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All-Star Hader not sharp as Crew loses in extras

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MIAMI -- Watching Josh Hader surrender the tying and go-ahead home runs on back-to-back pitches was surprising. Watching his velocity dip an inning later was enough for Brewers manager Craig Counsell and an athletic trainer to pay a visit to the mound.

Hader dismissed concerns about his health in the wake of a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Marlins on Monday night at Marlins Park in which the Brewers' best relief weapon looked vulnerable for the first time all season.

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MIAMI -- Watching Josh Hader surrender the tying and go-ahead home runs on back-to-back pitches was surprising. Watching his velocity dip an inning later was enough for Brewers manager Craig Counsell and an athletic trainer to pay a visit to the mound.

Hader dismissed concerns about his health in the wake of a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Marlins on Monday night at Marlins Park in which the Brewers' best relief weapon looked vulnerable for the first time all season.

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Starlin Castro and Brian Anderson went deep on consecutive pitches to start the seventh inning for one Marlins lead, and Miami played small ball in the 10th to beat Brewers closer Corey Knebel.

"I wish I could be perfect every single time I step on that mound, but realistically, I can't," said Hader, named to the National League All-Star team a day earlier. "With games like this, you have to just keep moving forward, stay intact with yourself each day."

All around, it was a frustrating start to the Brewers' final road trip before the break, especially after winning three of four against the NL East-leading Braves to finish a 6-1 homestand. A day later, Brewers hitters went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and while the Marlins fared even worse at 2-for-12, backup catcher Bryan Holaday's single off Knebel with one out in the 10th was enough for a series-opening win.

"The fact is, we had opportunities and we didn't do enough to win the game," Counsell said. "We had chances to win the game. We didn't make plays when we had to, to win this one. We haven't had a game like that in a while."

Video: MIL@MIA: Holaday delivers walk-off single in the 10th

Jesus Aguilar's National League-leading 23rd home run off Miami's Jose Urena gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead, and while Aguilar's throwing error contributed to an unearned run in the fourth inning, Brewers starter Chase Anderson and reliever Jeremy Jeffress combined to carry a 2-1 lead into the seventh.

That's where the Marlins made their stunning strike against Hader.

Stunning, because he has been arguably the Majors' best reliever this season, and -- arguably again -- over much of the past two seasons. Before Monday, Hader never had allowed multiple home runs in any of his 64 appearances and just two in 44 2/3 innings this season, and none since May 5.

Pitching for the first time since he delivered three scoreless innings six days earlier in a win over the Royals, Hader found immediate trouble with Castro, who fell behind 0-2 and fouled off six of the first eight pitches he saw, including five with two strikes, before getting to an 11th pitch and lining a home run to left field for a 2-2 ballgame.

Anderson got another fastball on the first pitch and hit another home run for a 3-2 Miami lead.

Video: MIL@MIA: Castro, Anderson homer to put Miami ahead

"Their guy has been pretty good, probably one of the best in baseball this year," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I'm not sure the usage he's been on lately, but obviously just making him work, guys are eventually going to make a mistake."

Travis Shaw's two-out RBI double in the eighth tied the game again and sent the teams toward extra innings. For the Marlins, that run was something of a stunner, too, as it snapped Drew Steckenrider's scoreless innings streak at 19 2/3 innings.

Video: MIL@MIA: Shaw delivers a game-tying RBI single in 8th

It was in Hader's second inning of work that Counsell briefly became concerned. He visited the mound with athletic trainer Dave Yeager after Hader walked Cameron Maybin on four pitches, the last two just below 91 mph, according to Statcast™. Hader stayed in the game until yielding to Taylor Williams for the final out of a scoreless eighth.

"I had no idea what [the visit] was for," Hader said. "I thought it was for somebody else, but all is well over here. I was sweating bullets, so maybe that [affected it]. Maybe I had sweat on the ball and didn't get behind it as well."

Added Counsell: "No worries with Josh after the game."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Counsell called it "a golden opportunity" in the 10th inning, when the Brewers put Lorenzo Cain on third and Christian Yelich on second with nobody out and the heart of the order coming up against veteran Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler. Aguilar struck out on three pitches and, after Shaw was intentionally walked, Brad Miller swung at a first-pitch sinker at the bottom of the zone and bounced into a routine double play that ended the threat.

"I know he's trying to get the double play. That's why they loaded it up there," Miller said. "I think with him, it's a really good sinker and you have to see it up and really stay on it. … I had the right idea, he just made a really good pitch and he got me to do exactly what he was trying to get me to do."

Video: MIL@MIA: Ziegler gets DP with bases full in the 10th

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Aguilar's power is his best asset, but that costly error aside, he has proven pretty nimble around first base as well. He showed it in the sixth, when Aguilar adjusted to a slightly off-target throw from Jeffress on Maybin's comebacker and snatched the ball out of the air for the first out of what would become a scoreless inning.

Was it simply instinct taking over?

"Want to hear the truth? I don't know," Aguilar said. "I just saw the ball and tried to grab it, and that happened." More >

Video: MIL@MIA: Aguilar has All-Star type of game in Miami

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Knebel's trouble began when he hit Miguel Rojas with a pitch, a call Counsell and the Brewers challenged to see whether the baseball actually hit the knob of the bat. The call stood, and Maybin walked on four pitches before both runners pulled off a critical double steal. Holaday, filling in while starting catcher J.T. Realmuto is on paternity leave, grounded a winning single through a drawn-in infield.

Video: MIL@MIA: Hit-by-pitch call on Rojas stands in 10th

UP NEXT
Steady veteran Jhoulys Chacin will become the first Brewer to make his 20th start when he takes the ball against the Marlins at 6:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday. The team is 13-6 when he starts, including a victory over the Braves last week in which Chacin worked seven innings. Miami counters with rookie right-hander Pablo Lopez.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Josh Hader