What was a competitive pitcher’s duel in Atlanta spun out of control for the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday when relief pitcher Will Smith was ejected for a foreign substance on his right arm in the seventh inning.
Milwaukee’s bullpen would fall apart after the ejection, allowing six more runs in what amounted to a seven-run inning and led to a 10-1 Braves win to open a four-game series.
Smith entered the game with the Brewers trailing 2-1 and runners at the corners. He then hit the first batter he faced to load up the bases. Atlanta manager Freddie Gonzalez then notified the umpires of a shiny substance on Smith’s right arm a couple pitches into the next at-bat.
The umpires gathered around Smith, checked the substance, and promptly threw the lefty out of the game. Braves hitters then registered five consecutive hits off relievers Neal Cotts and Michael Blazek to blow the game open.
Starter Matt Garza (2-6) had held the Braves to one run on two hits prior to the seventh. He takes the loss and officially gets tagged for four runs on five hits going six-and-a-third innings.
Milwaukee’s lone run came in the when Ryan Braun followed a Carlos Gomez walk and Gerardo Parra single to plate Gomez with a sacrifice fly to center.
Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (4-1) kept the Brewers bats in check with two hits allowed and eight strikeouts.
Milwaukee (15-27) is now 7-12 away from Miller Park and 3-4 on their current road trip. Wily Peralta (1-5) gets the starting call against Alex Wood (2-2) with first pitch at 6:35 p.m.