Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Published 8:30 p.m. CT June 21, 2021 | Updated 11:51 p.m. CT June 21, 2021
PHOENIX – The streak wasn’t going to last forever.
But the Milwaukee Brewers were hopeful it wouldn’t be while they were in town.
An early injury Brett Anderson set things askew, an already taxed bullpen had to cover the rest of the game and the offense went back into mothballs as the Arizona Diamondbacks snapped their epic 17-game losing skid at the Brewers’ expense, 5-1, at Chase Field on Monday night.
Anderson lasted only 1⅓ innings before being forced to exit after tweaking his right knee. That left four relievers to cover the rest of the game – not the best-case scenario the night after concluding a wild four-game series at Coors Field.
The Diamondbacks, playing in front of a sparse crowd that included a vocal section of Brewers fans, won for the first time since June 1 – two days prior to being swept in a four-game series at American Family Field.
BOX SCORE: Diamondbacks 5, Brewers 1
The game started well enough for the Brewers, as red-hot Kolten Wong narrowly missed homering to lead off the game and instead settled for a double off the wall in right.
A ground ball by Christian Yelich moved Wong to third, then with two outs Avisaíl García singled to center to plate Wong and give Milwaukee the quick lead.
Anderson retired the side in order in the bottom of the frame, sandwiching a pair of groundouts around a strikeout as he carried over the good vibes from his previous start – a seven-inning, one-hit, nine-strikeout gem in a loss to Cincinnati.
The tenor changed quickly the following inning, however.
After Anderson grounded into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play to retire the Brewers, he proceeded to surrender five consecutive singles as the Diamondbacks took a 2-1 lead.
It could have been 3-1 were it not for a strong throw from García in right field after a Stephen Vogt single that cut Pavin Smith down at home.
Arizona starter Merrill Kelly, up next, was two pitches into his at-bat when head athletic trainer Scott Barringer, manager Craig Counsell and pitching coach Chris Hook all visited Anderson on the mound.
After a brief discussion, Anderson (2-5) left the game – but not before he had his hat and belt examined by umpires as he made his way off the field. Monday marked the day Major League Baseball implemented its crackdown on pitchers utilizing foreign substances.
Nothing untoward was discovered on Anderson’s person, and he finished his trip to the dugout shortly thereafter.
Trevor Richards came on and walked Kelly, then Ketel Marte singled in another run. Strikeouts of Josh Rojas and Asdrubal Cabera ended the inning and allowed the Brewers to catch their collective breath a bit.
But it didn’t make much difference.
Handed the lead, Kelly – who came in with a 2-7 record and 5.40 earned run average – became a ground-ball machine, generating five over the next three innings while retiring nine consecutive batters before Jackie Bradley Jr. snapped the streak with a one-out double to right in the fifth.
But with his bullpen already taxed, manager Craig Counsell had to allow his third pitcher of the night, Hoby Milner, to bat for himself.
It was his third major-league plate appearance, and he struck out. Wong followed with a flyout, leaving Milwaukee’s offense stuck in neutral.
Kelly ultimately scattered five hits and walked one while striking out five in becoming the first Diamondbacks pitcher to go seven innings since late May.
Jake Cousins, the third reliever into the game for the Brewers, struck out five over two innings while making his major-league debut. He was a tad wild, walking one batter and hitting another, but his slider was impressive.
Tuesday: Brewers at Diamondbacks, 8:40 p.m. Milwaukee RHP Freddy Peralta (6-2, 2.28) vs. Arizona RHP Zac Gallen (1-2, 3.99). TV: Bally Sports Wisconsin. Radio: AM-620.