Brewers: Comeback falls short as Matt Garza shelled again


The Milwaukee Brewers climbed out of yet another hole Matt Garza dug. What they weren’t counting on was Francisco Rodriguez finally failing to get the job done at the end of the game.

After Garza gave up seven runs on 11 hits in just 3.2 innings, the Brewers (54-75) got him off the book with a huge comeback at Miller Park against the Cincinnati Reds, rallying from an early 6-1 deficit to take a 9-8 lead in the fifth inning.

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But Rodriguez, who had converted all 30 of his save chances this season entering Saturday night, couldn’t shut the door.

Jay Bruce led off the inning with a single and Joey Votto followed with an opposite-field home run—his 25th of the season—to give the Reds (53-75) a 10-9 lead. Later in the inning, Jonathan Lucroy let a pitch get away from him with runners at the corners, giving Cincinnati an insurance run, and Tucker Barnhart followed with an RBI single to make it a four-run inning.

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Rodriguez threw 25 pitches and recorded just two outs, allowing four runs—three earned—on four hits with a walk and a strikeout.

As for Garza, he might be the second expensive veteran to find his way to the bullpen, following in the footsteps of Kyle Lohse. While he was spared becoming the first pitcher in the majors with 15 losses this season, he is finally running out of rope with which to hang himself.

Manager Craig Counsell left the door open for Garza to be held out of his next scheduled start. Rosters expand on Tuesday and with another off day scheduled for Monday, he wouldn’t be due to work again until Thursday.

“We’re going to talk about it,” Counsell told

For his part, Garza doesn’t think a break will help.

“It would just make me think more,” Garza said. “I just have to keep getting back out there.”

Garza is still due $25 million over the next two seasons on the four-year deal he signed before the 2014 season.

He has a 12.83 ERA over his last three starts and has posted a career-worst mark of 5.56 for the year.

Cincinnati got two runs in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Brandon Phillips and a bunt single by Todd Frazier.

In the bottom of the inning, Scooter Gennett singled off Reds right-hander Keyvius Sampson, moved up to second on a walk to Lucroy and scored on Adam Lind’s line-drive single up the middle.

Garza surrendered an RBI groundout to Barnhart to make it 3-1 in the second and later served up a three-run homer to Bruce, his 19th, to make it a 6-1 game.

But Milwaukee kept plugging. Elian Herrera led off the bottom of the second with a walk and went to third on a double to right by Jean Segura. After a strikeout, Gennett singled to left to score Herrera, with Segura scoring when third baseman Todd Frazier couldn’t handle the throw in from the outfield.

Garza was chased in the fourth after an RBI single by Votto.

But the Brewers roared back in the bottom of the frame. Segura grounded a one-out single to left and moved up on a wild pitch by Sampson. With two outs, Gennett singled to right to drive in Segura and Lucroy’s single to center put runners on the corners, ending Sampson’s night after just 3.2 innings.

Ryan Braun greeted reliever Pedro Villareal with a ground-ball single to right that cut the deficit to 7-5 and Lind followed with a single to right that cut the margin to a single run.

Frazier opened the fifth with his 30th home run of the season to left field off right-hander Tyler Thornburg.

In the bottom of the fifth, though, Milwaukee came all the way back.

Herrera led off with a double and went to third on Segura’s single to center. Shane Peterson, batting for Thornburg, hit a sacrifice fly to center field and, for the second time in the game, the Reds couldn’t make a relay, with Segura moving up to second when shortstop Eugenio Suarez missed the throw from the outfield.

Former Brewer Burke Badenhop came on and gave up a triple to right to Gennett, tying the game, and Lucroy’s sacrifice fly to right gave Milwaukee an unlikely 9-8 lead.

That’s where the score remained until Rodriguez’s uncharacteristic meltdown in the ninth.

Cesar Jimenez, Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith each worked a scoreless inning to preserve the lead. David Goforth was summoned to get the final out in the ninth.

J.J. Hoover (6-0) worked the eighth for Cincinnati to get the win. Aroldis Chapman struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to get his 25th save.

The teams combined for 30 hits in their second slugfest of the season at Miller Park. The Reds beat the Brewers 16-10 on April 21.

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  • Gennett was 4-for-5 with three runs and three RBI and is now hitting .263 after a terrible start that included a demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Segura was 3-for-5 and scored three times. Lucroy was 2-for-3 and is hitting .255 while Lind was 2-for-4.

    Right-hander Wily Peralta (4-8, 4.55 ERA) gets the start Sunday at 1:10 p.m. against lefty John Lamb (0-2, 6.06).

    Peralta is 3-4 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.175 WHIP in nine career starts against Cincinnati, losing his only start against the Reds this season on April 20 at Miller Park when he allowed six runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.

    He struggled in his last start at Cleveland on Tuesday, allowing four runs—two earned—on six hits with two walks and a strikeout in 2.2 innings.

    Lamb is making just his fourth career start after being called up on Aug. 14. He lost his last time out Tuesday, giving up three runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park.

    Next: Report: Rodriguez Claimed, Pulled Back Off Waivers

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