Gomez's speed boosts Brewers in walk-off win

Gomez's speed boosts Brewers in walk-off win

Gomez's speed boosts Brewers in walk-off win
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez really hates it when pitchers try to pick him off at first base.

Not surprisingly, then, he wasn't happy when D-backs reliever Patrick Corbin threw nine pickoff attempts Gomez's way in the ninth inning of a tie game on Sunday at Miller Perk. As it turned out, though, Corbin should have been more persistent.

With one out and second baseman Rickie Weeks at the plate, Gomez finally made a break for second. Two wild throws -- on the same play -- later, Gomez was on his way to home plate, giving the Milwaukee a unique 2-1 walk-off win in the rubber game of the series.

Gomez said he planned on running once he was inserted as a pinch-runner for third baseman Aramis Ramirez, especially when Corbin's frequent pickoff attempts indicated he was as worried about the runner at first as the batter.

"I thought he was going to throw [to first] three, four more times," Gomez said. "I started getting ticked off. I'm telling you man, honest, I don't like it when they throw that many times over there. Throw it to the plate, I got to go."

Eventually, Corbin threw a ball to Weeks and Gomez went. Gomez's speed won a game for the Brewers in a similar fashion in 2010, when he scored from first on a bunt and a throwing error to earn a win over the Cubs. That game was before manager Ron Roenicke came to Milwaukee, and he said he had never seen such a finish. However, he didn't seem surprised Gomez was able to pull it off.

"When he's out there, something's going to happen," Roenicke said. "They did a nice job of throwing over a bunch of times to see if they could catch him, and Gomey did a good job of getting a jump there and making them try to rush the throw to get him."

Before Gomez's late-game heroics, Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo and his counterpart, Josh Collmenter, stole the show for the majority of the first seven innings.

Gallardo continued his success against Arizona, allowing just three hits and striking out six in 6 2/3 scoreless innings, cruising through much of his outing until there were two outs in the seventh. With the bases empty, Gallardo walked Chris Young before D-backs third baseman Willie Bloomquist reached on a fielding error by Weeks. Gallardo then walked his fifth batter to load the bases and was removed by Roenicke.

Roenicke said it was a tough call to pull his right-hander with him pitching so well, but with Gallardo at 117 pitches, he said it was time to go to the bullpen.

"I would have liked to have 'Yo' finish that game, but the at-bat to [Stephen] Drew, when he starts to get wild like that, you think, he's exhausted, he's got a lot of pitches," Roenicke said. "After that whole time, that was the first I'd seen 'Yo' lose his command.

"Once you get to that point, I think that it's the right call. Regardless of how it goes, I still think it's the right call."

Gallardo said fatigue might have led to losing his control, but most of it was trying to keep a usually dangerous lineup from doing any damage.

"They have some good hitters, which, it's not going to be easy," Gallardo said. "They fouled off some good pitches every now and then. You just try not to make a mistake."

On the other side of the mound, Collmenter registered five strikeouts while walking no one in six innings. He no-hit the Brewers through three innings on the way to surrendering just three hits.

But the Brewers got to the 26-year-old righty in the fourth to score the first run of the game. Right fielder Norichika Aoki led off the inning with a double to right-center field, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. The next batter, center fielder Nyjer Morgan, grounded out, driving Aoki home in the process.

That was the only run surrendered by Collmenter, who much like Gallardo against Arizona, has had Milwaukee's number, allowing just two runs in the last 27 innings against the Brewers.

"They're really aggressive, so you can use that against them," said Collmenter of the Milwaukee batters. "They like to swing at fastballs, and if you locate and move it in and out, you can keep them off balance."

The 1-0 lead lasted until the eighth, when reliever Francisco Rodriguez surrendered a home run to Jason Kubel on the first pitch of the inning.

Milwaukee struck last, though, capitalizing on Gomez's speed on the basepaths. He admitted it was a strange finish, but it also was a reminder that baseball can be a strange game, something he hopes benefits the Brewers as they try to get back in contention.

"I know this year has been up and down," Gomez said. "But we have a long way to go. We still have to play a lot of games. A lot of things can happen."

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