since Randy Wolf in 2012.
"It was my first start at Miller Park and there were a lot of cool emotions going on," said Suter. "A chance to pick up the team, maybe eat some innings for the bullpen, and I was very fortunate I was able to come through."
When Brewers manager Craig Counsell had already announced the lefty earned himself another turn in the rotation, Suter smiled.
"Awesome. I didn't know that. That is very good news," said Suter, who is scheduled to start Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
The Orioles countered with their own southpaw, Wade Miley, who entered the day with a 5.17 ERA in five career starts against Milwaukee and saw it rise to 6.82 after allowing seven earned runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.
"There's been zero command," Miley said. "Any time you put yourself in those situations, battling back, behind in the count all the time, it is pretty tough to pitch up here like that."
Manny Pina and Orlando Arcia collected three hits apiece for the Brewers, who took command with another big first inning. Including its four runs against Miley, Milwaukee has outscored opponents 73-44 in the opening frame this season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pina pours it on: Pina has been one of the National League's most productive catchers this season, and he added two more run-scoring hits and three RBIs in the first two innings Monday. Pina's single drove home the third of Milwaukee's four runs in the first inning before his two-run double off the wall in left-center field extended the lead to 7-0 in the second, knocking Miley from the game.
"He's doing a beautiful job offensively," Counsell said. "I think we're getting a player who has been really solid, really consistent, offensively. Not playing every day, but playing regularly, I would say. I think that's helped him. I think we've got him in a good spot."
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Orlando magic: It's shaping into a heck of a homestand for Arcia, who had eight hits in his first 11 at-bats since returning home after he singled in his first two trips to the plate Monday. In the third inning, he scored all the way from first on Suter's infield hit, sliding past third base and then popping up and foiling the Orioles' attempt at a rundown. The crazy play gave Milwaukee an 8-1 lead.
"Once I over-slid, at that point there was no going back. There was just going home," Arcia said through translator Carlos Brizuela. "If they were going to tag me, it might as well be at home trying to score." More >
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"He's talked about … that he was going to have to take the mindset this year, 'I've just got to be ready for anything.' I think it's a testament to if you put your mind to something, and that's where your frame of mind is going to be, then you can handle what's ahead of you." -- Counsell, on Suter
"We've had some challenges with our starting pitching -- we've had some good outings, too, lately -- I don't want to say, 'Here we go again,' but it is just kind of 'OK, we have to fight our way through this.' There's some games we can come back from if we can stay engaged and connected to the games. But when you've had the challenges we've had, there's a certain mental challenge that's hard to overcome nightly." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter
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Not only did the Brewers score eight runs without hitting a home run, a season high, Pina's double was their only extra-base hit. It was only the second time since 2006 that the Brewers scored that many runs with one or fewer extra-base hits.
"The first inning was single, walk, single, walk, single, [fielder's choice], single," Counsell said. "That shows me a bunch of guys having good at-bats in a row. We made [Miley] work. We were disciplined, we didn't chase. He was off a little bit in the first inning and we kept making him work."
Orioles:Ubaldo Jimenez will make his 12th start of the season at 4:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday in Milwaukee. Jimenez struck out a season-high eight batters in his last start, and lowered his ERA from 7.26 to 6.48.
Brewers: After recording 50 strikeouts in June, Jimmy Nelson will make his first start of July at 3:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday. The right-hander tied his career high with 11 strikeouts in his last start, an 11-3 win over the Reds on Thursday. His June strikeout total tied him with Ben Sheets for the second-most in a month in Brewers franchise history.
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