MILWAUKEE -- Jimmy Nelson threw the Brewers' first complete game in nearly two years, and young dads Hernan Perez and Manny Pina homered for a 2-1 win over the Padres on Father's Day at Miller Park.Nelson threw a career-high 118 pitches in his six-hit gem, allowing only one unearned run
MILWAUKEE -- Jimmy Nelson threw the Brewers' first complete game in nearly two years, and young dads Hernan Perez and Manny Pina homered for a 2-1 win over the Padres on Father's Day at Miller Park.
Nelson threw a career-high 118 pitches in his six-hit gem, allowing only one unearned run on Erick Aybar's single in a fifth-inning rally aided by two Brewers errors, including one charged to Nelson. It was a rare blemish for the 28-year-old right-hander, who walked two and struck out 10 in his first complete game since 2013 at the Double-A level.
"It was pretty cool going out there [for the ninth inning] and they played the walk-out song, which was kind of neat," Nelson said. "But at the same time, you have to take a step back and not let your adrenaline take over. You have to relax and don't try to do too much, try not to overthrow and execute your pitches."
• Nelson picks up 'pen by going the distance
Said Brewers manager Craig Counsell: "He earned his way back out there those last few innings, for sure."
The Brewers were having trouble manufacturing runs against Padres starter Luis Perdomo, who stranded runners in scoring position in four of his first five innings, so they started hitting homers instead. Perez went deep leading off the sixth inning to tie the game at 1-1, and Pina followed two batters later with another solo shot over the Brewers bullpen in left-center field for the lead.
Still, Perdomo limited the damage to two runs on eight hits in six innings for his fourth quality start in his last five outings.
"I feel really good about what he's accomplished over the past year," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I do think there's some steps ahead for him as he continues to grow, but he's come a long way."
• Padres' young trio shows potential on mound
Milwaukee has scored its last 15 runs via the long ball, a franchise record. The previous club mark was 14 runs in a row, set by Prince Fielder & Co. in August 2007.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
So close: Padres second baseman Yangervis Solarte, who hit three home runs in the first two games of the series, including two on Saturday night, nearly gave the Padres the lead in the eighth when he hit a first-pitch changeup with a runner aboard for a fly ball that sailed just foul, way down the right-field line. Nelson, who'd entered the inning at 96 pitches and was facing the heart of the Padres' order for the fourth time, reclaimed control of the at-bat with his fastball and induced a double-play ground ball to escape the inning with the Brewers' one-run lead intact.
"Early, I thought it was gone, but after halfway, no," Pina said. "[Solarte] was telling me, 'Ah, you were scared! It was close, huh?' Yeah, it was close."
That de-escalated quickly: The Brewers had at least one runner in scoring position with nobody out in each of the first three innings but came up empty each time against Perdomo. In the second, he escaped a bases-loaded, no-out predicament by converting Orlando Arcia's tapper in front of home plate into a 1-2-3 double play and striking out Nelson to end the threat. An inning later, the Brewers had runners at first and second with no outs, but Perez fouled out to the catcher and Travis Shaw's near-home run turned into an inning-ending double play. Padres center fielder Franchy Cordero made a running catch, slammed into the wall and threw back to the infield to double up Eric Sogard at second base.
"This is an example of a game where we should have scored more runs, frankly," Counsell said. "I thought we had an opportunity for more runs, that's for sure. But the home runs were big. That's how we're scoring right now."
"All three of those guys are really good arms. They're not easy guys to face, and all three of them have a substantially higher ceiling than they've already achieved." -- Green, on the promising young trio of starters -- Miguel Diaz, Dinelson Lamet and Perdomo -- whom the Padres threw at the Brewers in the series
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Pina, who also hit a go-ahead home run on Mother's Day, became the second Brewer to homer on both Mother's Day and Father's Day in the same season. Ben Oglivie loved his mom and pop so much that he did it twice, in 1978 and '82.
"My dad [Omar] told me, 'Don't forget I'm your daddy! Hit one today, too!'" Pina said. "I didn't try to hit a homer, man, but that happens when you get good contact and see the ball well."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Brewers won a challenge on the very first play of the game after Cordoba was called safe at first base on a bunt hit. After a two-minute review, that call was overturned and Nelson had his first out.
In the seventh, the Brewers lost a challenge on another close play at first. Second baseman Sogard charged Cory Spangenberg's soft grounder and made an off-balance throw to a fully stretched Eric Thames at first, where the call was safe. Replays showed the baseball got there in time, but there was no good angle to confirm whether Thames held the bag with his foot. The call stood, and Nelson went on to strand two runners in a scoreless inning.
Padres: Veteran starter Clayton Richard will face his former team when the Padres take on the Cubs in a three-game set at Wrigley Field, beginning at 5:05 p.m. PT. The lefty fell one out shy of pitching a complete-game shutout in his last start against the Reds on June 13.
Brewers: The Crew will continue their seven-game homestand at Miller Park with a four-game series against the Pirates. Right-hander Matt Garza will make his second start of the season against the Pirates at 6:40 p.m. CT. In his first start against them, he allowed only one earned run with zero walks over seven innings in a no-decision. He is 3-6 with a 4.14 ERA in 14 career starts vs. Pittsburgh.
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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.
*Carson Mason * is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Padres on Sunday.