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Gallardo falters in seventh, Crew drops rubber game

Righty gives up lead in decisive inning; Thornburg makes season debut

MILWAUKEE -- The box score said Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo surrendered five earned runs and six hits on Wednesday while losing for the fifth time in six decisions.

Gallardo said different. He said this was his best outing of the year.

Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- The box score said Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo surrendered five earned runs and six hits on Wednesday while losing for the fifth time in six decisions.

Gallardo said different. He said this was his best outing of the year.

Full Game Coverage

"It's tough to say," Gallardo said, acknowledging the ugly line, "but it definitely was."

With Ryan Braun out of the lineup but still a big part of the postgame questions and answers, the Brewers fell to Bartolo Colon, Brandon Moss and the A's at Miller Park, 6-1, after Oakland's five-run rally in the seventh inning sunk Gallardo.

The outburst was punctuated by Moss' three-run homer off reliever Michael Gonzalez, but began with a walk, a dribbler and a beat-the-shift single against Gallardo, ruining what had otherwise been an uplifting afternoon for Milwaukee's struggling Opening Day starter. Gallardo entered the day with a 5.05 ERA, but he had allowed a run on three hits and 79 pitches through six sharp innings before facing four batters and retiring none of them in the decisive seventh.

The Brewers fell to 0-5-1 in home series since the start of May.

"The walk is the only thing I would take back from that seventh inning," Gallardo said.

Carlos Gomez's first-inning triple gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead and Gallardo appeared poised to make the most of it. He threw only 50 pitches through four scoreless innings, then conceded a run in the fifth on a double-play grounder, and was cruising along with the teams tied, 1-1, after the sixth.

But Gallardo would not record another out. A's catcher John Jaso worked a walk by looking at four close pitches leading off the seventh and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes dropped a soft infield single along the third-base line. With Brewers shortstop Jean Segura shifted toward second base, A's shortstop Jed Lowrie delivered an opposite-field single through the hole and into left field.

That hit loaded the bases for Josh Donaldson, who also went the opposite way. He hit Gallardo's 89th pitch, a fastball somewhat up in the zone and on the outside corner, for a sharp single to right field and the go-ahead runs.

"The pitch to Cespedes was a curveball -- what are you going to do? You hit your spot, and he hits the ball off the end of the bat and hits a slow roller to third," Gallardo said. "Even the one to Lowrie, it was up a little bit, but a soft line drive that gets through the infield. Then the two-RBI base hit, it was a fastball away. I threw it where I wanted to throw it."

The lefty Gonzalez took over riding a streak of 12 straight scoreless appearances and retired right-handed pinch-hitter Chris Young on a harrowing fly ball to the left-field warning track. That set things up for the left-handed Moss, who was hitless in his previous nine at-bats.

Gonzalez placed a slider on the outer part of the plate and Moss turned on it, powering a game-breaking home run to right field.

"I don't think it was too bad a pitch," Gonzalez said. "I think he ambushed. He was looking breaking pitch, and he guessed right."

Said Moss: "I rarely expect to hit a home run off a lefty because it's just so hard to do."

Eleven of Gonzalez's 23 inherited runners have scored this season, including two on Wednesday. Gallardo's outing -- six-plus innings, six hits, five earned runs, one costly walk and four strikeouts -- boosted his ERA to 5.25.

"It's a shame, he throws a game like that and comes out with five earned runs," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Colon allowed one run on eight hits in seven innings, and gave the crowd a thrill when he flew out to deep center field in the sixth. The Brewers' only run against him came within the game's first three batters, when Segura dribbled an infield single toward the pitcher's mound and Gomez followed with a triple to deep center field that glanced off Coco Crisp's glove.

Scooter Gennett picked up his first Major League hit in the ninth, a single to right.

The Brewers fell back to a season-worst 14 games under .500, and found themselves in the clubhouse after the game answering for another loss and a controversy they know little about.

Braun sat out Wednesday's game to rest a painful left thumb injury that has dogged him for weeks, a day after a report emerged that Major League Baseball was intensifying its investigation of players linked to the Miami anti-aging clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs. Braun is one of a number of Major Leaguers reportedly at risk of suspension.

"We're here. We're going to support him," Gallardo said. "He addressed it in Spring Training, and he's handled it pretty well. … We're a team, and spirits are up."

Said catcher Jonathan Lucroy: "I'm still behind him, man. I stood up for him the whole time, and I believe what he says. Other people may not, but I do."

Roenicke was asked about the Braun matter for the third time -- he addressed the issue after Tuesday's extra-inning victory and before and after Wednesday's loss. He made it clear he was weary of the topic.

"You know something? I understand why you want to bring this up, but this isn't an issue here," Roenicke said. "That's why I really don't need to address it, because there's nothing to it. I don't want to say that the accusations aren't [significant], but there's nothing going on here that would [make me] want to talk about that very much. We're trying to play baseball and win games. That's what's important to me, that's what's important to them."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.


Milwaukee Brewers, Yovani Gallardo, Carlos Gomez, Tyler Thornburg