Matt Garza and reliever Wily Peralta give up four runs each as the Milwaukee Brewers get crushed at home by Pittsburgh 8-1 on Monday night. Garza was perfect through two innings before he gave up a two run single to Adam Frazier in the third and a two run homer to Andrew McCutcheon in the sixth as the loss dropped Garza to 3-3. Peralta surrendered his four runs in the seventh, as McCutcheon got another R-B-I with a single — and it gave the right handed Peralta a bloated E-R-A of ten-point-five-three in nine relief appearances since being demoted from the starting rotation. The Brewers’ only run was a homer from Travis Shaw in the second which extended a team record of 16 consecutive runs by homers. Gerrit Cole gave up just three hits for the win, improving his mark to 5-6 as his pitched seven innings for the second time in a row — and Milwaukee reduced its National League Central lead to one and one half games on the second place Chicago Cubs.
Brewers’ second baseman Jonathan Villar is making a quick recovery from a strained lower back he suffered eleven days ago. He’s expected to get a minor league rehab assignment this week, and manager Craig Counsell says it should not be a long one. After winning the Major League stolen base title last season, Villar has struggled in 2017 with a .283 on base percentage and a .213 batting average — while his current replacement Eric Sogard is hitting .351 with a .993 on base plus slugging percentage. Counsell says he’ll go with the players who can help win games — and while Sogard is in that role now, the skipper says there will be room for Villar to get some playing time when he returns. Also, the Brewers have released reliever Neftali Feliz, who was designated for assignment last week after struggling.