OAKLAND — Both the Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics had 10 hits in this game. It just so happened that the A’s committed two errors that led to five unearned runs.
And that, my friends, is the difference in this game. One could feel bad for A’s starter Matt Keough, who was the target of all five of those unearned runs. He actually outpitched Brewers starter Pete Vuckovich, who allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings, compared to Keough’s three earned runs on seven hits in the same amount of time. But we’re Brewers fans. We don’t feel bad for him one bit.
That said, a Keough miscue did lead to one of the runs. Paul Molitor, who would go 4-for-5, led off the game with a bunt single. Keough balked him to second, putting him in scoring position. With one down, Cecil Cooper then hit a routine grounder to first baseman Dan Meyer promptly booted it, allowing Molitor to score the first run.
Molitor doubled in two with two outs in the second to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead until Fred Stanley hit a rare home run in the bottom of the third to make it 3-1. It was his first long ball since 1979 and only the ninth of his career.
“I’m definitely going to have to work on my trot,” Stanley told the Milwaukee Sentinel.
Dan Meyer then made up for his error with a two-out RBI triple in the fourth to make it a 3-2 game. Then, with two down and a man on first in the top of the fifth, Cecil Cooper hit yet another routine grounder. This time it went to second baseman Dave McKay. Instead of ending the inning, he fumbled the ball, putting runners at first and second.
“It seems like I have to hit it out to get a hit today,” Oglivie said after the game. “Though I’d rather have one hit like that than go 4-for-4 and lose.”
The home run would give the Brewers a 7-2 lead. While the A’s would make it interesting when they pulled to within two at 8-6, Ted Simmons then cashed in on another big two-out hit when he drove in Molitor and Yount in the ninth to make it 10-6.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak, a span when the Brewers scored only two runs three times.
“We lost four in a row because we couldn’t come up with the key base hit,” manager Harvey Kuenn told the Milwaukee Sentinel. “This time they make a couple of errors and we take advantage of it. It’s a good team that does that.”
The other good piece of news is that Rollie Fingers, nursing a sore pitching elbow, will throw prior to tomorrow’s game with the Mariners to determine if he’s ready to return.
“If it’s okay, then I’ll be ready to pitch,” Fingers said. “There’s no sense in sitting around when you may not get the chance to pitch for four or five days in a row.”
The Boston Red Sox fell to the California Angels 8-5, so the Brewers’ lead in the AL East widened to four games.