The Brewers lose their second straight to the Diamondbacks thanks to a no-punch offense once again

Struggling to stay in the playoff picture, the Milwaukee Brewers couldn’t have picked a worse time for an offensive flameout.

They managed nine hits Friday night, but all were singles as they left 11 runners on base and went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position while managing just one run in a 2-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Chase Field. .

The loss was the second straight against the Diamondbacks for the Brewers, who so far have scored once in a total of 13 singles in the series and have not played in three straight games.

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More importantly, Milwaukee fell to 3½ games out of the third wild card spot in the National League. And the deficit is now an almost insurmountable 7½ games in the Central Division, with 30 games left in the season and the St. Louis Cardinals keep rolling.

“Definitely, we’ve had to say it a lot recently,” manager Craig Counsell said on the show when asked about the offense’s inability to generate anything sustainable.

“Today was a weird game. We got a bunch of base hits, a bunch of singles and we didn’t have a lot of guys in scoring position. He didn’t play after that, really.

“Nine strikeouts, a bunch of walks — kind of a weird offensive night, for sure.”

The story going into the game was Eric Lauer facing Zach Davies, two pitchers who switched teams in November 2019 in a four-player trade between the Brewers and the San Diego Padres.

BOX SCORE: Diamondbacks 2, Brewers 1

Milwaukee scored an early run when, with runners on the corners and one out, Keston Hiura was singled off first base by Davies.

The initial call on the field was safe, but Arizona challenged and Hiura was ruled out. Omar Narváez followed with a fly ball to deep center that would allow Jace Peterson to tag easily and score.

Instead, it became the Brewers’ 11th straight scoreless game against the Diamondbacks. And, as it turned out, a mental error that would prove costly as the game went on.

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The scoreless streak reached 13 and was on the verge of reaching 14 when Willy Adames – celebrating his 27th birthday – singled with two outs.

That ended the night for Davies at 91 pitches.

But his reliever, left-hander Kyle Nelson, came on and walked the first three batters he faced in Rowdy Tellez, Hunter Renfroe and Andrew McCutchen, with the free pass to McCutchen pushing for Milwaukee’s first run since the seventh Wednesday in four games against of Pittsburgh.

Peterson followed with the hit, dropping the Brewers to 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position.

The lead didn’t last long.

Lauer, who had faced the minimum through the first four innings with four hits, allowed four straight hits — two doubles and then two singles — as the Diamondbacks rallied to right to go ahead, 2-1.

He returned to the plate just as quickly and should have gone seven innings for the third time in his last six starts if not for an error by Kolten Wong on what was likely a double-play grounder.

Hustle by Adames then put the runner out at second. Then, with the runner on third and two outs on Stone Garrett, Arizona contested a foul call that was overturned and changed to catcher’s interference on Narváez.

Hoby Milner finished the inning for Lauer, who allowed six hits, two runs and didn’t walk a batter for the first time since May 20. He also struck out five.

“It was a three-hit streak,” Counsell said of Lauer’s clinching runs. “Eric pitched great. He was just pounding the strike zone. He came out, he pitched really well. He was very sharp from the start.”

The Brewers offense produced three hits over the final four innings against what was a shaky Diamondbacks bullpen entering the series.

Wong singled with one out in the ninth, but didn’t go any further.

“You go 4⅓ (innings) against their bullpen and hope you put something together, and I guess we did against the first guy,” Counsell said. “But the next four innings we couldn’t do much. We got some runners on base, but no serious rallies.”

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This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: No-drill offense dooms Brewers once again in Arizona

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