Milwaukee's home struggles continue in late-night loss

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By Tom Haudricourt
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MILWAUKEE--Offensive frustration was the name of the game Tuesday night as the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres took turns putting the fans to sleep at Miller Park.

The Padres finally struck a decisive blow when Chase Headley, a once-great hitter trying to find his stroke again, hammered a 12th-inning home run to give his team a 2-1 victory over the Brewers.

Headley’s homer off Alfredo Figaro, pitching his third inning of relief, snapped a 1-1 deadlock that had stood since both teams scored in the fifth inning. The loss dropped the Brewers’ home record to 6-5, compared to their 9-1 mark on the road.

It should have been no surprise that runs would be at a premium. Milwaukee entered the game with a 2.66 team earned run average, second in the National League, and San Diego was right behind with a 2.83 ERA.

Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo turned in a quality start for the fifth time in as many games in what evolved into a tense pitching duel. Gallardo (1.43 earned run average) went seven innings, allowing just five hits and the one run with two walks and four strikeouts.

The Brewers spent much of the early going threatening to score against Padres starter Ian Kennedy without success. When Jonathan Lucroy opened the second inning with a single and Khris Davis ripped a double to left, the Brewers had runners on second and third with no outs.

That scoring opportunity quickly fizzled when Mark Reynolds struck out, Jean Segura fouled out and Gallardo also went down swinging.

The Brewers were back at it in the fourth when Carlos Gomez led off with a single, stole second and continued to third on a throwing error by catcher Yasmani Grandal. With two down, Kennedy walked Aramis Ramirez and Lucroy followed by battling for an 11-pitch walk to load the bases.

Kennedy quickly regained his control, striking out Davis looking on three pitches. At that point, Kennedy had thrown 73 pitches to record nine outs but had three zeroes on the board.

The Padres posed few threats against Gallardo through the first four innings. He worked around a one-out double by Chris Denorfia in the third and rebounded from a pair of two-out walks in the fourth.

That changed in the fifth when Yonder Alonso punched an opposite-field double down the left-field line and Denorfia collected an infield hit to put runners on the corners with no outs. Kennedy dropped a bunt down the third-base line and Gallardo tried to shovel it barehanded to Lucroy as Alonso broke home but he couldn’t get a grip on the ball as the run scored.

When Everth Cabrera bunted through a pitch, Lucroy helped Gallardo by throwing down to second and picking off Denorfia. Cabrera took a called third strike he didn’t like and Gallardo knocked down Will Venable’s smash up the middle to record the out at first.

Kennedy appeared to tweak a leg muscle or get a cramp in the bottom of the inning but convinced everyone he was OK. Perhaps he wasn’t because Scooter Gennett promptly ripped his first home run of the season to knot the score.

The two offenses settled into long naps after Gennett’s homer. After Gallardo finished his seven-inning stint, Zach Duke and Jim Henderson chipped in with 1-2-3 innings, compiling five strikeouts between them.

San Diego’s bullpen also came through after Kennedy’s six-inning outing to keep the game tied. The Brewers had a chance to pull out a victory in the ninth when Cabrera threw away a routine grounder by Segura, who then stole second base. With two down, Gomez flied out to shallow center and the game lapsed into extra innings.

The Padres had a chance to push across the go-ahead run in the 10th against Figaro, making his first appearance since being recalled from Class AAA Nashville on Monday. But, with a runner on second and two down, Reynolds made a lunging stab of Cabrera’s sharp grounder down the line and made it to the bag in time with a diving effort.

The Brewers had their chance to end it in the bottom of the inning after Gennett led off with a single to left. With two down, Gennett stole second, prompting the Padres to intentionally walk Lucroy, a tactic that worked when Davis flied out to center on the first pitch he saw from right-hander Donn Roach.

Last updated: 11:50 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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