Posted April 07, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Los Angeles Dodgers
Pinch hitter Eric Hinske belted a long two-run homer in the 11th inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7 on Sunday to complete a three-game series sweep.
With Cliff Pennington aboard following a leadoff double, Hinske drove a 1-2 pitch from John Axford (0-1) onto the concourse beyond the wall in center field. Hinske raised his right arm as he rounded second with his eighth career pinch-hit homer.
Tony Sipp (1-0) struck out two in a perfect 10th inning and Heath Bell held on for his first save after J.J. Putz blew an opportunity in the ninth.
Jonathan Lucroy had a one-out RBI single, but Rickie Weeks and pinch hitter Kyle Lohse - a starting pitcher forced into duty after manager Ron Roenicke ran through his available players - struck out to end the game.
Ailing slugger Ryan Braun stepped into the on-deck circle with Weeks at the plate, but Roenicke called him back into the dugout after he struck out.
Aaron Hill also had a two-run homer as Arizona earned its fourth consecutive win and improved to 5-1 for the third time in franchise history. The Diamondbacks also won five of their first six games in 2000 and 2012.
Milwaukee has dropped five in a row since it beat Colorado 5-4 in 10 innings on opening day. Yovani Gallardo was hit hard again, yielding four runs and nine hits in six innings, but remained unbeaten in eight career starts against Arizona.
The Brewers played without Braun, who is out with a neck injury, and shortstop Jean Segura was pulled before the fifth inning due to a bruised left quad. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez went on the disabled list on Saturday with a sprained left knee, and first baseman Corey Hart is expected to miss the first month of the season recovering from right knee surgery.
Segura was injured when Gerardo Parra made a hard slide into his leg to break up a potential double play in the third inning. Segura tried to stay in the game, earning a loud cheer from the Miller Park crowd, but was replaced in the field before Arizona batted in the fifth.
The Diamondbacks carried a 6-4 lead into the ninth, but the Brewers jumped all over Putz to send the game to extra innings. It was the first blown save of the season for the closer.
Pinch hitter Josh Prince started the rally with his first career hit, a long drive to center for a leadoff double. Norichika Aoki then singled to right on the next pitch, giving him three RBIs on his bobblehead day.
Aoki swiped second and scampered home on Jonathan Lucroy's one-out single, delighting the Miller Park crowd of 37,733. The Brewers had a chance to end the game right there, but Lucroy was stranded when Weeks and Alex Gonzalez struck out to end the inning.
Aoki had a career-high four hits and Gonzalez belted a solo homer in the fourth, but it wasn't enough as the Brewers once again struggled to contain Paul Goldschmidt and Hill.
Goldschmidt bounced a two-run single into center field in the third and Hill connected in the seventh, driving Burke Badenhop's third pitch over the wall in left to lift Arizona to a 6-3 lead. Hill also had a solo shot in the Diamondbacks' 9-2 win on Saturday night.
Hill went 3 for 6 and is batting .490 (25 for 51) with three homers and eight RBIs in 12 career games against Milwaukee. Goldschmidt had six hits and five RBIs in the series, and is hitting .400 (12 for 30) in eight games against the Brewers.
NOTES: If everything goes well, the Diamondbacks think they will get OF Cody Ross back before they open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 12. Ross is rehabbing a strained left calf. ... Arizona LF Gerardo Parra went 1 for 6 and is batting .414 (12 for 30). ''He is off to a good start,'' manager Kirk Gibson said. ''It certainly helps him to be playing every day. (Martin) Prado has been a great influence on him. He is happy.'' ... RHP Marco Estrada (0-0, 7.20 ERA) gets the ball when Milwaukee opens a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Monday. Estrada will be opposed by RHP Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60) in the first game of the season at Wrigley Field. ... Arizona hosts Pittsburgh on Monday in the opener of a three-game set. Diamondbacks RHP Trevor Cahill (0-1, 4.76) is slated to face LHP Wandy Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00).
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
MILWAUKEE Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun's neck was feeling better Sunday, but he wasn't in the lineup against Arizona.
The five-time All-Star was scratched from Friday's lineup after suffering a neck strain during batting practice and hasn't played since.
"As soon as I'm able to get to a point to where I have any chance to contribute and play, I'...
MILWAUKEE -- The news could have been a lot worse, but Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a sprained left knee after an MRI revealed no tears.
To take his place on the roster, the team recalled utility man Josh Prince from Triple-A Nashville. Though Ramirez may not need the full 15 days to recover, the Brewers couldn...
Monday afternoon, the Brewers were leading the Cubs 7-2 going into the bottom of the ninth. Brandon Kintzler took the mound, but after three straight batters reached base, he was replaced by Jim Henderson. Henderson allowed a little bit of damage, but he successfully slammed the door, picking up a save. Henderson pitched in part because John Axford threw 18 pitches on Sunday. Henderson...
Monday was a pretty mundane day for Milwaukee Brewers pitcher John Axford as he literally was given the axe as the closer in the Milwaukee bullpen. Taking over until Axford gets back on track is Jim Henderson.
In 2 and 2/3 innings this season, Axford had allowed four home runs and a 20.25 ERA. Don’t over think yourselves though, as Axford does have 81 combined saves the past...
MILWAUKEE This was certainly not how the Milwaukee Brewers wanted to start their season -- especially having been gifted with six games at home.
Not only did Sunday's 8-7 extra-innings loss to Arizona drop Milwaukee to 1-5 on the young season -- its worst six-game start since 2003 -- but the Brewers lost three more starters to injuries in the process.
Bruised in the lineup...
MILWAUKEE -- It was only a matter of time before the question got asked. Has Ron Roenicke had any thoughts of changing closers?
Due to a tired bullpen, John Axford came out for the 11th inning Sunday after working a scoreless 10th. Following a leadoff double by Diamondbacks shortstop Cliff Pennington, Wisconsin native and pinch hitter Eric Hinske belted a curveball to center for...
MILWAUKEE -- After a one-day hiatus, Milwaukee's starting pitching struggles continued Saturday night.
In the rotation with a short leash, Mike Fiers put the Brewers in another early hole, allowing six runs in five innings as Milwaukee fell, 9-2, to the Diamondbacks, its fourth straight loss since a win on Opening Day.
It was simply a performance Fiers couldn't have. After...
The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a great start thanks in large part to an impressive offensive surge. The Pittsburgh Pirates, in contrast, haven't been able to get anything going at the plate.
The Diamondbacks will go for a fifth consecutive win Monday night as they open a three-game set against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, who will try to avoid a fifth straight defeat...
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was scratched from
last night’s lineup due to neck spasms, according to Tom Haudricourt of The
#Brewers scratch Ryan Braun with neck spasms that began during batting practice. Kris Davis gets first major league start.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 5, 2013
Braun began experiencing the spasms during batting...
Actual major-league pitcher Brandon McCarthy is the guest on this brief edition of FanGraphs Audio, recorded live on tape from the bowels of Miller Park.
Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.
You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.
Audio after the jump. (Approximately 8 min play time.)
Jason Kubel, Paul Goldschmidt and Aaron Hill each homered in Arizona's 9-2 victory over the injury-depleted Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
Kubel's two-run homer gave the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Goldschmidt then hit a two-run drive in the fourth to make it 6-2. Hill's solo shot capped the scoring in the eighth after his RBI double in the first gave...
Shortstop Jean Segura has left the Milwaukee Brewers' game against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a bruised left quad.
Segura was injured when Gerardo Parra made a hard slide into his leg to break up a potential double play in the third inning. Segura was down for a bit, but stayed in Sunday's game after a brief jog in the outfield.
The injury-riddled Brewers then pulled...
Marco Estrada pitched seven effective innings and doubled home a run Monday, helping the Milwaukee Brewers stop a five-game slide with a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the season at Wrigley Field.
With a strong wind blowing out at the start of the game - a rare sight for an April date at the iconic neighborhood ballpark - Estrada allowed two runs and five...
I’ve been watching a couple Brewers games lately and I read a really good article by Baseball Prospectus this morning that has prompted me to rethink my position on Brewers’ skipper Ron Roenicke. Previously–specifically in my pre-2012 MLB manager rankings–I have been very supportive of Roenicke and I’ve thrown some pretty serious compliments his way. However, I’m not...