PHILADELPHIA -- Wily Peralta returned to the Brewers' active roster on Sunday with urgency. Coming off a month-long stint on the disabled list that followed 2 1/2 months of struggles both as a starter and as a reliever, Peralta sounded like a man well aware of his short leash."It's important
PHILADELPHIA -- Wily Peralta returned to the Brewers' active roster on Sunday with urgency. Coming off a month-long stint on the disabled list that followed 2 1/2 months of struggles both as a starter and as a reliever, Peralta sounded like a man well aware of his short leash.
"It's important for the team and it's important for me," Peralta said before pitching two encouraging innings of an otherwise discouraging 6-3 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. "I feel like the way that I threw the ball in my last couple outings [in the Minor Leagues], I'm going to have a good result here."
Sunday marked a good start. Peralta covered the Brewers' final two innings on defense without allowing a run, working around two walks and a hit with four strikeouts. After issuing a leadoff walk in the eighth, Peralta struck out the side.
"We needed some length from him, and he did it," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Peralta pitched four times for Triple-A Colorado Springs during a rehab assignment for a right calf strain. The second outing was so uncomfortable -- six runs (five earned) on four hits and two walks while recording only one out at Round Rock on July 8 -- that Sky Sox pitching coach Fred Dabney suggested Peralta step out of active duty for 10 days to throw a pair of side sessions instead.
Dabney, Peralta's pitching coach for two of Peralta's Minor League seasons, engaged the right-hander in a series of drills, including one in which he flipped a baseball to Peralta, who caught it barehanded and threw a pitch without thinking.
It worked, Peralta said. He returned to action and threw two scoreless, hitless outings before rejoining the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park.
Peralta, the Brewers' Opening Day starter in 2016, has work to do to salvage his '17 statistics. He has a 1.71 WHIP, including a 2.20 WHIP in his nine appearances after being shifted to relief. Opponents' 34.3 percent hard-hit rate is the highest of Peralta's six-year career.
"Look, we need functioning members of the bullpen," Counsell said, "so he has to be able to get outs. Wily struggled for a bulk of the season here. I think we're in a spot in the season where we don't have as much time and we can't have as much patience with some parts of our roster. Certainly, it's important that he pitches well."
The Brewers designated Rob Scahill for assignment to make room for Peralta. It marked Scahill's third DFA this year.
Counsell watched video of Corey Knebel's perfect inning in Saturday's 9-8 win to confirm what he saw live.
"I thought last night might have been his best outing of the year," Counsell said on Sunday morning. "His curveball was as good as I've seen it all year. [The Phillies] got him on a tough night."
Knebel picked a good time to have one of his best nights. The Brewers were on a six-game skid and had just blown an 8-1 lead in the span of two innings. Domingo Santana's go-ahead single in the ninth provided a lead for Knebel to protect.
It marked his 47th appearance, two off the Cardinals' Matt Bowman's Major League lead.
"We're at a time of the year where the outs feel precious," Counsell said.
Sogard gets through
Eric Sogard didn't have any hits in his return from the 10-day DL for a sprained ankle on Saturday, but he did get through the night without any setbacks. Jonathan Villar started at second base on Sunday.
"He's healthy. He's good," Counsell said of Sogard. "At second base, it's going to be a little bit of a share for a while, and we'll see if somebody gets hot and maybe they take the playing time."
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.