Sexson, traded to the Diamondbacks for six players in the offseason, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and watched his replacement at first base, Lyle Overbay, go 3-for-4 with two RBIs in Milwaukee’s 4-2 win Tuesday night.
Altogether, the four everyday players who came over from Arizona in the Sexson trade collected eight hits for Milwaukee.
Sexson’s best swing resulted in a whistling comebacker that Ben Sheets somehow fielded to the side of the rubber, saving a run and starting a 1-2-5 putout that nailed pinch-runner Matt Kata trying to hustle back to third base in the sixth.
Sheets, who battled lower back problems all of last season, showed he was healthy on that play, manager Ned Yost suggested.
“He’s able to move around a lot better, he’s a lot more agile and nimble on the mound. And that ball that Richie hit back at him, he’d have never come close to making that play last year,” Yost said.
Sheets didn’t dispute that notion.
“And I tend to move out the way,” Sheets said. “I don’t even know how my glove got there, to tell you the truth. I mean, if you’ve seen me enough you know I’m not real good at balls back up through the box.
“So, maybe it just bounced into my glove, I don’t know. I’m shocked I even had my glove down there.”
So was Sexson.
“He was (upset) because Sheeter made such a great play on that ball up the middle,” Brewers slugger Geoff Jenkins said. “When I got on first, he was like, ‘How the heck did Sheeter get that ball?”’
Sheets, coincidentally, is living in Sexson’s area home.
“I think the rent just went up,” Jenkins said.
Sexson had something a little harsher in mind for Sheets. “I’m kicking him out,” Sexson said.
Sexson represented the go-ahead run when he came up in the eighth with two men on base and he fouled off two pitches straight back before Luis Vizcaino struck him out on a new pitch—a split fastball—down and away.
“When Richie was here, those are the situations you loved to see him in because he excelled so well,” Jenkins said.
Not this time.
“Unfortunately in this league when you miss those pitches you don’t get them back,” Sexson said. “I missed them. I like those situations. I’ll take them every time up, but I didn’t get it done.”
Sheets struck out Sexson on a full-count fastball in the first inning that looked a tad outside.
“He’s the kind of guy that one swipe of the bat can put your team down for good, and I didn’t want that to happen,” Sheets said.
That his unproductive game came in Milwaukee must have especially bothered Sexson.
“I had a rough night no matter whether you’re playing in Milwaukee or Houston,” Sexson said. “Wherever it may be, it’s frustrating to have a game like this.”
The D-Backs lost second baseman Roberto Alomar, who went on the 15-day DL with a broken bone in his right hand after getting plunked by a Sheets fastball in the sixth inning. Manager Bob Brenly expects Alomar to miss up to two months.
Sheets improved to 3-0 for the first time in his career and Dan Kolb pitched the ninth for his fourth save in four chances.
Sheets, limited to five innings in his last start because of a stiff back, allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. For the third straight outing he didn’t walk a batter, and he struck out four.
Overbay drove in Spivey from second base with a two-out single in the fourth to break a scoreless tie and added an insurance run with an RBI single in the seventh, scoring Counsell.
With the Diamondbacks falling to 4-9, Brenly was threatening some lineup changes.
“I’m not making any promises at this point,” he said. “We’re getting near the point where we need to start seeing some results. If we don’t, then we’re going to have to make some changes. It’s not a threat, it’s just what we haveto do.”
Danny Bautista extended his hitting streak to 12, tops in the NL, with a fifth-inning double for Arizona. … After starting the season with a major league-long 14 games without a day off before Monday’s break, the Brewers beganan 11-game, 13-day homestand.