MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers needed somebody to step up to snap a five-game losing streak, and Chase Anderson rose to the challenge. The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning at Miller Park for the second consecutive May in a 6-1 win over the D-backs on Saturday.
"I was thinking about that before the game: Let's have one big performance from somebody that gets it done for you and snaps you out of it," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Chase drove the bus today, for sure. He took care of it. It was an incredible performance."
Anderson set a career high with 11 strikeouts in seven-plus scoreless innings and the Brewers snapped a losing skid that had dropped them from first place in the National League Central, but the 29,746 fans in attendance didn't get to witness history. D-backs shortstop Nick Ahmed singled leading off the eighth to break up Anderson's no-hitter, conjuring memories of last May 17 against the Cubs, when Anderson lost a similar bid on Ben Zobrist's double leading off the same inning.
Juan Nieves' seven-walk, no-hit effort on a dreary night in Baltimore on April 15, 1987 remains the only no-hitter in Brewers history.
The Brewers beat old friend Zack Greinke to make a winner of Anderson. Greinke carried a perfect game into the fourth, but Jett Bandy's bases-clearing double with two outs snapped a scoreless tie. Jesus Aguilar later homered off Greinke, who surrendered five runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
"It seemed like the whole team played pretty terrible today, including myself," Greinke said. "I mean, he almost threw a no-hitter, so it was a pretty bad game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
No no-no: Anderson already had thrown a career-high 111 pitches before taking the mound in the eighth, when the bottom three hitters in Arizona's order were due up. Ahmed, the shortstop, led off by taking back-to-back changeups for balls, then pounded a high cutter into the turf and watched it bounce through the middle of the Brewers' infield for the D-backs' first hit. That was all for Anderson, who was treated to a standing ovation as he walked off the mound in favor of reliever Rob Scahill.
"You don't get the opportunity to do that all the time," Anderson said. "You'd like to finish that, get that no hitter, get the shutout, but the fans, the way they support us in this town, I've never experienced anything like that. Just give them a little bit of a hat tip back to them, [show] my gratitude for what they've done for us and the support they always give us."
How it started: Greinke was working on a 29-pitch perfect game before Eric Sogard started the Brewers' half of the fourth with a double that fell at the feet of left fielder Yasmany Tomas. According to Statcast™'s catch probability measure, Sogard's fly ball is caught 69 percent of the time. Instead, Greinke spent the rest of the inning pitching from the stretch for the first time and issued consecutive one-out walks to Aguilar and Travis Shaw before Bandy's two-out, seven-pitch battle. Greinke had thrown 12 consecutive off-speed pitches, including 11 in a row in the bottom third or below the zone before he tried blowing a high fastball by Bandy, who cleared the bases with a double over Tomas' head. More >
Bandy's was a hit all the way, D-backs manager Torey Luvullo said. But Tomas should have been able to catch Sogard's bloop double.
"We know there are some limitations with him and we know those moments happen with him and hopefully, we're going to figure that out," Luvullo said.
"It was like a video game. I was putting my fingers down and he was throwing it. That was all on him. -- Bandy, on catching Anderson's gem
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Nieves retained his distinction as the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter for the Brewers, and former Cub Carlos Zambrano remained the only pitcher to throw one at Miller Park -- in a game that didn't involve the Brewers at all. On Sept. 14, 2008, Zambrano blanked Houston, 5-0, in an Astros "home" game that was moved to Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs:Patrick Corbin will take the mound in the series finale at 11:10 a.m. MST on Sunday. The lefty has given up two home runs in three of his past four outings, but only one in his career to a Brewers player, Ryan Braun, who is on the 10-day DL.
Brewers:Jimmy Nelson will seek his first win at Miller Park in his 10th start of the season at 1:10 p.m. CT on Sunday. Nelson has faced 12 D-backs, who have totaled 24 hits and four home runs against him.