MILWAUKEE - Ubaldo Jiménez tossed a scoreless first inning today, striking out a batter and issuing a walk, but Stephen Vogt hit a two-run homer in the second and Orlando Arcia delivered an RBI single to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
There won’t be a repeat of Jiménez’s eight scoreless innings in Toronto.
Meanwhile, the Orioles are trying to get back their injured players while making a run at another playoff berth.
First baseman Chris Davis is fine after hitting and throwing yesterday at Miller Park. There’s no discomfort in his right oblique. There’s no reason for him to back off his program.
“I feel really good,” he said, again sporting a different look with the mustache shaved. “I’ve felt pretty much pain-free for a good while now. Two days ago or a few days ago, started throwing and swinging and I’ve been able to do as much as I could possibly do without any pain, so I’m excited.
“I’m still champing at the bit to get back out there, but obviously I’m respectful of our trainers and doctors and make sure I do everything I can to avoid aggravating or reinjuring the oblique.”
Davis will go on a rehab assignment over the break, with at least one game at Single-A Delmarva.
“I hope so,” he said. “I think if everything goes as planned, hopefully I’ll be able to make a couple rehab starts and be ready to go pretty soon.”
The plan also calls for Davis to be activated right after the break, when the Cubs come to Camden Yards.
“Yeah, I think if everything goes according to plan and we keep progressing the way that I have the last few days, that’s a very realistic date,” Davis said.
Having past experience with an oblique injury has benefitted Davis in his latest rehab. Opposite side, but same course of action and inactivity.
“It definitely helps to have gone through this before and know what to look for and what to expect and kind of have a gauge on pain and discomfort,” he said. “I think the right oblique was a lot less aggressive than the left, which is good, but at the same time I probably came back a little bit sooner than I should have with the left one, so they want to avoid that.
“That’s probably the hardest thing for me is there’s no way to really test it or practice swinging without either injuring it or knowing that you’re good, so you have to be patient, trust the trainers and the docs and just kind of play it by ear.”
A cautious approach worked for closer Zach Britton, who comes off the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday.
“I think at the time, what I had kind of been told was a little shorter timeline, but obviously it worked, the 60,” he said. “That was probably the amount of time I needed. You don’t know if I tried to rush back sooner, maybe I would have had a setback. I let them do their job.
“Dave Walker did a great job with me down in Florida, getting me to calm down and relax a little bit and not try to rush it. And coming up here and staying on the schedule we made out. Even though yesterday I didn’t really want to throw that game, we stuck with it and it’s probably going to be for the best in the long term.”
Britton tossed a scoreless ninth inning at Single-A Frederick to end his rehab assignment.
“I feel good,” he said. “Excited to have the rehab behind me now. Physically, I feel great. Didn’t have any setbacks. The program worked as how it was intended, so now I’m looking forward to getting back to the team.”
Does he get the first save opportunity?
“We talked about it a little bit, me and Buck (Showalter) did,” he said. “Just to see, especially that first one. Hopefully, we’re blowing somebody out and I can just get an inning of work, but we’ll see how the game dictates it. But I’m just excited to get back to pitching. How he wants to use me right away doesn’t really matter.
Britton rushed back from his first stint on the disabled list. He wasn’t going to make the same mistake. The Orioles weren’t going to let him.
“I think the last time I came back, I thought I could manage it and pitch through something,” he said. “This time it just feels normal, how it felt last year, ‘15, ‘14, when there’s just no issues and not noticing anything and not thinking about it anymore. Whereas, when I came back in Boston, there was definitely some tightness still there. I was thinking I could probably pitch through it, but obviously that wasn’t the case.”
“We’ve had this conversation quite a few times now,” he said, smiling. “It’s just a matter of staying focused on what you can control down there and I say that every time that I’m here. But it really is true and it’s kind of been my mantra the last few years to just control what I can and be ready for whenever the phone rings, because really you never know when it could happen.”
Wilson has allowed three earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.
“I’ve feel good, I’ve felt really good lately,” he said. “I’ve been getting deep into games and just trying to command the zone, attack guys, be efficient, keep our team in rhythm. The same mantra that I usually have as a pitcher that you guys know. Just trying to challenge contact and compete as much as I can. Physically, I feel good, so just want to continue that.”
For however long that he’s with the club.
“As far as I know, just be ready whenever it happens, whenever they call my name,” he said. “The same as it’s always been.”
Wilson learned of his latest promotion after the Tides scratched him from last night’s start. Travel arrangements were made. He’s becoming a pro at it.
“I’ll tell you what, the suitcases are getting smaller and smaller,” he said. “Just pack them up nice and tight and get on the road.”
Update: Eric Thames and Travis Shaw homered in the fifth inning to increase the Brewers lead to 5-0.
Update II: Joey Rickard’s RBI single in the seventh inning reduced the lead to 5-1. Rickard replaced Mark Trumbo, who came out of the game with a bruised left calf after fouling a ball off his leg.
The run was unearned after Shaw’s throwing error while trying to turn a double play.
Update III: Thames homered off Wilson with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give Milwaukee a 6-1 lead.