SAN DIEGO (AP) — Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson didn’t pitch badly. It just wasn’t good enough to beat the Padres.
The Brewers’ five-game road winning streak was snapped as they fell to San Diego, 4-1 on Tuesday night.
“I felt there were a few pitches I missed over the plate,” Nelson said. “But they’re big league hitters and they did what they’re supposed to do with it.”
Nelson (2-5) was also derailed by two things in losing his third straight decision: little offensive support and a leaky defensive.
Tyson Ross pitched 6 1-3 strong innings, Abraham Almonte homered and drove in two runs for the Padres.
Ross (12-12), San Diego’s lone All-Star, extended his franchise record with his 13th consecutive quality start. He gave up one run and four hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Nelson worked five innings for Milwaukee and allowed four runs – two earned – on five hits, with a career-high seven strikeouts in losing his third straight decision.
Despite falling for the fourth time in six games, Milwaukee maintained its 1 1/2-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central as the Cardinals lost 5-2 to Pittsburgh.
The Brewers pulled to 4-1 in the fourth, thanks to doubles by Jonathan Lucroy and Scooter Gennett. Gennett advanced to third after Davis’ two-out walk, but Davis was thrown out by Renee Rivera when trying to reach second on a pitch in the dirt.
The Padres scored three times in the third, as the Brewers’ defense let Nelson down.
The inning’s one earned run came on Almonte’s single which drove in Ross, after he led off with a double. Seth Smith followed with a potential double-play grounder to Gennett, but his relay to Jean Segura was mishandled for an error. Yasmani Grandal’s single drove in Almonte and Smith scored on Jedd Gyorko’s groundout for a 4-0 lead.
“If I execute a few pitches there, we’re out of it with minimal damage,” Nelson said. “That’s a job as a starter, to minimize the damage and I have to do a better job of it next time.”
Ross is 6-6 with a 1.96 ERA during his quality start streak, which dates back to June 21. He has 86 strikeouts and 24 walks in that stretch.
“When his slider is down in the zone, you’re not going to be able to hit it,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “The trouble is when it is down, you think it’s a fastball and you don’t see the spin. By the time you swing it’s in the dirt.”
Ross was lifted after walking Gennett with one out in the seventh. Reliever Nick Vincent came in and got Davis to hit into a double play.
Padres: SS Everth Cabrera (strained left hamstring) continues to do baseball drills but he’s not expected to play for another week.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, threw a bullpen session and depending on how he feels on Wednesday, among the possibilities is him joining the rotation.
Brewers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (8-7, 3.38 ERA), who has made 17 quality starts this season, needs five strikeouts to eclipse Ben Sheets (1,206) as the franchise’s all-time leader.
Padres: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (3-5, 3.44) will make his 11th career start and sixth at Petco Park. Despaigne has lost his last two decisions.
Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig visited Petco Park and the Padres christened the Selig Hall of Fame Plaza in his honor. Selig, who is retiring after the season, said San Diego is strong candidate to get a future All-Star Game, something that has never been held at Petco Park.