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Suter solid, but 'pen, bats struggle in finale loss

Special to MLB.com

CHICAGO -- With a quiet offensive series and a couple shaky games from their bullpen, the Brewers' hot streak is over, but they're not panicking yet.

Milwaukee was unable to secure its seventh straight series victory when their offense and bullpen struggled in a 6-1 loss to the White Sox on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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CHICAGO -- With a quiet offensive series and a couple shaky games from their bullpen, the Brewers' hot streak is over, but they're not panicking yet.

Milwaukee was unable to secure its seventh straight series victory when their offense and bullpen struggled in a 6-1 loss to the White Sox on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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"It's not like we're worrying or anything," outfielder Domingo Santana said. "We still have 3 1/2 months, four months, and every game counts."

Matt Albers allowed back-to-back home runs in the White Sox go-ahead three-run sixth inning, as the Brewers dropped two of three to the South Siders. Milwaukee's offense finished with six hits, all singles. Four came off White Sox starter Dylan Covey, who struck out seven over five-plus innings.

Brewers left-hander Brent Suter allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six over five-plus innings. He departed after Yolmer Sanchez's bloop single to lead off the sixth. Sanchez stole second and took third on catcher Manny Pina's throwing error, and he scored on pinch-hitter Daniel Palka's two-run homer off Albers. The next batter, Adam Engel, also homered off Albers, who had allowed just two home runs in his first 25 1/3 innings of the season. Engel's home run struck the top of the center-field wall and bounced off center fielder Lorenzo Cain's glove before going over the fence.

"We had a chance to win every game," Suter said. "You've got to tip your hat to the Sox. They played really well and had good at-bats."

The Brewers scored an unearned run in five innings off Covey, who was drafted 14th overall in 2010 by Milwaukee but did not sign after a physical revealed he had Type 1 diabetes.

"He's doing a nice job," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "There's clearly something that's changed about that kid that he's improved on, because it's a guy who's kind of been bounced around a little bit. Now he seems to be pitching pretty well. His ball has real good sink on it. The split-finger change or whatever is a nice pitch for him. He looks like somebody who has found something for himself."

Jose Abreu and Engel delivered RBI doubles off left-hander Dan Jennings in the eighth. The Brewers entered Sunday with the Majors' second-lowest bullpen ERA at 2.55. Milwaukee's relief corps allowed eight runs in the series -- four each on Friday and Sunday, with Albers and Jennings combining for seven of the eight.

"Our 'pen has been great and continues to be great," Suter said. "Just wasn't our day today."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
What could have been:
In the fifth inning, Milwaukee loaded the bases but scored just one run. Sanchez misplayed a Christian Yelich chopper at third base, allowing an unearned run to score. Jesus Aguilar popped out and Travis Shaw struck out to end the inning.

Video: MIL@CWS: Pina races home on Sanchez's error in 5th

In the three-game series, the Brewers went 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position and scored nine total runs, five of which came in Saturday's win.

"We've missed some pitches to hit in those at-bats and their guys have made a couple pitches, so the margin for error gets a little smaller when their guys are making pitches," Counsell said. "I'm perfectly fine with our approach in those at-bats."

Video: MIL@CWS: Covey fans Shaw to strand the bases full

SOUND SMART
The Brewers dropped their first series since the Pirates took two of three at Miller Park from May 4-6, and they lost their first road series since they were swept by the Cubs from April 26-29.

HE SAID IT
"If we can have this conversation in four weeks again, I'll be happy." -- Counsell, on the Brewers' six-series winning streak ending

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Brewers challenged that Jonathan Villar was called out stealing second base in the sixth inning. After a one-minute, two-second review of second baseman Yoan Moncada's tag on Villar's arm, the call stood, and Villar was out 2-4 on the play. The inning ended in a tied game, and Milwaukee was out of challenges.

Video: MIL@CWS: Gonzalez nabs Villar stealing as call stands

UP NEXT
After an off-day Monday, the Brewers begin a two-game series Tuesday in Cleveland at 6:10 p.m. CT. Right-hander Junior Guerra will start for Milwaukee against the Indians' Corey Kluber, whom the Brewers beat earlier this season at Miller Park. Guerra, who has a 2.01 ERA over his last four starts, allowed four runs but struck out nine over five innings in his only career appearance against the Indians, which resulted in a 6-2 loss on May 9.

Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.

Milwaukee Brewers, Matt Albers, Dan Jennings, Brent Suter