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Gindl's blast ends Brewers' 3rd straight shutout of Marlins

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Since his most recent call-up from Triple-A Nashville, Caleb Gindl has mostly sat at the end of the Milwaukee Brewers' bench. His last action before Sunday came as a pinch hitter a week ago at Arizona.

Inserted into the starting lineup Sunday, Gindl was the Brewers' hero du jour, leading off the 13th inning with a solo home run -- the first of his major league career -- to the left field corner, giving the Brewers a 1-0 victory over the Miami Marlins at Miller Park.

"I was just looking for a ball I could drive into the left-center-field gap," Gindl said. "(I was) just trying to get something to hit a double and be in scoring position. I've never hit a walk-off homer in my life. That was the first one. Running around the bases was pretty special."

Milwaukee swept the three-game series, shutting out Miami in each game.

Gindl was one of the few Milwaukee batters to have any kind of success against Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez, who held the Brewers scoreless through seven innings, giving up just five hits and a walk. Alvarez struck out one.

"He was very good," Gindl said. "He was throwing hard and everything was moving a lot. That was another reason I told myself to stay short and try to hit the ball the other way."

In 76 games with Nashville, Gindl hit .294 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs. With the Brewers this season (14 games, six starts), Gindl is batting .259 with two RBIs.

"He was hot when he came up here," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "He didn't get a lot of playing time when he was here the first time, but he went back down and got hot right away, then comes back up here with us and swings the bat great.

"For him, hopefully that keeps him at least confident for a while. It's tough when you don't get to start much, so hopefully that will help him as a pinch hitter also."

Gindl's late-inning dramatics almost made Wily Peralta's latest gem an afterthought.

Coming into the game with a 2-0 record and a 0.42 ERA in three starts this month, Peralta dazzled from the first pitch, needing just seven more to get through the first inning. He wound up going eight scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Double plays in the fourth and seventh and catching Justin Ruggiano trying to steal to end the fifth helped Peralta's cause, as the young right-hander worked past the sixth for the fourth time in six games.

"He's throwing strikes," Roenicke said. "Today was probably the best I've seen him throw his slider. He threw it where he wanted to for strikes, and he could bury it in the dirt when he wanted to. The slider was really good today."

An error by Rickie Weeks put Derek Dietrich on to open the eighth. Dietrich moved to second on Ruggiano's groundout to third. Peralta struck out Rob Brantly for the second out, and after a conference on the mound with Roenicke, he finished the inning by getting pinch hitter Greg Dobbs to ground out to first.

"It's tough," said Miami manager Mike Redmond, whose team hasn't scored a run in 37 innings. "To see every single guy in the lineup struggle, I don't think I've ever seen that before. To get shut out in what I think is the best hitters' park in baseball is unbelievable."

While the Marlins' offense sputtered, Alvarez did his best to keep his team in the ball game in just his fourth start of the season.

"We put so much pressure on our pitchers because of our pitching," Redmond said. "It isn't fair to them."

The Brewers' best chance came in the third.

Jeff Bianchi led off with a base hit but was retired when Peralta hit into a double play. Norichika Aoki and Logan Schafer followed with singles, but Jean Segura lined an 0-2 fastball right back to Alvarez, who bobbled the ball but recovered in time to make the throw to first, ending the inning.

Martin Maldonado had a two-out single in the fourth, but Alvarez retired the next nine in order before Gindl's two-out single in the seventh. Gindl was left stranded, however, when Bianchi bounced out to second.

Mike Dunn, Chad Qualls and A.J. Ramos combined to throw four perfect innings after Alvarez's exit, but Ryan Webb (1-4) served up Gindl's homer at the start of his second inning.

John Axford (4-3) threw two shutout innings for the win. The Brewers also got one scoreless inning apiece from Francisco Rodriguez, Mike Gonzalez and Jim Henderson.

NOTES: This was baseball's longest scoreless game since July 17, 2001, when the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1-0 in 17 innings. ... Brewers pitchers have thrown a franchise-record 35 scoreless innings and have pitched eight shutouts in their last 30 games. ... Alvarez's two-out single in the third was his first career major league hit. ... Brewers CF Carlos Gomez did not play due to a sore elbow. Since going 4-for-5 against the New York Mets on July 5, Gomez is just 3-for-39 (.077) with two home runs and five RBIs.

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