ATLANTA -- While the Brewers had the big offensive showing they hadn't seen over the weekend against the Braves, it ended up being the runners who didn't score that proved the difference.The Brewers scored seven runs on Sunday at SunTrust Park on 19 hits. They had at least two hits
ATLANTA -- While the Brewers had the big offensive showing they hadn't seen over the weekend against the Braves, it ended up being the runners who didn't score that proved the difference.
The Brewers scored seven runs on Sunday at SunTrust Park on 19 hits. They had at least two hits in each of the first seven innings but stranded 13 men on base as they went on to fall, 8-7.
"I think when you strand 13, you always feel like you left opportunities out there," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We did, and some of it was a result of some hard-hit balls."
The Brewers jumped on Braves starter Sean Newcomb early but stranded a pair in the first. They erased a 2-0 deficit in the second after Chase Anderson helped his own cause with a two-run single.
The third saw two more stranded, but it seemed like the Brewers had turned a corner after scoring three in the fourth on a Jesus Aguilar homer, another in the fifth on an Aguilar double and another in the sixth on a Mike Moustakas single.
The seventh inning was where things changed. With the game tied after a Dansby Swanson home run an inning earlier, the Brewers managed to load the bases with one out against Jonny Venters. However, Ryan Braun grounded into a double play to end the scoring threat. The Braves took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning.
"In the seventh, we're against Venters, we had a chance to score," Counsell said. "That's probably the inning you look back and, you know, we had the right guys up, [Christian Yelich is] up, Brauny's up, and it just didn't play."
The Brewers' pitching didn't do the offense any favors, either.
Anderson allowed all four of his runs over his first two innings and was pulled after four innings with five hits and two walks allowed.
"You feel bad as a starting pitcher to not really do your job," Anderson said. "Those guys, they've played well this series and we've had one win. They've swung the bats really well, and we've got to figure out a way to pick them up."
The bullpen again struggled as the combination of Corey Knebel, Corbin Burnes and Dan Jennings allowed four runs over three innings, including home runs to Swanson and Ozzie Albies.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Brewers were caught stealing twice. While the second wasn't a factor, the first potentially cost them a run. With one out in the fifth, Lorenzo Cain singled and then tried to steal second with Yelich at the plate. Cain was caught on a close play that the Brewers challenged, but the call eventually stood after review.
Yelich ended up walking and was followed by Aguilar's RBI double.
In the fifth inning, catcher Manny Pina took a foul ball to the groin area off the bat of Freddie Freeman. After staying down for several minutes, Pina got up and walked around under his own power and ultimately stayed in the game. After he struck out for the third out in the top of the sixth, Erik Kratz came in to replace Pina behind the plate. After the game, Counsell didn't have an update on Pina but confirmed that he was still in pain.
"He's hurting," Counsell said. "But I don't have anything more than that."
The Swanson home run in the sixth was the first Burnes has allowed in his Major League career. Entering Sunday, Burnes was one of just 17 pitchers with at least 13 innings to have not allowed a home run out of more than 500 qualifying pitchers.
The Brewers are tasked with trying to find an answer for familiar foe Jose Quintana when they face the Cubs on Tuesday at 1:20 p.m. CT. In three starts against him this season, the Brewers have managed just two runs and nine hits over 19 innings. In his career, Quintana has just a 0.92 ERA in 49 innings against Milwaukee. Opposing Quintana is Jhoulys Chacin, who fired six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in his only start against the Cubs this season.
Cody Pace is a contributor to MLB.com based in Atlanta.