After going 2-5 on their recent 7-game road trip, the Milwaukee Brewers returned to Miller Park and dropped an 8-4 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.
The Brewers started the game without one of the team’s top two players. Ryan Braun was unavailable due to illness. They also manager Ron Roenicke and hitting coach Dale Sveum ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Bob Davidson.
Nyjer Morgan was hit by a Jeff Niemann pitch, but on his way to first base, Davidson ruled that Morgan leaned into the pitch, forcing him to continue the at-bat instead of being awarded first base. That decision led to both ejections.
Niemann (2-4) tossed six scoreless innings in his return from a back injury, leading the Rays in their first-ever appearance at Miller Park.
Chris Narveson was cruising along through six innings himself but ran into trouble in the 7th. He ended up taking the loss (4-5). Narveson pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing 4 runs with 3 walks and strikeouts.
Evan Longoria homered in the win for the Rays. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy clubbed a solo home run for the Brewers in the loss.
The Brewers dropped out of first place, a half-game behind idle St. Louis. Game 2 of the series is tonight. Zach Greinke (6-2, 5.23 ERA) goes for the Brewers. Jeremy Hellickson (7-5, 3.09 ERA) goes for the Rays.