by Jerry Feitelberg
AP photo: The Milwaukee Brewers Kirk Nieuwenhuis is congratulated by Martin Maldonado after hitting a home run off A’s pitcher Liam Hendriks in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at the Oakland Coliseum
OAKLAND–On a beautiful and sunny Wednesday in Oakland, the Milwaukee Brewers, behind the strong effort by Junior Guerra, defeated the A’s 4-2 to earn a split of the two-game series. The Brewers won three-of-four from the A’s this year in interleague play. The Brewers, who used to visit the Coliseum on a regular basis when they were in the American League, made their first appearance here since 2002.
The A’s rookie Starter, Daniel Mengden, made his third Major League start and, for the third time, came away with the loss. Mengden has pitched well in all three starts, but the A’s have given him little run support. Today’s effort was a “quality” start as he pitched six innings and allowed seven hits and three runs. Unfortunately, one of the hits was a two-run job by Brewers’ second baseman Scooter Gennett. Mengden was very effective for the first four innings but a couple of defensive lapses in the fifth, including one by Mengden himself, did him in. On the other hand, the Brewers Junior Guerra was on his game. Guerra pitched seven innings and allowed just five hits, one of which was a home run by Coco Crisp.
The A’s scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Coco Crisp took Guerra deep for his sixth of the year. The Brewers roared back in the top of the fifth scoring three times to take the lead for good. The A’s scored a run in the seventh but Milwaukee got it back in the eighth. Their center fielder, Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered off A’s reliever Liam Hendricks. There was no more scoring as Brewer reliever, Tyler Thornburg closed out the game for his second save of the year. Brewers win 4-2.
Game Notes- Hitting stars for the Brewers were Scooter Gennett with three hits including his big two-run homer. Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit his third homer of the year, and two of them have come at the expense of A’s pitching.
The A’s finished their homestand with a record of 3-6 and are 4-13 in their last seventeen games. They are now thirteen games under .500 and own a record of 29-42. The A’s go on a six-game road trip with stops in Anaheim and San Francisco before returning home to face the Giants in Oakland on June 29th. The A’s will play four against the Angels and Thursday’s game will feature Kendall Graveman pitching for the A’s, and Tim Lincecum will be on the hill for Los Angeles.
The two teams played the game in two hours and fifty-three minutes, and 13,586 were on hand to watch the A’s fall to Milwaukee.