Brewers suffer first sweep of season at Toronto
TORONTO--The Milwaukee Brewers came up empty on their two-day trip to Canada, absorbing their first series sweep of the season.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a game-ending, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth innings and the Toronto Blue Jays sent the Brewers to their third straight defeat, 7-4 Wednesday.
“Today was a tough game to lose,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
Milwaukee had not been swept in 27 series before this brief matchup of division leaders. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers have not been swept this season.
“We had good games with them; they’re a good team,” said reliever Brandon Kintzler, who gave up Encarnacion’s homer. “First place against first place.”
Jose Bautista and Juan Francisco also connected for the Blue Jays, who have hit a major league-high 113 home runs this season.
Milwaukee lost for the fourth time in 14 road games. They’re 27-17 away from home this season.
Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta came in riding a streak of five straight wins but couldn’t keep it going. He allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings.
Peralta walked three and struck out four.
“Wily was all over the place again with his command but he did manage to give us innings and keep it tied,” Roenicke said. “We’ve got to get him locked in better and making some consistent pitches.”
Facing Will Smith (1-1), Jose Reyes led off the ninth with a double. Melky Cabrera was intentionally walked and Kintzler came on to face Anthony Gose, who failed to advance the runners with a bunt as Reyes was forced at third.
Darin Mastroianni struck out, but Encarnacion ended it with his 26th home run.
“He hanged it, I banged it,” Encarnacion said, calling his walk-off shot “the best moment you can have for any player.”
Encarnacion is tied for the major league lead with White Sox rookie Jose Abreu and Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz.
Kintzler fell behind Encarnacion 3-1 before the homer.
“I should have just bounced a sinker and walked him or thrown the slider away off the plate,” Kintzler said. “It definitely didn’t go where I planned it.”
Casey Janssen (3-0) worked one inning for the win.
Brewers outfielder Khris Davis was held out with a strained left shoulder. Davis, who left Tuesday’s game in the seventh after he was injured sliding into second base, is expected to return Friday at Cincinnati. The Brewers are off today.
With Bautista starting at designated hitter for the second straight game and Adam Lind at first base, Cabrera moved to right field and Encarnacion made his fourth career appearance in left. Bautista, who has been bothered by a strained left hamstring, hopes to return to the outfield Thursday.
Milwaukee opened the scoring in the first on an RBI single by Carlos Gomez but Toronto answered in the bottom half when Bautista clubbed a two-out homer, his second in two days.
The Brewers reclaimed the lead with a three-run third. Ryan Braun hit a two-run triple and scored on Jonathan Lucroy’s sacrifice fly.
Adam Lind hit an RBI double in the bottom half and the Blue Jays tied it in the fourth on a two-run shot to right by Francisco, his first homer since June 20.
Roenicke and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons were both ejected for arguing on separate plays in the eighth.
Roenicke was ejected for the first time this season after arguing with first base umpire Phil Cuzzi that Toronto’s Steve Tolleson had swung at a two-strike pitch that hit him in the right foot.
“Phil said he didn’t swing on it,” Roenicke said. “So I started to turn away and I looked at Phil and I just said ‘You missed it,’ and he kicked me out. That’s a really bad job on Phil’s part. If he can’t take more than that, then he shouldn’t be doing this.”
One batter later, Tolleson was ruled safe as he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Bench coach Jerry Narron came out to argue and the call was overturned following review.
That brought Gibbons out for an argument with plate umpire and crew chief Greg Gibson, leading to the second ejection for Gibbons this season.