Nelson has rare rough outing vs. Reds

Righty allows seven runs in 2 1/3 innings after three strong starts, looks to improve

Nelson has rare rough outing vs. Reds

CINCINNATI -- The Brewers saw a side of pitcher Jimmy Nelson on Monday they had not seen this season.

Nelson had been solid through his first three starts, including allowing only one run in eight innings of a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati last Wednesday. It looked like more of the same was coming when Nelson retired the Reds in order Monday to start off the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers' rally falls short as Reds take opener

Brewers' rally falls short as Reds take opener

CINCINNATI -- Reds bats emerged from a recent funk Monday against a Brewers team it previously hit hard only a week ago in Milwaukee. Cincinnati chased starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson early but held off a ninth-inning rally to get a 9-6 victory in the three-game series opener at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds sent nine men to the plate in a four-run bottom of the second inning and added three more runs in the third. A two-run home run by Jay Bruce kickstarted the rally against Nelson. Later with runners on first and second and one out, pitcher Jason Marquis chopped an RBI single off third baseman Aramis Ramirez's glove to snap the Reds' 0-for-23 streak with runners in scoring position. A bases-loaded walk to Zack Cozart forced home another run.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blazek notches first big league win vs. Cardinals

Manager Roenicke impressed with righty's improved command

Blazek notches first big league win vs. Cardinals

CINCINNATI -- Maybe it's time for Michael Blazek to settle down and get a nice house with a "man cave" or a trophy room, or at least a mantle.

"I've got three game balls, and I live in an apartment with no place to set them," Blazek lamented Monday, a day after recording his first big league victory via two innings of scoreless relief work in a 6-3 victory over St. Louis. "I got two balls from the game, then Frankie [Francisco Rodriguez] gave me the ball from his 351st save. That was pretty special. I think I'll give them to my parents. That way I won't lose them."

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez opts out of Minors contract, becomes free agent

Perez opts out of Minors contract, becomes free agent

CINCINNATI -- Former All-Star closer Chris Perez opted out of his Minor League contract with Milwaukee on Monday and became a free agent.

The 29-year-old Perez signed with the Brewers on Feb. 4. He recorded a 2.70 ERA during 10 Spring Training appearances, but he was reassigned at the end of camp.

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lohse looking for another quality start vs. Reds

Lohse looking for another quality start vs. Reds

The Reds and Brewers continue their series Tuesday, with Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto hoping for similar results from his most recent start -- also against Milwaukee. Cueto limited the Brewers to one run on five hits over eight innings last Wednesday and will be pitching on an extra day of rest due to Saturday's rainout.

Milwaukee will counter with Kyle Lohse, who also fared well in his last start -- also against the Reds. Lohse allowed just three hits over seven innings during a 4-2 Brewers win last Thursday in Miller Park.

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lind, Parra lead outburst in absence of top sluggers

Roenicke says Braun, Ramirez requested day off

Lind, Parra lead outburst in absence of top sluggers

MILWAUKEE -- It was not by choice that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke posted a starting lineup Sunday minus five of the team's eight Opening Day position players. With second baseman Scooter Gennett, center fielder Carlos Gomez and catcher Jonathan Lucroy already on the disabled list, Roenicke reported that left fielder Ryan Braun and third baseman Aramis Ramirez both said they needed a day off.

"It's not something I want to do, rest them," Roenicke said. "I need these guys in here playing, trying to win. But when someone tells me they need a day off, they need a day off."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fiers does enough in win to hold spot in rotation

Brewers starter allows 1 earned run, strikes out 6 in 4 innings

Fiers does enough in win to hold spot in rotation

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Fiers remains the only member of the Brewers' five-man rotation without a quality start. But he made the big pitches in a four-inning outing against the Cardinals on Sunday to avoid another blow-up, and, for now, the Brewers have no plan to alter their pitching rotation after the win.

"We talk about things all the time but Fiers has proven for a couple different years that he deserves the opportunity," manager Ron Roenicke said. "How far that opportunity takes you, I'm not sure, but the conversations haven't been there yet."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats break out vs. Lynn as Crew takes finale from Cards

Bats break out vs. Lynn as Crew takes finale from Cards

MILWAUKEE -- Featuring a lineup without Ryan Braun or Aramis Ramirez, the Brewers broke out of their recent funk to salvage the final game of their homestand with a 6-3 victory over the Cardinals at Miller Park on Sunday.

All six runs came off Cardinals starter Lance Lynn, who had allowed just three earned runs in his previous three starts. But Milwaukee slugged six extra-base hits against him, including an RBI triple from Gerardo Parra, a two-run homer from Adam Lind and consecutive run-scoring doubles by Khris Davis and Elian Herrera. Those doubles came in a three-run fifth that padded what had been a two-run Brewers' lead. The six extra-base hits tied a season high, while the half a dozen runs marked the second-largest output by Milwaukee's offense this year.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In 'tough times,' Lucroy tries to be positive presence

Brewers catcher remains with team during rehab

In 'tough times,' Lucroy tries to be positive presence

MILWAUKEE -- Rather than leave him home to continue getting treatment for a broken toe, the Brewers are bringing injured catcher Jonathan Lucroy on the road, where he will remain engaged in meetings with the other catchers and pitchers.

Lucroy is sidelined 4-6 weeks. Often, players on that sort of timetable remain home so the team's athletic trainers can focus their energy on the active roster, but Lucroy, because of his standing on a team stuck in a terrible season-opening slump, was apparently deemed a different case. The team was scheduled to depart Sunday night for a weeklong trip to Cincinnati and Chicago, and Lucroy was granted permission to travel in seatpants that cover the walking boot on his left foot.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braun takes responsibility for Brewers' tough start

Braun takes responsibility for Brewers' tough start

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun minced no words and dodged no responsibility in assessing the Brewers' tough start to the season, which persisted Saturday in a 5-3 loss to the Cardinals.

It made the Brewers the 11th team in the divisional era (since 1969) to lose at least 15 times in the first 18 games of a season, and the first since the 2010 Orioles started 2-16. There are only four National League teams on the list: The 1973 Cardinals, 1988 Braves, this edition of the Brewers (each of whom started 3-15) and the 1997 Cubs (2-16).

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers rally comes up short against Cardinals

Brewers rally comes up short against Cardinals

MILWAUKEE -- The Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright to an ankle injury after four innings but won another ballgame, 5-3 over the Brewers, and opened a 10-game gap between the top and bottom teams in the National League Central.

Kolten Wong tripled home a run and scored on an error in the second inning, and Matt Holliday hit three-run home run in the seventh as St. Louis won for the ninth time in 10 games. The Brewers snapped a 25-inning scoreless streak against the Cardinals by scoring three runs in the eighth, but lost for the 10th time in 11 games.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roenicke, Brewers trying to find more consistency

Roenicke, Brewers trying to find more consistency

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke spent time with reporters on Saturday musing about why his team is so inclined to go on streaks. Over the past two seasons, the Brewers have had separate stretches in which they have won nine games in a row and nine of 11, and losing streaks of seven, eight and nine games.

Roenicke was asked why he believes this particular team is so prone to extremes.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roenicke not happy with strike zone after loss

Roenicke not happy with strike zone after loss

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was ejected during a seventh-inning pitching change Saturday by home-plate umpire Dale Scott, with Roenicke still fuming about a called third strike against Ryan Braun during a critical juncture a half-inning earlier.

"I didn't like [Scott's] strike zone," Roenicke said, "so I told him he had a bad night."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Progress made, but Garza waiting for better results

Righty tosses Brewers' third straight quality start in a loss

Progress made, but Garza waiting for better results

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers right-hander Matt Garza gave the Brewers their third straight quality start on Friday, meeting the minimum qualifications by allowing three Cardinals runs in six innings. It gave the Brewers more quality starts in their last three games than they logged in their first 14. It marked progress, both for the team and for Garza, but only a moral victory after a 3-0 loss left Milwaukee with a Major League-worst 3-14 record.

"I made progress, but it's about time for that progress to kick in to results," Garza said. "I threw the ball well, but not well enough. Their guy was better. You tip your cap and wear it."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baserunning gaffes set tone in series-opening loss

Brewers run into costly outs vs. Cardinals

Baserunning gaffes set tone in series-opening loss

MILWAUKEE -- Did the Brewers run their way out of an opportunity to beat young Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez on Friday? Manager Ron Roenicke wondered as much in the wake of a 3-0 loss at Miller Park.

"Really, the first four innings we had people in scoring position," Roenicke said. "First inning, third inning -- ran into outs. We can't do that. When we get people in scoring position and we have chances, we've just got to deliver better."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garza quality, but offense quieted by Cards in opener

Garza quality, but offense quieted by Cards in opener

MILWAUKEE -- The Cardinals continued to feel right at home at Miller Park, as Jason Heyward and Jhonny Peralta homered and Carlos Martinez pitched seven scoreless innings for a 3-0 win over the Brewers on Friday.

Martinez scattered four hits and struck out eight for the Cardinals' 24th victory in their last 33 games here dating to the second half of 2011, including wins in two of the three games at Miller Park during that year's National League Championship Series. The Brewers have not won a series on their home turf against the Cardinals since '12.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gomez speeding, literally, toward return from DL

Outfielder maxes out on treadmill in recovery from hamstring strain

Gomez speeding, literally, toward return from DL

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez is making major progress in his comeback from a right hamstring strain, said manager Ron Roenicke, who told reporters that Gomez ran the treadmill at Miller Park this week on its maximum speed. Which prompted a question for Gomez: What is the maximum speed of the treadmill at Miller Park?

"Thirteen," he said with a smile.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Uecker offers to help Crew by getting full-body wax

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Uecker offers to help Crew by getting full-body wax

Legendary Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker has seen it all. He's been working in baseball for generations, and has been the voice of the Brewers' radio coverage since 1971. 

And so, when he has an idea on how to help the last-place Brewers rebound after a slow start to the season, we'd all do well to listen. Even if it's a bit ... unorthodox.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Crew's struggles won't make Ramirez reconsider retirement

Crew's struggles won't make Ramirez reconsider retirement

MILWAUKEE -- Aramis Ramirez never envisioned the Brewers being 10 games under .500 less than three weeks into the regular season, but he's sticking by his decision to retire later this year.

"This is going to be my last year, regardless of what happens," said Ramirez, who hit his first home run in Thursday's win over the Reds. "Regardless of what happens to me and regardless of what happens to the team. That has nothing to do with my decision. I've already made my decision, and this will be my last year."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lohse gets back on track vs. Reds

Righty saw his ERA drop from 10.34 to 7.94 after seven-inning, two-run performance

Lohse gets back on track vs. Reds

MILWAUKEE -- It was clear after three perfect innings Thursday that this was a different Kyle Lohse than the one who lost his first three starts of the season and had a 10.34 ERA. Or rather, it was clear to his teammates that the old Lohse was back.

"The 'different' Lohse was the one we saw in the starts before," said center fielder Logan Schafer, who scored the go-ahead run in Milwaukee's 4-2 win over the Reds. "He even said, 'I'm feeling it.' When he knows where he's throwing his pitches and when the guys are going to swing and miss, it's going to be a fun day."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Segura's clutch hit vs. Reds helps Brewers snap losing streak

Segura's clutch hit vs. Reds helps Brewers snap losing streak

MILWAUKEE -- Jean Segura delivered the clutch hit the Brewers have so badly needed, a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning that sent Milwaukee to a 4-2 win over Cincinnati on Thursday at Miller Park.

Adam Lind and Aramis Ramirez hit solo home runs, but the Brewers needed Segura's single off Reds reliever Kevin Gregg to snap an eight-game losing streak. Starter Kyle Lohse allowed two runs in seven innings for his first victory, and Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez bounced back from a loss the night before to notch his second save.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Melvin hints that Brewers rebuild could be coming

General manager tells local radio station 'There's a point where you may have to reset, retool'

Melvin hints that Brewers rebuild could be coming

MILWAUKEE -- General manager Doug Melvin weighed in this week on the Brewers' difficult start, echoing others' frustration about underperforming players and using for the first time in years a word that has been taboo at Miller Park: "Rebuild."

"There's a point where you may have to reset, retool," Melvin said during a Thursday morning interview on 620-AM WTMJ, "and those discussions take place a lot in the offseason, and currently, too."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers first team to throw out Hamilton this season

Brewers first team to throw out Hamilton this season

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers became the first team this season to punish Reds speedster Billy Hamilton for stealing.

Crafty Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse kept Hamilton close by varying his deliveries in the sixth inning on Thursday, giving strong-armed catcher Martin Maldonado a chance to throw Hamilton out attempting to steal second base in a game tied at 2. Before Maldonado made the play, Hamilton had been 9-for-9 in stolen-base attempts to start the season.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roenicke knows Thornburg can handle different roles

Roenicke knows Thornburg can handle different roles

MILWAUKEE -- Has one-time Brewers top prospect Tyler Thornburg been held back by yo-yoing between roles? Manager Ron Roenicke doesn't believe so.

"I know some people say that, but the whole idea is to get to the Major Leagues," Roenicke said Thursday, a day after the Brewers removed Thornburg from the big league bullpen and sent him to Triple-A Colorado Springs' starting rotation.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crew owner: Accountability starts with players

Attanasio says GM, manager not in danger of being dismissed

Crew owner: Accountability starts with players

MILWAUKEE -- Referring to his team's franchise-worst 2-12 start as "brutal," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio defended the decision to keep the core of the team intact following last season's collapse and said it's up to those players to turn the season around. He said definitively that general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke are not in imminent danger of losing their jobs.

"I'm not looking at the manager or the general manager right now," said Attanasio, who later watched the Brewers fall to 2-13 with a 2-1 loss to the Reds at Miller Park.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nelson a singular bright spot during Brewers' slide

Right-hander raising game to new heights

Nelson a singular bright spot during Brewers' slide

MILWAUKEE -- Off to a historically poor 15-game start to the season, the Brewers are forced to search for something, anything, to lift their spirits. On Wednesday, they found it in 25-year-old right-hander Jimmy Nelson.

"You have to stay positive," catcher Martin Maldonado said after the 2-1 loss to the Reds -- the club's eighth straight to drop its record to 2-13. "I think Jimmy threw the ball nasty today. You're going one-on-one with Johnny Cueto, you're pitching your [tail] off out there. He kept us in the ballgame, throwing strikes, getting people put, striking people out. That's all you can ask for."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.