Baseball / Sports

Brewers bats can't back up strong outing by Estrada in loss to Jays

TORONTO -- On a day Marco Estrada was pretty good, Drew Hutchison proved to be even better.

Estrada allowed two solo home runs to the slugging Toronto Blue Jays, but that was it over six innings. Hutchison, meanwhile, struck out a career-high 10 batters in beating the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-1, Tuesday at Rogers Centre.

Jose Bautista homered in the first inning to get Toronto out to an early lead and Colby Rasmus' shot in the sixth put the Blue Jays ahead to stay in front of a sellout crowd of 45,088 celebrating Canada Day.

The loss snapped Milwaukee's four-game road winning streak.

"We had some (chances), but not a whole lot," said Brewer manager Ron Roenicke. "We had a couple opportunities, but we didn't get a lot of hits. A lot of strikeouts, not a lot of hits."

Estrada (7-5) allowed six hits and those two earned runs while walking one and striking out two. The two homers left him with a major-league-leading 26 allowed, but he very well could have left the game in the lead had Milwaukee been able to put together any sort of offense against Hutchison.

"I thought he threw the ball well," said Roenicke of Estrada, who for the first time in his last seven road starts limited the opposition to fewer than three runs.

"I mean, to keep these guys to two runs, he did a nice job."

The hardest-hit ball for the Brewers against Hutchison on the day might have come in their first at-bat, when Scooter Gennett scalded one down the first-base line only to be robbed of extra bases by a diving Edwin Encarnacion.

That seemed to set the tone for Milwaukee, which went on to strike out twice in each of the first four innings to leave the right-handed Hutchison just one punchout shy of his career high.

"I think he had a little extra life on his fastball," said Lyle Overbay, who 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Hutchison. "We kind of anticipated it, the ball was up and he got a lot of swings and misses on the ball up in the zone.

"The ball riding up a little bit, the extra life, kind of caught us off guard a little bit. Wasn't in the scouting report."

Toronto grabbed the early lead in the bottom of the first when Bautista, making his first start since June 22 due to an injured hamstring, crushed a two-out homer off the facing in the second deck.

Estrada settled in from there and allowed just a single before the Brewers finally reached against Hutchison in the fifth.

With two outs, Khris Davis hit a soft chopper up the middle that shortstop Jose Reyes fielded on the run. His throw to first was off target, however, and Davis slid in head-first to break up Hutchison's budding perfect game.

Rasmus led off the bottom of the fifth by homering to right but again, Estrada limited the damage to that one run.

"The pitch to Bautista, we saw him kind of leaning out that way," Estrada said. "I didn't make a great pitch, but he was all over it. So, whatever, you tip your hat. Nothing you can do about it.

"The one to Rasmus, I was trying to elevate the ball to him in. It was a decent pitch but it's just not where you want to throw him. Any lefty can drop the head on a fastball, and that's what he did."

Milwaukee got on the board in the sixth, with Gennett starting a two-out rally with a broken-bat single to left. Ryan Braun followed with a double to the base of the wall in right, driving in Gennett to cut the Blue Jays' lead to 2-1.

Jonathan Lucroy followed but couldn't drive Braun in to tie it up, instead grounding out to former teammate Juan Francisco at third.

The Brewers got themselves into position to tie the game or take the lead in the seventh but couldn't cash in.

Carlos Gomez led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on Aramis Ramirez's groundout. Davis was hit by a pitch next and went to second after the Blue Jays botched a pickoff play and he eluded the tag.

Overbay struck out before Mark Reynolds drew a walk on a 3-2 count to load the bases. Jean Segura followed by hitting the second pitch he saw hard but right at rightfielder Anthony Gose to end the threat.

Hutchison (6-6) departed having allowed three hits and one run while walking two and notching those 10 strikeouts.

Estrada allowed the first two batters to reach in the bottom of the seventh and then departed in favor of Zach Duke, who did a tremendous escape job to keep the deficit at one run.

"I thought I made good pitches today," Estrada said. "I just got hurt twice, still kept the team in the game. That's all you can really ask for."

Milwaukee had one final chance in the eighth, when reliever Aaron Loup hit pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks with a pitch to lead off, but Dustin McGowan came on and got Braun to hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

Toronto added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth against Rob Wooten on an RBI triple by Melky Cabrera and an RBI double by Encarnacion.

(c)2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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