MILWAUKEE (AP) — A couple of catchable balls in the first inning led to a rare losing streak for Texas.
Yuniesky Betancourt’s eighth homer of the season capped a five-run first inning Tuesday night and the Milwaukee Brewers snapped a season-high five-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Rangers.
Aramis Ramirez also homered for the first time this year and NL batting leader Carlos Gomez added a two-run double for Milwaukee, which rebounded from a four-game sweep by visiting St. Louis last weekend.
“We really shouldn’t have been in that (5-0) hole,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Mitch Moreland homered for the Rangers, who lost consecutive games for the third time this year. They also lost their season-high fourth straight on the road.
Justin Grimm (2-2) gave up five earned runs on eight hits in five innings after entering the game with a total of six earned runs allowed this year. The right-hander struck out seven and walked three.
“(The first inning) was long. Too long,” Grimm said. “Balls were finding grass and not gloves. I made a couple of good pitches and I made a couple of bad ones. It was a little frustrating. It was just that one inning there.”
After back-to-back singles by Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura in the first, Ryan Braun drove in Milwaukee’s first run with a single over the head of Nelson Cruz in right field.
“Cruz thought he was closer to the wall,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “He jumped a little too soon and didn’t come up with the ball.”
But because Segura thought Cruz was going to catch the ball near the warning track, he was headed back to first when he saw Braun rounding the base for what turned out to be a long single.
Segura’s mistake did not cost his team, however.
One by leftfielder David Murphy later in the inning did.
With two outs, Gomez blooped a two-run double to left-center. Murphy got a bad break on the fly ball hit to his left, and then it bounced passed him as he ran toward it.
“I lost it,” Murphy said. “I don’t know exactly what I lost it in. I tried to change direction just because I was unsure where the ball was. I slipped. I picked it up again. I went after it, and then I lost it again in the window or whatever that is up above the seats (behind home plate). It was an unfortunate play.”
Betancourt followed with his two-run homer, also to left-center, to give Milwaukee a 5-0 lead.
He leads the Brewers with eight homers after hitting seven last season.
“Leave the ball on home plate and I swing,” the Milwaukee first baseman said.
Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta (3-2) gave up three runs – two earned – and five hits in six innings. The right-hander, who turns 24 on Wednesday, struck out two and did not walk a batter.
“Great sinker, great fastball,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “Had a good change-up and got some outs on it. His slider was a little inconsistent but this was a great game for him. This is a good lineup to go through and I really thought he made some great pitches when he needed to.”
Three relievers followed with an inning each for the Brewers, including Jim Henderson in the ninth for his seventh save.
“After a rough five games, it was a good start,” said Gomez, who is hitting .449 during his career-high 13-game hitting streak. “It brought the energy back to the team.”
Texas got its first run in the second when Moreland hit his fifth homer, a solo shot to left-center. It was the only hit for the Rangers in the first four innings.
In the sixth, Texas added two more runs. Adrian Beltre hit a grounder to Ramirez at third that bounced off his glove and allowed Jeff Baker to score from third. Cruz’s sacrifice fly scored Elvis Andrus and cut Milwaukee’s lead to 5-3.
Ramirez made it 6-3 with his homer to left off reliever Jason Frasor.
Milwaukee’s Tom Gorzelanny pitched the seventh and Brandon Kintzler the eighth.
NOTES: Milwaukee is 10-3 when scoring first. … Braun extended his interleague hitting streak to 29 straight games dating back to June 17, 2011 at Boston. . The last time these teams met was June 13, 2010, at Miller Park. … Grimm has 16 strikeouts in his last two games — both losses. … This is the sixth time and first since 2006 that Texas played a different opponent on three consecutive days. The Rangers hosted Boston on Sunday and played the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday.
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