Four-run rallies power Brewers over Angels

Four-run rallies power Brewers over Angels

MILWAUKEE -- The last time the Brewers beat the Angels in Milwaukee before Monday, the Brewers played at County Stadium, the Angels had just traded the "California" for an "Anaheim" in their name, and Jimmy Nelson was just shy of his eighth birthday.

Nineteen years later, the big Brewers right-hander did his part on the mound and at the plate to change that. Hot-hitting Milwaukee scored four runs in a fifth-inning rally that included Nelson's go-ahead single, and tacked on four more runs in the sixth to back his quality start in a 8-5 win at Miller Park, snapping the Angels' eight-game road winning streak against the Brewers which dated to May 1997.

The Brewers have scored 22 runs on 32 hits in back-to-back wins over the Marlins and Angels.

"Hopefully it was a continuation of [Sunday]," Braun said. "When that happens, everyone comes into today feeling better about themselves, feeling a little more confident."

Mike Trout homered among his four hits, drove in three runs and scored twice for the Angels, who managed to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning. But left fielder Rafael Ortega's fifth-inning error aided a go-ahead four-run rally against Jered Weaver, and the Brewers added four more against Weaver and reliever Greg Mahle in the sixth. All of that offense backed Nelson, who allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings for the Brewers' sixth quality start in 25 games this season. Nelson owns four of them.

Nelson's solid home start

"The thing I'm the happiest about is he's taken a step forward this year," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "There are more steps to take, but he's certainly taken a step forward."

Taking what they give you: The Brewers' go-ahead rally began when Weaver walked Aaron Hill to lead off the fifth inning, and it gained steam when Yadiel Rivera's single bounced past Ortega in left field for a run-scoring, two-base error. The Brewers made Weaver and the Angels pay for those mistakes. Rivera promptly scored the go-ahead run on Nelson's slash single, with the pitcher showing bunt, then pulling the bat back and punching an RBI hit to right field. It gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead, and Nelson the first multi-hit game for a Brewers pitcher this season.

Nelson's RBI single

"In that situation, I feel like I should've kept the double play in order," Ortega said of his two-base error. "There was a guy on first, we were winning by a run, no outs. It was a bad decision on my part. A little late." More >

Weave-ing into trouble: Weaver held the Brewers scoreless through the first four innings, then retired only three of the next 11 batters he faced. The 33-year-old right-hander was charged with seven runs on 11 hits and two walks in five-plus innings, five days after surrendering seven extra-base hits. His ERA has jumped from 3.12 to 5.40 over those two starts.

"Frustrating," Weaver said. "I hit a little speed bump, just couldn't slow down."

Braun caps another big rally: Ryan Braun had three hits for the second straight game, including an RBI infield single during Milwaukee's second four-run rally in as many innings. The dribbler to the left side of the infield boosted Braun to 12-for-22 with runners in scoring position this season and extended the Brewers' lead to 8-2. He exited in a late-inning double switch with what Counsell called "general soreness."

Braun's double down the line

"I know that I'll have to take an occasional day off until it warms up, as I continue to build volume on [my surgically-repaired] back," Braun said. "Overall, I feel OK."

Letting them off the hook: The Angels could've begun the game with a crooked-number first inning, but were unable to maximize their production against Nelson. After Yunel Escobar led off the game with a double, the Angels gave away an out by instructing Ortega to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Trout followed with an RBI single and Albert Pujols walked, but the Angels couldn't do anything else that inning. They put just three more runners on through the end of the sixth, with one of those coming on Trout's sixth home run.

Trout's RBI single

"You're not going to hang your hat on one pitch. Although that turns an inning where you've got nobody on and one out into where you have a guy on, you're not going to hang your hat on one pitch. Those guys just didn't miss many of the mistakes that we made, and they put together a big inning." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on the 2-2 fastball to Hill that could've been called a strike, but was instead deemed a ball, setting up a critical leadoff walk in the fifth

One positive for the Angels was Cam Bedrosian, who struck out five of the six batters he faced after relieving Mahle. He became the first Angels pitcher to throw at least 1 2/3 innings and record all of his outs on punchouts since Troy Percival on Aug. 5, 1995, against the Rangers.

Bedrosian strikes out five

The Angels had not lost to the Brewers in Milwaukee since a 5-2 decision on May 11, 1997, but they had lost here. In April 2007, the Indians took two of three games from the Angels at Miller Park after the teams' scheduled series in Cleveland was relocated to the dome because of snow.

Scioscia asked the umpires to examine whether Braun scored safely on Jonathan Lucroy's two-run double in the Brewers' big fifth inning. The "safe" call was confirmed, and Milwaukee had a 4-1 lead.

Lucroy's two-run double

The umpires spent four minutes and 32 seconds in a crew review to look at Pujols' eighth-inning slide home after Pujols was initially called out trying to score a two-out run. They determined Brewers catcher Lucroy had violated Rule 7.13 by impeding Pujols' path to the plate, awarding the Angels a run that cut their deficit to 8-4.

Cron's RBI single

"I thought the player had a lane to slide in," Counsell said. "Just because he hit Luc's' foot doesn't mean there wasn't a lane to slide in."

It was the Brewers' turn to challenge in the ninth after Johnny Giavotella was called safe at first base on a ground ball to shortstop. The call was overturned, and Milwaukee closer Jeremy Jeffress has his first out of the inning.

Giavotella out after challenge

The Brewers played without right fielder and leadoff hitter Domingo Santana, who was scratched a few minutes before Nelson's first pitch because of right shoulder tightness. Santana hit his first career leadoff home run on Sunday.

Angels: Nick Tropeano takes the ball for the second of a three-game series from Miller Park on Tuesday, with first pitch set for 5:10 p.m. PT. Tropeano (1-0, 2.11 ERA) has given up two earned runs or less in each of his four starts since taking the spot of an injured Andrew Heaney.

Brewers: Called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to replace the demoted Taylor Jungmann, right-hander Junior Guerra will make his Brewers debut with a start on Tuesday night. It will be the 31-year-old's fourth Major League game and first start.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.