MILWAUKEE -- After seeing leads wiped away by Dodgers home runs in the ninth inning on Friday and Saturday, Oliver Drake, Jacob Barnes and Corey Knebel combined for three scoreless innings in relief of a solid Zach Davies in Milwaukee's 3-0 win Sunday. The Brewers avoided a sweep and remained
MILWAUKEE -- After seeing leads wiped away by Dodgers home runs in the ninth inning on Friday and Saturday, Oliver Drake, Jacob Barnes and Corey Knebel combined for three scoreless innings in relief of a solid Zach Davies in Milwaukee's 3-0 win Sunday. The Brewers avoided a sweep and remained atop the National League Central with more than a third of their regular-season schedule complete.
"The rebound is the biggest thing in this game because there's 162 games," Barnes said. "You can't get one game get to you. I think it was big that we rebounded like that, and hopefully we get on a little streak here."
"The past two games have been pretty tough, so to get that win today, especially a shutout, was very important for us," Knebel said.
Knebel walked a batter in the ninth but struck out the side, giving him at least one whiff in all 29 of his appearances this season. That tied Albertin Chapman (2012) for the second-longest streak in history for a reliever to start a season. Chapman also owns the longest such streak, with at least one strikeout in his first 37 games in 2014.
Overall, Knebel's fastball-curveball mix has produced 51 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Drake and Barnes combined to cover the two innings ahead of Knebel, including a seventh that saw the Dodgers open with consecutive singles against Davies in a 2-0 game. Drake, a right-handed pitcher who serves as the Brewers' lefty specialist thanks to a split-fingered fastball, got two outs on one Yasmani Grandal swing. After the double play, Barnes retired Dodgers second baseman Austin Barnes to end the threat.
"I thought Oliver's at-bat against Grandal was a big part of the game, a huge part of the game," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "That's two big outs."
Barnes stayed in the game to pitch a scoreless eighth. He has limited opponents to one run in his last 11 appearances.
Before Brewers starters went on a hot streak -- they own a 1.32 ERA in the team's last 10 games -- Counsell learned heavily on a relief corps that has logged 208 1/3 innings this season, second in the Majors to the Reds. The Brewers rank in the bottom third of MLB with a 1.42 WHIP (tied for 23rd) and are worst in the Majors with an 11.3 percent walk rate and 16 losses.
"This is going to be part of the story this year," said Counsell of the Brewers' bounce-back ability. "We've had to rebound from some tough games, and [Friday and Saturday] certainly are that. They're tough games. They're tough ways to lose.
"But we get to play the next day. You have to put it behind you and understand that you're going to have a role in today's game and dwelling on yesterday is counterproductive. So you move forward with it, and that's what's great about having a game the next day is it forces you to."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.