Brewers: Will Smith’s struggles continue in loss at Miami


Last season’s swoon by the Milwaukee Brewers was marked by a dramatic downturn in the second half of the season by left-hander Will Smith.

Dominant in the first half of the season, Smith stumbled down the stretch last year as the Brewers fell from first place to out of contention over the month of the season.

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It’s a different scenario for the Brewers (61-78) this year, but Smith’s script is similar. The lefty couldn’t get a key out against a pair of left-handed hitters in the seventh inning Wednesday night, as the Miami Marlins scratched out a 5-2 victory.

Reliever Tyler Cravy got the first two outs of the seventh sandwiched around a walk to Miguel Rojas. At that point, with Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich scheduled and the pitcher’s spot due up in the eighth, manager Craig Counsell brought in Smith to pitch on a double-switch.

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Smith walked Gordon on four pitches before Yelich lined a double to the gap to score both runners and put Miami (59-81) up 4-2.

Martin Prado followed with an RBI double of his own.

That was all Marlins starter Tom Koehler (9-13) would need on a dominant night. Koehler worked eight innings and allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

“I’m not really sure what’s going on,” Counsell told of Smith, who has given up seven earned runs in his last 6.1 innings over eight appearances. “[Wednesday], he just fell behind. He walked Gordon on four pitches and then fell behind Yelich a little bit.

“No matter who you are, that’s going to hurt you. We have to get that straightened out.”

Cravy (0-6) was charged with the loss in relief of right-hander Ariel Pena, who worked five innings and threw 94 pitches in his first major-league start, allowing two runs on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

The Brewers got an early lead, scoring a single run in both the first and second innings before Koehler settled in.

Scooter Gennett and Elian Herrera led off the game with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Gennett scored when Ryan Braun bounced into a double play.

In the second, Khris Davis led off with a walk and with two outs, Nevin Ashley drove a double to left in his first major-league at-bat—after 10 years in the minor leagues—to score Davis.

Ashley started at catcher in place of Jonathan Lucroy, who was held out with concussion symptoms after being hit in the mask by a foul ball on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old Ashley was 1-for-2 with a hit by pitch and a strikeout in his first game in the show.

“My phone is blowing up right now from friends and family,” Ashley told “I was looking for a fastball and he threw it out over the plate. Luckily, I didn’t miss it.”

The Marlins tied the game in the third on a two-out, two-run single by Prado.

Cravy worked 1.2 innings, allowing a run on no hits with a walk and a strikeout … and probably deserved a better fate.

Smith was charged for two runs on two hits and a walk, striking out Justin Bour to end the seventh after the horses had already escaped from the barn.

David Goforth allowed a hit and struck out one in the eighth.

A.J. Ramos worked the ninth for Miami to record his 25th save.

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  • The Brewers open a four-game series in Pittsburgh on Thursday night at 6:05 p.m. Central. Right-hander Wily Peralta (5-8, 4.21 ERA) faced right-hander A.J. Burnett (8-5, 3.06) in the opener at PNC Park.

    Peralta is 2-2 in five starts in his career against the Pirates, with a 3.66 ERA and 1.250 WHIP in 32 innings and 23 strikeouts. It is his first appearance against Pittsburgh this season.

    He pitched two scoreless innings of the nightcap of a doubleheader in Cincinnati Saturday before having to shut it down after a 90-minute rain delay. He allowed two hits and walked one.

    Burnett is 2-7 in 12 career starts against Milwaukee, posting a 4.35 ERA and 1.233 WHIP in 78.2 innings, with 80 strikeouts. He lost his only start against them this season at PNC Park on June 8, despite allowing just a run on five hits in seven innings, walking one and fanning six in the Brewers’ 2-0 win.

    This is his first start since July 30. He has been out with a strained flexor tendon.

    Next: Brewers Open At Home Against San Francisco In 2016

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