Josh Donaldson homers and Freddy Peralta’s strong pitching leads Brewers over Marlins 3-1
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Josh Donaldson homered for the first time with his new team and Freddy Peralta turned in another stellar outing as the Milwaukee Brewers downed the Miami Marlins 3-1 on Tuesday night.
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Milwaukee (81-63) is a season-high 18 games above .500 and reached the mark for the first time since it finished the 2021 season at 95-67.
Donaldson hit a solo home run deep into the second deck in left with one out in the fourth off Edward Cabrera (6-7) to put the Brewers in front 2-1.
It was Donaldson’s 11th homer of the season and first as a Brewer. Donaldson, who also singled and drew a pair of walks, began the season with the Yankees but was released in August and later signed by Milwaukee to a minor league deal. He was called up from Triple-A Nashville on Monday.
“Cabrera has great stuff and we didn’t have a lot of great swings against him. To put a run on the board with one swing, that’s what Josh offers,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s why we were interested and on a night like tonight it plays out big.”
Donaldson said he’s looking for ways to contribute as he adjusts to his role with the Brewers.
“Just coming in here and being positive and taking advantage of every opportunity that I can get and help the team win,” he said. “I feel good with my body right now and what I’m able to do.”
Peralta (12-8), who entered having gone 5-0 with a 2.09 ERA over his last eight starts, surrendered a leadoff homer to Luis Arraez on the third pitch of the game but then retired 19 of the next 20 batters and recorded nine strikeouts to reach 200 for the season.
“I’m excited about that and grateful,” Peralta said. “Before the season, that was one of my goals.”
Peralta gave up one run and two hits in 6 1/3 innings and didn’t walk a batter. He threw 95 pitches, 67 for strikes.
“I thought in a strange way that maybe the home run was a good thing for Freddy,” Counsell said. “It seemed to lock him in. I thought he was just excellent tonight. Both off-speed pitches were really, really good.”
Peralta has walked one batter over his last three starts.
Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said he thought his team would build on Arraez’s leadoff homer but Peralta didn’t give in.
“We had a lot of energy coming in today. But he was pretty dominant,” he said. “It was challenging for us tonight.”
Devin Williams retired the side in order in the ninth to record his 33rd save in 37 tries.
JT Chargois opened for the Marlins and faced the minimum in the first before Cabrera entered in the second and walked the first three batters he faced. After striking out Brice Turang, Cabrera walked Andruw Monasterio to force in the tying run. Cabrera retired the next two as the Brewers left the bases loaded.
Cabrera gave up one hit and two runs in 4 2/3 innings, while walking six and striking out five.
William Contreras’ sacrifice fly in the seventh extended the Brewers lead to 3-1.
The Marlins managed just two hits in losing for the fourth time in the last six games.
“It’s tough. We faced two of the best arms in the league the last two days,” Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings said. “But we’ve been a resilient group all year.”
Marlins: RHP Sixto Sánchez pitched for the first time in nearly three years, tossing 18 pitches in a one-inning rehabilitation appearance on Tuesday for Double-A Pensacola as he works his way back from shoulder issues. Sánchez, who threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday, gave up one hit while walking one and striking out two.
Brewers: LF Christian Yelich missed a fourth consecutive game due to lower back soreness but is progressing and could be back in the lineup in a day or two, Counsell said. … Mark Canha, who replaced Yelich in left, departed in the third for a pinch-hitter after experiencing left wrist soreness. … LHP Aaron Ashby (left labrum) isn’t expected to return to the Brewers bullpen this season. Ashby is expected to pitch at Double-A Biloxi this week and Triple-A Nashville next week.
LHP Braxton Garrett (8-6, 3.82 ERA) will pitch for the Marlins on Wednesday, while Trevor Megill (1-0, 3.38) will work as the opener for the Brewers.
TOP PHOTO: FILE – Polish Sausage (2) wins the sausage race between innings of a spring training baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Milwaukee Brewers, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)