Spot starters help Brewers right ship amid injuries

Spot starters help Brewers right ship amid injuries

MILWAUKEE -- Through the first two months of the season, everybody pointed to the Brewers' starting pitching staff as the main culprit of a rough start to the season. Now, Milwaukee's starters are the main reason for a hot stretch in June.

Including Wily Peralta's seven-inning scoreless outing against the Braves on Friday, Brewers starters have posted a 1.81 ERA and have held opponents to a .204 batting average over their last 12 games. The group has tossed nine quality starts in that span, something it rarely accomplished in a 6-22 May.

"I think we have really good pitching; we always have," Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "We just didn't really show it early on. It's nice that we've kind of come together this past few weeks or so to show how good they are. Hopefully we continue to get better and improve."

The most impressive part of the staff's resurgence is that Marco Estrada and Hiram Burgos have been absent as they are rehabbing from injuries. The Brewers started left-handed reliever Tom Gorzelanny once during the stretch and right-handed reliever Alfredo Figaro twice.

On Saturday, long reliever Donovan Hand became the ninth Brewers pitcher to start a game.

"Any time you change this many starting pitchers and insert so many different guys, consistency usually isn't going to be there," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "But they've done a really nice job. Our starters are giving us chances to win almost every game.

"It's a better feeling in the dugout and during the games when you know you're not down every day."

The Brewers starting pitching staff had been among Major League Baseball's worst through April and May, but it righted the ship with a 10-9 start to June and hope to get Estrada and Burgos back by the end of the month.

"You've just got to count on guys to come up and step up. That's all you can do," Lucroy said. "The guys have done that for us, especially with Marco going down and Burgos going down. The other guys stepped up and got the job done. We're fortunate to have that kind of depth on our team."

Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.