Roenicke might consider Duke as setup man
The Sports Xchange
MLB Team Report - Milwaukee Brewers ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Could the Milwaukee Brewers have a change in store for the eighth inning?
Ron Roenicke hinted Wednesday morning that he may consider doing so, though he once again expressed confidence in left-hander Will Smith after a rough outing Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Smith gave up four runs on two hits and three walks in the eighth inning Tuesday, turning a 1-1 tie into a 5-1 loss. Both hits were doubles by right-handed hitters, who are batting .305/.406/.492 against Smith this season. Left-handed hitters, meanwhile, are batting just .167/.247/.242 against the southpaw.
"Maybe what's happening is he's facing more righties now because he's in this position. I know he is, and the numbers aren't as good as they were before," Roenicke told reporters.
Roenicke would prefer to have a designated closer and eighth-inning setup man, but he is willing to pick his spots in the sixth and seventh innings.
Fellow left-hander Zach Duke is an intriguing option, considering how well he's been pitching lately. His 1.05 ERA is the lowest of any lefty reliever in the majors and fifth overall. He has 58 strikeouts in 43 innings. He hasn't given up a run in his last 15 appearances, one more than the 14-appearance scoreless streak he strung together earlier this season.
"Zach Duke is certainly throwing the ball well enough that I could probably do that with him," Roenicke said. "I have to have somebody to pitch that inning, and then I can mix and match other innings."
----------------------------------------------- MLB Team Report - Milwaukee Brewers RECORD: 60-49
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Brewers (RHP Wily Peralta, 12-6, 3.56 ERA) at Cardinals (RHP Adam Wainwright, 13-5, 1.92 ERA)
--OF Gerardo Parra was acquired by the Brewers from the Diamondbacks on Thursday in exchange for two minor-leaguers, LHP Anthony Banda and OF Mitch Haniger. "The addition of Parra gives us a veteran player who helps to balance our lineup and also brings Gold Glove defense," Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said in a statement. Parra, 27, is batting .259 with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 104 games this season.
--OF Logan Schafer was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to clear a roster spot for newly acquired OF Gerardo Parra. Schafer hit .183/.267/.288 with no homers and six RBIs in 53 games with Milwaukee this season.
--RHP Tyler Thornburg was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL on Thursday, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for newly acquired OF Gerardo Parra. Thornburg landed on the DL on June 7 due to right elbow tightness, and he subsequently was diagnosed with irritation along his right wrist and flexor.
--RHP Yovani Gallardo has thrown 16 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to July 20, allowing only nine hits over that stretch. He beat the Rays on Wednesday at Tropicana Field by tossing seven shutout innings, scattering two hits through his first six innings and finishing one hit shy of his season-low three. Between the third and seventh innings, Gallardo retired 13 straight Tampa Bay hitters. It was his first win since June 19, snapping a six-start winless streak that was tied for the second-longest of his career. With his 87th win, he passed Ben Sheets for fifth place on the Brewers' all-time franchise list.
--C Martin Maldonado tied his career high with four RBIs in a 5-0 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field on Wednesday. Maldonado also matched his RBI output from his previous 24 games combined. The backup catcher also tied his season-high with three hits, one shy of his career high. And it came against an unlikely opponent: ace lefty David Price. "It always feels good, especially when they're going for the sweep and they have (their) best pitcher on the mound," he said.
--OF Khris Davis put together his fifth multi-double game of the season on Wednesday in a 5-0 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Only Denard Span, Daniel Murphy and Jonathan Lucroy entered Wednesday with more multi-double games -- each of them logging six.
--RHP Francisco Rodriguez entered Wednesday's game against the Rays with two outs, the bases loaded and the tying run on deck, and he recorded his 31st save in 35 chances as the Brewers won 5-0. Entering Wednesday, Rodriguez was tied with the Dodgers' Kenley Jansen for third in the majors in saves, trailing only the Braves' Craig Kimbrel and the Cardinals' Trevor Rosenthal.