"I thought for Cody being down 19 days or whatever, that he did a really good job," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "First time through the order he was really good, second time, I think he was starting to get up a little bit. There were probably more fly balls than he's normally [getting]. I thought he was starting to tire a little bit. But, I thought what he did was great. That was probably farther than we thought he might get."
Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson couldn't find his command, walking a career-high eight batters -- to go with a wild pitch -- in just 3 1/3 innings. He had never walked more than five batters in any of his 38 starts prior to Wednesday. Nelson also allowed four hits, leading to five earned runs. He struck out four.
"As far as things that I can control, that's the worst game I've had in a long time." Nelson said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Double digits for Davis: Brewers left fielder Khris Davis continued a power-packed August with another home run. His second-inning solo shot gave Davis 10 home runs this month, for the 26th double-digit homer month in franchise history and the first since Prince Fielder homered 10 times in June 2011. More >
Two-out takeover: After Davis' second-inning homer, the Indians looked like they might go down quietly in the bottom half of the frame, with the first two batters making quick outs. Instead, they strung together a two-out rally, with five consecutive batters reaching base and punctuated by a bases-loaded double by Kipnis that gave the Indians a 3-1 lead. The runs scored by Cleveland in the third and fourth innings each came with two outs as well.
"That was great," Francona said of Kipnis' bases-clearing double. "It just seemed like it loosened everything up. One, you don't want to play down one, but all of a sudden you're up a couple, that makes it better for the guys."
Wild night: Pitching while rain fell in the early going didn't appear to suit Nelson, who lost for the first time since the All-Star break. His eight walks were the most issued by a Brewers pitcher since Doug Davis walked eight Cardinals in 2006. Two of Nelson's stood out; in the second inning, Nelson walked Nos. 8 and 9 hitters Jerry Sands and Jose Ramirez with two outs to load the bases for Kipnis' go-ahead double. Nelson also threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the third. More >
Bullpen bears down: The Brewers' had opportunities to strike back in both the seventh and eighth innings, getting the first two men aboard in each frame. However, Indians reliever Zach McAllister stranded both in the seventh by striking out two of the next three batters after allowing the two leadoff baserunners, and Bryan Shaw struck out the side in the eighth to strand his two runners.
"We put pressure on them in the fifth, the seventh, the eighth," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "But we're missing that 'next' hit."
"I'm not sure how it works when you're struggling, but I know when things are going good, it's always like you want to one-up your buddy who just threw the day before you. ... As far as when you're struggling? Sometimes a couple of guys have tough starts back-to-back, and you might go out there trying to make up for it and do a little too much. When you try to do too much in this game, it doesn't work." -- Nelson, trying to explain the Brewers' eight-game streak without a quality start
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Kipnis' leadoff home run in the eighth inning gave the Indians at least 10 hits for the ninth consecutive home game, marking the first time the club has achieved such a feat since the 1992 season.
Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy led off the top of the eighth inning with a double to right field that ended in a bang-bang play at second base after a strong throw by Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall. Tribe manager Terry Francona challenged the ruling on the field of safe, but after a replay review that lasted 2 minutes, 53 seconds, the call was upheld.
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers: The National League Central's two rebuilding projects will meet at Miller Park beginning Friday, when the Reds come to town for a three-game set. Cincinnati's Raisel Iglesias meets Milwaukee's Taylor Jungmann in a matchup of rookie right-handers at 7:10 p.m. CT.
Indians: Right-hander Danny Salazar will look to rebound from his first disappointing start in more than a month, as he faces off against the Angels for the second time this season at 7:10 p.m. ET. Salazar struck out seven and allowed one earned run in six innings against Los Angeles early in August. He owns a 1.99 ERA over his last 54 1/3 innings (eight starts).
August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on
Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.