Carreno, Blue Jays can't contain Brewers

Carreno, Blue Jays can't contain Brewers

Carreno, Blue Jays can't contain Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- For the Blue Jays and manager John Farrell, "Plan D" was not a successful one on Wednesday.

Toronto starter Joel Carreno lasted just three innings and surrendered five runs in the second on the way to an 8-3 loss against the Brewers in the rubber match at Miller Park. Carreno, though, was called up from the Minors only after the Blue Jays burned through six pitchers in Tuesday's 10-9 win. And with three starters on the disabled list, Farrell said his only option was "Plan D."

Carreno was with Triple-A Las Vegas in Tucson, Ariz., on Tuesday, and was scheduled to start for the 51s on Wednesday. Instead, he took a late flight from Phoenix to Milwaukee to make the afternoon start at Miller Park.

"It's not the ideal situation when you got to take an overnight flight to get in here," Farrell said. "But that's the circumstances we're in. We're not going to use that as an excuse, but it's not the ideal situation."

Despite the hurried arrival, the first inning went smoothly for Carreno, who retired the side in order, including two strikeouts. And in the top of the second, first baseman Edwin Encarnacion even gave Carreno a 1-0 lead on a solo home run -- his third in as many games.

But the bottom half of the inning would all but decide the game. Carreno surrendered three home runs in the second, including two-run shots by first baseman Corey Hart and center fielder Carlos Gomez. And although he was able to escape the third inning unscathed after giving up a leadoff double to left fielder Ryan Braun, the damage had been done.

Carreno's day ended with five earned runs on five hits and two walks in three innings, with all five runs scoring in the second.

Despite being spotted with an early lead, Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo was cognizant of how quickly it could evaporate after watching the Jays connect on back-to-back home runs on separate occasions Tuesday, including three in a row in the sixth inning.

"They have a lot of power," Gallardo said. "If you leave anything up in the zone, they take advantage of it. You just have to keep them off-balance, mix everything up."

Gallardo did that effectively, allowing just three earned runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. And unlike the first two games of the series, when the Blue Jays were able to tie the game three times after being down by two or more runs, Toronto never pulled to within less than three after the second inning.

The Brewers added another run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-1 lead. And when Toronto did score two runs in the top of the seventh, Braun responded with a two-run homer off left-hander Luis Perez the next half-inning. With a well-rested bullpen, Farrell said Perez might not have been put in that situation.

"Ideally, we're looking at a right-hander in that situation," the manager said. "But in the middle of the lineup, we're going with the guy that's most fresh with the best power available, and unfortunately it didn't work out in this case to put up a zero on the board."

That home run also represented a negative trend for the Blue Jays this series. Toronto scored in 10 different innings in three games against Milwaukee. However, the Brewers scored in the bottom half of six of those innings, while either matching or taking the lead on the Blue Jays in five of them.

"And there's been other times in recent games where that's been the case," Farrell said. "To me, that's the most important inning in any ballgame, is to be able to put up a zero and keep the momentum on your side with any potential to extend it offensively."

In a series that saw a combined 16 home runs, the Brewers beat the Blue Jays with four dingers on Wednesday, one day after Toronto used six homers in a 10-9 win. Because of the Jays' offensive performance in the first two games, third baseman Brett Lawrie, who left the game with right knee soreness after the seventh, said one bad day at the plate doesn't concern him.

"We just have to keep doing what we're doing," he said. "We're swinging the bats well. All series, it was combined 16 home runs, and I think we had 10 of them. Those were there, but [the Brewers] were swinging the bats well."

Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.