MILWAUKEE — Braxton Garrett pitched six innings of four-hit ball and the Miami Marlins beat the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 on Wednesday night.
After dropping the first two games of the four-game series, Miami (75-71) moved within one-half game of Cincinnati and Arizona for the final NL wild-card spot.
Garrett (9-6) struck out seven and walked two. The Marlins turned two double plays behind the 26-year-old left-hander, who didn’t allow a runner past second base.
“It was one of those days I could kind of feel it in the bullpen, the sinker had a little extra sink,” Garrett said.
“I’ve really learned to trust myself in the zone, not being a hard-throwing guy with just put-away stuff all the time,” he said. “I’ve just been happy with the confidence that’s grown, the competitiveness.”
Manager Skip Schumaker said Garrett’s “fastball command of where he wanted to put it was really, really effective. It does feel like he’s getting stronger now.”
Three relievers completed a seven-hitter for Miami, with Tanner Scott working the ninth for his eighth save. Tyrone Taylor reached on a throwing error by third baseman Jake Burger leading off the ninth. Scott then retired Victor Caratini, Sal Frelick and Joey Wiemer.
Colin Rea (5-6) followed opener Trevor Megill and allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings for the Brewers, who were shut out for the 11th time this season.
“It’s three in a row, really, where he’s done his job,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s given us a chance to win and he’s done that all three times.”
Rea pitched nine innings over his two previous outings, giving up four runs and striking out 12.
In the fifth, Jesús Sánchez singled and was awarded second base when first baseman Carlos Santana stepped into his team’s dugout after catching a foul ball by Bryan De La Cruz. Sánchez scored on Xavier Edwards’ single.
Miami made it 2-0 in the seventh when De La Cruz doubled off Andrew Chafin and Garrett Hampson followed with a double against Bryse Wilson.
“I feel like I’m at my best self right now and just trying to enjoy it,” said Hampson, who started the game at shortstop and moved to center field in the fourth inning, replacing Jazz Chisholm Jr.
“It just feels good to play in these meaningful games, fist-pumping every out late in the game there in center field, just feels awesome to be part of a group that is really fighting to stay alive and fighting for a playoff spot,” Hampson added.
Miami’s Luis Arraez went 2-for-4, raising his major league-leading average to .349.
Milwaukee started the eighth with singles by William Contreras and Santana off Andrew Nardi. But Willy Adames hit into a double play and Josh Donaldson struck out.
Megill made his first career start after 93 relief appearances, throwing a scoreless first.
“I’m used to coming in later in the innings, where guys are more aggressive. Today was a lot more patient at-bats,” he said.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara, who went on the injured list on Sept. 6, has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, Schumaker said. Schumaker wouldn’t say whether he expects the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner to return this season. … Chisholm (right knee discomfort) left after grounding into a double play in the fourth. He said he expects to play Thursday.
Brewers: LF Christian Yelich (back) missed his fifth consecutive game. … LF Mark Canha (left wrist), who left Tuesday’s game in the third inning, is day to day, Counsell said.
Milwaukee RHP Adrian Houser (5-4, 4.58 ERA) makes his first start since a stint on the IL with a right elbow injury as the series concludes Thursday. Miami will start RHP Eury Perez (5-4, 2.90 ERA).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb