Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brent Suter delivers a pitch. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
MILWAUKEE -- When Craig Counsell chose Brent Suter to fill the starting slot of injured right-hander Chase Anderson, he thought the tall left-hander could at least pitch well enough to keep the Milwaukee Brewers in the game Monday against the Baltimore Orioles.
It's safe to say Suter more than exceeded expectations, striking out a career-high eight batters while holding the Orioles to just an unearned run over six innings in an 8-1 victory at Miller Park.
"Suter did his job, that's for sure," Counsell said. "He pitched very, very well. He makes hitters uncomfortable. I thought he executed outstanding today."
The Brewers' bats did their part, putting four on the board in the opening frame against Wade Miley, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
"I didn't give us a chance," Miley said. "I pretty much blew that one early on. First and second inning, to let them get out to a big lead like that just set the tempo for the other team. It can't happen. It can't continue to happen. Some adjustments have to be made."
Miley hasn't worked past the fifth inning in his last six starts and has failed to get through three complete in three of those contests.
"He hasn't been able to command the baseball in games," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "Everything else is there so that tells you that there's some other challenges going on."
Manny Pina and Orlando Arcia finished with three hits each for the Brewers, who collected 10 on the day.
"We did a nice job," Counsell said. "We only had one extra-base hit. ... That's a bunch of guys having good at-bats. We made him work. We were disciplined, we didn't chase and we kept making him work."
Milwaukee sent nine men to the plate in the first and added three more in the second, with Miley (3-7) giving way after Pina's two-run double made it a 7-0 game.
Baltimore got on the board in the third when Ruben Tejada singled, advanced on an error and scored when Jimmy Yacabonis, who took over for Miley, recorded his first career hit with a single.
Arcia led off the bottom of the inning with a single but appeared to be in trouble when he slid past third on Suter's base hit.
Arcia got up and started toward home, getting caught in a rundown that allowed Suter to move to second. But the Orioles couldn't apply a tag and Arcia got past three Baltimore players to cross home plate and put the Brewers up seven.
"Once I over-slid, at that point there was no going back," Arcia said through team interpreter Carlos Brizuela. "There was just going home."
It was just the latest highlight-reel moment for Arcia, whose reached base in 10 straight games and is batting .500 during that stretch with three doubles, three home runs and seven RBIs.
"That was incredible, what a pickle," Suter said. "How he scored was incredible. Every day he does something that makes you say "oh, my goodness." And he's been hitting the 'schnikey's' out of the ball. It's great to see."
The victory allowed the NL Central-leading Brewers to pick up a half-game on the second-place Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were off Monday and will open a three-game interleague series Tuesday at Tampa Bay 2 1/2 games back.
NOTES: Brewers 3B Travis Shaw was struck in the left hand by a pitch and left the game after two innings for "precautionary reasons," the team announced. X-rays revealed no fracture and Shaw is considered day-to-day. ... RHP Michael Blazek worked two scoreless innings Monday after his contract was selected from Triple-A Colorado Springs. A reliever with the Brewers the last two seasons, Blazek was moved into a starting role with Colorado Springs but will fill a multiple-inning role in the bullpen, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ... To make room for Blazek on the active roster, Milwaukee optioned RHP Paulo Espino to Colorado Springs. ... Orioles LHP Zach Britton was slated to work an inning Monday night for Class A Frederick in his fourth and final minor league rehab appearance. ... The Orioles and Brewers met for the first time since 2014. ... RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 6.48 ERA) and RHP Jimmy Nelson (6-4, 3.43) face off Tuesday afternoon as the three-game interleague series continues.