Brewers' Nelson tosses complete game
MILWAUKEE—With a tired Brewers bullpen in dire need of a break, Jimmy Nelson carried the load all by himself Sunday.
Nelson struck out 10 in his first career complete game and Milwaukee got home runs from Hernan Perez and Manny Pina in a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.
"This is a guy picking everybody up and giving those guys a day off," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That's what you need some days. That's what big-time performance does — not only wins you the game, but gives guys rest."
Counsell said closer Corey Knebel and relievers Oliver Drake and Jared Hughes were not available because they needed a breather.
Nelson (5-3) allowed six hits and two walks while throwing 118 pitches in his 89th major league start. He gave up only an unearned run and lowered his ERA to 3.28.
"I've gone seven-plus or eight a couple of times, but that ninth inning definitely is nice," Nelson said. "Counsell showed confidence in letting us go deep."
Leading off the sixth, Perez hit his 10th home run into the Brewers' bullpen off starter Luis Perdomo (1-4). One batter later, Pina connected on a 1-2 pitch for his fourth of the season to give Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.
Perdomo gave up eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts in six innings. He was helped by three double plays in the first five innings.
"He was in trouble in the first, the second, the third, the fifth," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He navigated a lot of trouble today. Some good defense behind him."
Perdomo has lasted at least six innings in four of his last five starts.
"I did pretty well," he said. "I was just trying to be aggressive with my pitches and get some double plays, which I did."
San Diego scored in the fifth after Cory Spangenberg reached on an infield single and advanced to second on Nelson's throwing error. Erick Aybar hit an RBI single.