Brewers starter Matt Garza was working on a one-hit shutout tonight as he returned to the mound for the top of the fifth inning at Miller Park.
One pitch to Nelson Cruz and Garza had to redirect his goals.
Cruz pounced on a 92 mph fastball from Garza leading off the inning and drove it over the fence in right-center field to reduce Milwaukee’s lead to 5-1.
Cruz leads the majors with 17 home runs. His 46 RBIs rank second to Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who has 49.
As I wrote earlier today, Cruz is second to David Ortiz among American League designated hitters in All-Star Game balloting. He’s going to Minnesota, no matter where he finishes in the voting.
Cruz leads the majors with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs on the road this season.
Tonight’s shot off Garza extended Cruz’s hitting streak to eight games. He’s 12-for-28 with three doubles, five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs scored.
Wei-Yin Chen retired the Brewers in order in the fifth inning for the first time tonight.
Due to a scoring change, Chris Tillman has been charged with two more earned runs in his May 21 start in Pittsburgh. First baseman Chris Davis had been charged with an error, but it’s been removed.
Tillman is tagged with eight earned runs in one inning, and has surrendered 14 earned runs in his last two starts.
Update: An RBI double by Nick Markakis and sacrifice fly by Adam Jones reduced the Brewers’ lead to 5-3 in the sixth inning.
Delmon Young pinch-hit for Chen and drew a leadoff walk. Manny Machado laid down a sacrifice bunt after Markakis’ double. Two plate appearances that shouldn’t go ignored.
Chen allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings, with no walks, six strikeouts and three home runs.
New daddy Chris Davis is 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
Update II: Remember when the Orioles were losing 5-0?
Steve Pearce’s pinch-hit three-run homer off Garza with two outs in the seventh inning gave the Orioles a 6-5 lead.
Shortstop Jean Segura’s error was costly, opening the door for the three-run rally. He should have started a double play that would have ended the inning after Cruz’s leadoff walk.
Manager Buck Showalter is right. Pearce is a professional hitter.
Garza is out of the game after Markakis reached on an infield hit. Markakis is 2-for-4 tonight after being 4-for-34 against Garza.
Update III: Zach Britton blows his first save while pitching for the third consecutive night, and the Orioles and Brewers are headed to extra innings with the score tied 6-6.
Jonathan LuCroy reached on an infield hit with two outs to score pinch-runner Elian Herrera.
Britton was 3-for-3 in save chances before tonight.
Brian Matusz replaced Darren O’Day with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth and stranded all three runners.
Preston Guilmet struck out two batters in a scoreless sixth inning and would have earned his first major league win.
Update IV: That really happened.
Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers’ starting pitcher on Wednesday, delivered a pinch-hit double off T.J. McFarland with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to give Milwaukee a 7-6 win.
Mark Reynolds was walked intentionally with two outs to bring Gallardo to the plate.
The Orioles are 5-2 in extra innings.