Opposing 'pens stifling Brewers offense

Relievers stifling Brewers

PHOENIX -- The numbers say Brewers hitters have been disappearing late in games. Their manager doesn't see it that way.

Entering Tuesday's action, opposing relievers had worked 22 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings against the Brewers since the seventh inning on June 22 against the Orioles. In the first seven games of their current road trip, the Brewers scored 18 runs in innings 1-3, six runs in innings 4-6 and no runs in innings 7-9.

"It's coincidence more than anything else," manager Ned Yost said. "It's not like we get together and say, 'Let's only hit the starter, only score runs against the starter.' It's merely a coincidence."

That coincidence went by the boards on Tuesday night when Mike Rivera hit a seventh-inning RBI double off D-backs reliever Connor Robertson.

This season, the Brewers have been outscored over the final three innings, 127-90. But Yost does not see the numbers as indicative of complacency or a poor late-innings approach. He said his team has been up against "a rash of good bullpens" and pointed out that the Brewers entered play Tuesday six games over .500.

"You don't make big deals out of when you score. You just score," Yost said. "It goes in cycles. This just happens to be the flavor of the week. It doesn't bother me.

"You'll sit here and hear banging in that [batting] cage from 2 o'clock on," he said. "These kids are working their tails off to become better players. I don't sit here and dwell on the negative aspect of what they're doing. They're doing fine. They're six games over .500 and we're at the halfway point. Do we want to be better than that? Yeah. But this is a total team effort.

"The one thing I don't do is sit here and hammer the offense. They work hard, they play hard so let them go out and play."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.