Ohka was brilliant in his first start for Milwaukee after being acquired from the Washington Nationals for infielder Junior Spivey on June 10. He allowed nine hits, struck out six and walked none to blank the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4-0 on Tuesday for a complete-game effort in his first start in a Brewers uniform.
It was Ohka’s first career shutout and stopped Milwaukee’s five-game losing streak.
“He picked everybody up, especially when we needed a win and we’re having trouble scoring runs,” manager Ed Yost added. “He goes out and shuts them out. It says a lot good for him.”
The trade came less than a week after the Japanese right-hander was fined by the Nationals for showing disrespect to manager Frank Robinson while being removed from a game against Florida. Ohka turned his back to the manager as he walked to the mound. Robinson then had to grab the ball out of Ohka’s hand to make the pitching change.
“After joining a new team this was a chance to show what I can do. I never thought about a complete-game shutout,” the Japanese pitcher said through an interpreter.
The Brewers are coming off a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. Milwaukee went 3-6 on its road trip, but ended it with two wins after calling a players-only meeting Friday night. The main message was to relax and have fun.
“It helped,” closer Derrick Turnbow said. “Any time you come together as a team and have a meeting and get everything on the table it definitely helps. And when you win you have more fun, there’s no question about that.”
The Cubs didn’t have much fun in New York over the weekend.
The slumping Cubs have dropped four in a row and six of seven.