MILWAUKEE (AP) — The throws that Milwaukee Brewers starter Matt Garza would like to take back most from his outing Friday night have nothing to do with his performance on the mound.
The right-handed veteran had two of Milwaukee’s four errors in a 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, throwing miscues that came back to haunt Garza even after his team rallied to tie from a four-run deficit.
But Billy Hamilton drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the ninth inning and closer Aroldis Chapman tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to finally shut down the Brewers.
Garza went seven innings and allowed seven hits and five runs, one earned. But the errors still irritated him after the game.
“The guys battled back and we lost it late, but we should have never been in that spot,” Garza said. “My stuff was too good tonight to do something dumb like that.”
Hamilton lined his single to right off Francisco Rodriguez (2-2), the Brewers’ closer pitching in a non-save situation. The hit spoiled a special night for Milwaukee, which unveiled its Wall of Honor before the game. Hall of Famer Hank Aaron and baseball Commissioner Bud Selig — the Brewers’ former owner — were among dignitaries at Miller Park.
Milwaukee rallied from a four-run deficit in the seventh on Carlos Gomez’s RBI double.
“Billy came up big time,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “That’s a huge hit … and certainly set the table for Chapman to come in and do his thing.”
Jonathan Broxton (2-0) tossed a scoreless eighth for the win, while Chapman got his 11th save.
The Brewers nearly overcame their sloppy play. Garza’s second error came after fielding a bunt by Reds starter Homer Bailey after calling off first baseman Mark Reynolds. His hard throw sailed wide of first and into the stands.
Garza put his hands on his hips in frustration after his second error of the game, but the trouble was just starting to brew.
Errors “hurt him today,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “Too bad because he had really good stuff today.”
Bailey later scored on Joey Votto’s single. Votto came around for a four-run lead after Jay Bruce’s double wasn’t fielded cleanly by Khris Davis, who was charged with an error.
The young left fielder atoned for the miscue with his opposite-field shot leading off the seventh in the seventh off the black Caterpillar ad affixed to the second deck above right field. Came on a night, too, when he posed for a picture with the iconic Aaron, who finished his stellar 23-year career in 1976 as a designated hitter for the Brewers in old County Stadium.
Bailey looked like he was well on his way to winning a fifth straight decision after allowing just one run and three hits through six innings. He even wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the fourth by getting Irving Falu to pop out.
No such luck in the seventh. After Davis’ homer, Bailey allowed two singles before Sam LeCure took over on the mound. Scooter Gennett followed with a solid RBI single to right before Jonathan Lucroy drove in another run on his 28th birthday by beating out a hard chopper to third.
But Hamilton ended up with the biggest hit of the night in the ninth.
“That was a big comeback win,” said Bailey, who gave up four runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. “So I think once you start picking up those kinds of wins, and coming back, it becomes contagious.”
NOTES: RHP Mat Latos will make his season debut Saturday for Cincinnati. Latos will be activated after spending the first two months of the season recovering from surgeries on his right elbow and left knee. Latos will bump Tony Cingrani (2-7) from the rotation, and Price said he wasn’t sure yet whether the left-hander would be demoted to Triple-A Louisville or sent to the bullpen. … Milwaukee plans to activate LHP Tom Gorzelanny before Saturday’s game. The reliever began the season on the DL following offseason shoulder surgery. … RHP Yovani Gallardo (4-4) will start Saturday for the Brewers.
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