Starting pitchers that struggle to get through the fourth and fifth innings and an offense that struggles to produce in the clutch. If you were playing Jeopardy, the correct answer would be: Who are the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers saw their losing streak reach three-games on Tuesday night, falling 8-3 to the Tigers in their series opener in Detroit.
Adrian Houser allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss. He fell to 1-4 with a 5.48 ERA this season and 0-4 with a 7.45 ERA in his last six starts. Houser was cruising along early, but found trouble in the fifth, when the Tigers put five runs on the board to break the game open.
The Brewers struggling offense was 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position until breaking through with a three-run ninth inning. By that time, the Tigers had built a 8-0 lead.
The Brewers collected 10 hits on the night, but scored just three times. The Brewers put their leadoff man aboard in four of the first five innings, but they grounded into double plays in the third, fourth and fifth.
Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull, who blew a lead last week in Milwaukee, held the Brewers scoreless for six innings before turning the game over to the bullpen.
The Brewers have now reached the two-thirds mark of the shortened 60-game season. They’re 18-22 and have fallen out of the top eight teams in the National League with 20-games left. The top eight teams make the expanded MLB playoffs.
They’ll close out the two-game series this afternoon, sending Corbin Burnes (2-0, 2.35 ERA) to the mound against Detroit’s Matthew Boyd (1-5, 6.64).
Before the game, reliever Cory Knebel was activated from the injured list and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Knebel returned after working through a hamstring injury.