Brewers' 15-hit barrage backs Davies' first win
MIAMI -- Zach Davies' first big league win was a relatively comfortable one. Provided with plenty of support, the 22-year-old right-hander gave up one run in seven innings, and the Brewers breezed to a 9-1 victory over Miami at Marlins Park on Monday afternoon.
Khris Davis belted his 18th homer, a solo shot in the fourth, and the Brewers broke the game open with a five-run fifth inning, leading to a quick exit for Miami rookie Justin Nicolino. Jonathan Lucroy went 3-for-4 and Hernan Perez added three hits and three RBIs. Milwaukee pounded out 15 hits.
"The offense took care of it," Davies said. "It gets you comfortable, makes you stay in the zone a little bit more, because you don't want to be wasting pitches and wasting time out there when the lead is like that."
In a matchup of rookie pitchers, Davies scattered four hits and struck out four in his second big league start. Nicolino, Miami's promising 23-year-old who made his eighth big league start, matched career highs for runs (five) and hits (nine).
"There are some nice guys over there who can swing the bat," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "[Brewers manager Craig] Counsell was a guy who was a blue-collar player. I'm sure that's rubbing off on his team. They're not going to go away. They're going to battle. There are some similarities. They're going to continue to play hard and play the game the right way."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Khrushed: Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton can attest that it takes some serious power to clear the fences at monstrous Marlins Park. Brewers left fielder Davis flexed his muscles in the fourth inning by hitting an opposite-field home run over a 392-foot marker on the right-center-field fence for a 1-0 Brewers lead. It was Davis' 11th home run since Aug. 6.
"It's an impressive home run," Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun said. "You've really got to hit it well, especially with a changeup. [Nicolino] had a great changeup, so to stay behind it and hit the ball to right field, it was a really impressive swing."
J.T.'s take-out slide: After the Brewers posted five runs in the fifth to grab a 6-0 lead, the Marlins got on the board in the bottom of the inning on Donovan Solano's fielder's choice RBI grounder. The play that allowed the run to score was J.T. Realmuto's slide into second base, which broke up a potential inning-ending double play. Realmuto's hustle and hard slide disrupted second baseman Elian Herrera enough to cause a high throw to first base. The Marlins manufactured one run, but couldn't add on in the inning.
"Today was a day that we really haven't seen in quite a while," Jennings said. "Our guys have been locked in. We've played. We've played with energy. Played aggressively. Every now and then over 162 you're going to have some days like this. We'll wash this one off and move on to tomorrow."
Extra bases: Davis' homer sparked an extra-base-hit barrage for the Brewers. Six of the first seven Milwaukee batters to step to the plate against Nicolino and reliever Brian Ellington in the fifth inning reached safely, four on extra-base hits. After Jean Segura started the inning with a triple, Lucroy, Adam Lind and Perez delivered run-scoring doubles. Perez's plated two runs and capped a five-run inning. In the sixth, Braun belted another run-scoring double that sailed more than 420 feet before smacking the center-field wall.
"We put pressure on them every inning," Counsell said. "KD's homer felt like it started it, and, man, we hit some balls really hard. We could have scored some more runs, probably."
Not Nicolino's day: Nicolino's 4 1/3-inning-stint was his shortest since he was brought back up on Aug. 11. The lefty, who beat the Brewers at Miller Park on Aug. 17, had gone four straight starts without allowing more than two runs. The other time Nicolino gave up nine hits was on Aug. 11 in 5 2/3 innings against the Red Sox. He hadn't given up as many as five runs since his second start, on June 26 against the Dodgers.
"It was just me leaving [changeups] up in the zone," Nicolino said. "When I threw the good ones, they were swinging through them or bouncing them to the defenders. But that's what hurt me today -- leaving changeups up in counts that I shouldn't have and not putting people away when I should have." More >
JENNINGS GETS EJECTED
Jennings was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing a first-pitch strike called by umpire Marvin Hudson on Derek Dietrich. It was Jennings' third ejection of the season.
"Just a little bit of a liberal strike zone for me," Jennings said. "I felt like it was expanded down below. We had a difference of opinion. I expressed it. He did what he had to do and ran me." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Brewers hammered out 15 hits. Their season high is 17, done twice previously (July 1 at Philadelphia; July 22 at Cleveland).
"I don't know. Maybe we had a little bit of a fog after winning the series against the Mets. But we'll be back tomorrow. Our guys will pick it up and grind through at-bats, like we've been doing. Just a day a where we didn't see the ball up and take advantage of it when we did." -- Jennings
Brewers: Taylor Jungmann will aim for his 10th victory when his rookie season continues Tuesday in Miami at 6:10 p.m. CT. He's 9-5 with a 2.42 ERA after 16 big league starts, and he has met the definition of "quality" (six or more innings, three or fewer earned runs) in 10 of those games. The Brewers are 10-6 when he pitches.
Marlins: For the second straight game, the Marlins are going with a rookie left-hander. Adam Conley (3-1, 5.02 ERA) will take the mound on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET It will be his seventh big league start and his 11th appearance.
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