Craig Counsell became the Milwaukee Brewers’ all-time leader in managerial wins Wednesday night.
More important for the Brewers’ short-term hopes, Wednesday night also marked a breakout performance for a long-dormant offense.
The visiting Brewers will look to win consecutive games for the first time this month Thursday night, when they oppose the New York Mets in the finale of a three-game series.
Left-hander Aaron Ashby (1-5, 3.91 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Brewers against Mets right-hander Tylor Megill (4-2, 4.50 ERA).
The Brewers earned Counsell his milestone triumph when they scored seven runs in the fifth inning and cruised to a 10-2 victory.
The win was the 564th in the Brewers dugout for Counsell, snapping a tie with Phil Garner. Counsell has directed Milwaukee to four straight playoff berths. The franchise made just four trips to the postseason in its first 49 seasons.
“What I told the players was that I feel a lot of gratitude for everything they have contributed to it,” Counsell said. “It’s been fun to watch. It’s a great era of Brewer baseball players.”
While Counsell has managed 1,072 games — 108 games fewer than Garner managed in Milwaukee — the record-setting win was a long time coming. Milwaukee is 3-10 this month and lost eight straight before Counsell tied Garner in a win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
The seven runs in the fifth inning were more than the Brewers scored in any of their first 12 games this month — a span in which Milwaukee was outscored 70-32.
“Another gift from the players,” Counsell said after being doused with beer postgame.
June has gone reasonably well for the Mets, who went 5-5 on a 10-game West Coast road trip from June 2 through Sunday and are 8-6 this month to move their overall record to 41-23 — the best mark in the NL.
The Mets were limited to five hits by defending NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes and a pair of Milwaukee relievers on Wednesday, when Jeff McNeil hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and delivered an RBI single in the sixth.
“With Burnes, you know runs are going to be at a premium,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s the first time I really got to see him up close. A reminder of why he’s one of, if not the best pitcher in the National League.
“Hopefully this is the last day of trying to get the road trip a little bit behind us, physically, and try to win a series (Thursday).”
Ashby took a loss on Friday, when he gave up six runs on 13 hits over 4 2/3 innings as the Brewers fell 11-5 to the Washington Nationals. He tossed a scoreless inning of relief in his lone appearance against the Mets last Sept. 26.
Megill returned after a nearly month-long stint on the injured list last Friday and didn’t factor into the decision after surrendering two runs over 3 1/3 innings in the Mets’ 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels. He had been sidelined due to right biceps tendinitis.
Megill is 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in two career starts against the Brewers.
–Field Level Media