Brewers 2, Marlins 0
The deceptive left-hander pitched six shutouts innings Sunday to help the Milwaukee Brewers end a five-game losing streak by beating the Florida Marlins 2-0.
Capuano allowed only six baserunners and erased one with a pickoff. Bill Hall and Brady Clark had RBI singles for the Brewers, who snapped their longest skid of the season with their fifth win in 20 games.
“Give credit to Capuano,” Hall said. “He was great. We just gave him enough runs to get by.”
Throwing mostly changeups and sliders, Capuano (6-6) allowed five hits and one walk before departing for a pinch hitter. It was the first time in 15 starts this season that the rookie didn’t give up a run.
“When the team is struggling, it’s always great to give it a little bit of a boost,” Capuano said.
Florida’s Jack McKeon became the latest opposing manager to complain that Capuano’s move to first is a balk, but first-base umpire Bill Hohn disagreed. Otherwise, McKeon had only good things to say about the rookie.
“That guy just dazzled us with offspeed stuff,” McKeon said. “He put us in a rut we couldn’t get out of.”
“You definitely want to get back out there and get it out of your mind, and then get on with the next one,” Kolb said. “The sooner you get out there, the better.”
The Brewers’ losing streak dropped them nine games back in the NL wild-card race. The defending World Series champion Marlins began the day seven games behind NL East-leading Atlanta, and 5 1/2 games behind wild-card leader Chicago.
“We’ve got to go into every series now hoping to win two out of three,” McKeon said. “Let’s be realistic. We’ve got to have a streak like that— unless everybody else goes haywire.”
Dontrelle Willis (8-8) allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings with a career-high 10 strikeouts for the Marlins, whose three-game winning streak ended.
Willis faced only nine batters in the first three innings, but gave up four hits in the fourth. Craig Counsell led off with a triple and scored on Hall’s single. Hall stole second and scored on a two-out single by Clark.
Both run-scoring hits came on good pitches, Willis said.
“They took good swings,” he said. “You can’t do anything but tip your hat. I felt I did well enough for us to win today, but we didn’t.”
Instead, the Brewers won in Miami for the first time since Aug. 8, 2002— exactly two years ago. They ended a streak of seven consecutive losses at Pro Player Stadium.
A crowd of 25,877 watched in occasional rain, and Florida’s lack of offense further dampened the fans’ enthusiasm. The Marlins’ struggling offense showed life in recent games, but Florida totaled just seven hits, never had a runner reach third base and was shut out for the fourth time.
Capuano, who never faced the Marlins before, lowered his ERA to 3.70.
“I’m still a rookie. I have a long way to go,” he said. “You want to be able to do it for years like other guys in the game have. It’s definitely off to a great start.”
Two baserunning mistakes hurt Florida in the sixth. Juan Pierre led off with a single, but was doubled off first on a soft liner to second base. Miguel Cabrera singled, then was picked off by Capuano.
Pierre said he had no excuse for his mistake.
“Bad baserunning,” he said. “You can’t get doubled up. I just got too far off and couldn’t get back.”
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin turned 52 on Sunday. … Willis has allowed three walks in the past 33 1-3 innings. … Marlins RF Juan Encarnacion was hit on the left hand by a pitch in the ninth, but said he felt fine after the game. … Brewers C Gary Bennett said he displaced his jaw in a collision while running the bases, but stayed in the game and felt better afterward. … The Marlins turned a 2-6-4-6 double play to end the third inning. With a runner at first, Capuano bunted, and catcher Mike Redmond threw to second for a forceout. The relay throw sailed past first baseman Jeff Conine and Capuano tried to advance, but Conine retrieved the ball and threw him out.