On Friday and Saturday, the Milwaukee Brewers offense did just enough to win. On Sunday, that minimal offensive effort wasn’t enough, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 in the series finale at Tropicana Field.
The Brewers managed just six hits and the only run came on Orlando Arcia’s sixth-inning home run. The Brewers finished the game going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Jimmy Nelson tossed eight strong innings, allowing only a single run. Tampa Bay’s Steven Souza, Jr. clubbed the second pitch from reliever Jacob Barnes in the ninth over the outfield wall, giving the Rays a walk-off victory. It’s the first walk-off win via a home run for the Rays dating back to May 22, 2014, the longest such streak in the majors.
Nelson walked just two and struck out nine, throwing 107 pitches in eight innings. A win would have moved the Brewers back into first place in the Central after the Cubs lost to the Washington Nationals.
Domingo Santana left the game in the first inning after he was hit in the right wrist by a Chris Archer fastball. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the injury is a wrist contusion and Santana would be day-to-day.
The Brewers got singles from Eric Thames and Hernan Perez to start the ninth inning, but instead of bunting with Manny Pina at the plate, Counsell let him swing away. Pina hit the ball hard but bounced into a double play. Keon Broxton then grounded out to end the Brewers ninth with no runs to show.
With shutouts the two previous nights, Nelson pitched a 1-2-3 first, which extended the Brewers’ streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 23. But the Rays would score in the second inning to end that streak.
It’s the second time this season that Nelson pitched at least eight innings and allowed only one run, yet came away with a no-decision.
The Brewers head to Minneapolis to open a series against the Twins. They’ll play two in Minneapolis, before the two teams head to Milwaukee for two more on Wednesday and Thursday. Brent Suter (2-2, 3.04) gets the start in the series opener tonight. The Twins will go with their ace, Ervin Santana (12-7, 3.28) with the first pitch set for 7:10 p.m.