MILWAUKEE -- Was Brandon Kintzler surprised to be called on in the eighth inning of a three-run game on Tuesday?
"Yeah," he said, before joking, "I was hiding in the bathroom."
Kintzler held the Rangers scoreless for the first eighth-inning hold of his career. In essence, it was his first appearance as a bona fide setup man, and manager Ron Roenicke indicated after the Brewers' 6-3 win that more could follow.
"When he's rested, he's pitched some really big innings for us," Roenicke said. "I think sometimes we get him out there too much ... [but] when he has rest, I really like what he does. He has really good movement on his fastball, with velocity. Good changeup. And he's thrown some really good slides at times. Hopefully we can continue to get leads and see what he can do in the late innings."
With the team again backing off John Axford, Kintzler expected Burke Badenhop to pitch the eighth on Tuesday. Instead, Kintzler got the call.
He was happy to answer.
"I prefer the games to be tighter rather than blown out, but you just have to take what you can get," he said. "It's a big confidence-booster. Obviously, I've been inconsistent in some of my outings, and when that happens you're always looking for a good confidence-boosting outing. You never know when it's going to come. That game was a good one for our whole bullpen. That can help us take off again."
As for Roenicke's theory about Kintzler being particularly good when he's well rested, the right-hander said, "I liked to be used a lot -- obviously not to the point where you're overtired. Rest is always nice, but I don't want too much."
Kintzler owned a 5.14 ERA through 14 appearances but had been unscored upon in 10 of those games.