Brewers 3, Rangers 1: Joey Ortiz homers and Bryse Wilson delivers excellence in bulk

Bryse Wilson and Joey Ortiz have made for quite the pairing.

The last time Wilson took the mound at American Family Field, he put up all zeroes on the scoreboard, Joey Ortiz hit a go-ahead home run and the Milwaukee Brewers rolled to a 3-1 victory.

Tuesday night followed the same script.

Wilson threw six shutout innings in what was arguably his best outing of the season, Ortiz gave the team the lead with a home run and the Brewers picked up a 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers.

BOX SCORE: Brewers 3, Rangers 1

Unlike the last time, though, when Wilson offered up a bit of a spicy declaration that the Baltimore Orioles "messed up" by trading Ortiz to the Brewers in the Corbin Burnes deal, the right-hander smiled and took a much more diplomatic when asked about his third baseman.

"He is a great player," Wilson said, "and I’m glad he’s on our team."

Brewers pitcher Bryse Wilson watches a fly ball hit by Rangers designated hitter Eequziel Duran eventually be caught in center field for the final out of the top of the fifth inning Tuesday night at American Family Field..



Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Brewers pitcher Bryse Wilson watches a fly ball hit by Rangers designated hitter Eequziel Duran eventually be caught in center field for the final out of the top of the fifth inning Tuesday night at American Family Field.. Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Bryse Wilson pitches best outing of the season

The Brewers utilized an opener once again for Wilson, with Hoby Milner covering the first two innings and allowing one run on a Josh Smith single with one out in the first.

It was the fourth time the Brewers have gone with an opener for Wilson. The trick seems to be working, too. After Tuesday's game, Wilson has a 2.05 ERA as the bulk pitcher behind an opener.

"I think I’m probably a lot better this year with an opener," Wilson said. "But we’re just trying to take that same approach and mentality, whatever it may be, into starting the game. But with the experience in the bullpen last year, having an opener doesn’t affect me at all."

Wilson worked efficiently and excellently to match his longest outing of the year. He struck out four, scattered three hits and, most importantly, didn't issue a walk. It was a much-needed deviation from Wilson's recent outings, given his 6.75 ERA over his five most recent games coming into Tuesday.

"I thought it was the best performance I’ve seen out of Bryse Wilson," Brewers manager Pat Murphy said.

After Smith's RBI knock off Milner, the Rangers notched only three singles the rest of the way and didn't put a single runner in scoring position.

Murphy indicated he considered sending Wilson back out for the ninth but settled on Elvis Peguero, who earned his second career save by pitching around a hit batter.

There was another decision regarding Wilson for Murphy in the eighth.

With Milwaukee ahead, 3-1, the Rangers' order turned over to the top with two outs and a runner on, bringing Marcus Semien to the plate as the potential tying run.

Murphy, with Peguero ready in the bullpen, would have been justified in turning the ball over to the bullpen with Texas' best hitters set to face Wilson for a third time on the evening. Instead, he stuck with Wilson, who made good on the trust of his skipper by getting Semien to fly out meekly to center.

It was a great way to cap a great outing.

"Pure command and pure execution," Wilson said. "It wasn’t just a lot of strikes, it was a lot of good strikes. With a team that’s that aggressive, throwing a lot of strikes could be really good or they could get on you pretty quick. To be able to command the strike zone was nice."

Joey Ortiz gives the Brewers the lead

As the Brewers are pushing fans to vote for Ortiz for the all-star game at third base, he gave the people a good reason to get to their phones out and select his name. Leading off the fifth, Ortiz lofted a solo home run off Rangers starter Andrew Heaney to left field to put the Brewers in front, 2-1.

Ortiz's seventh homer came after he got a day off Monday and extended his lead among National League third basemen in Wins Above Replacement.

Ortiz trailed Manny Machado by roughly 60,000 votes for one of the final two hot corner spots in NL all-star balloting entering the week. Voting runs through Thursday.

“I’ve said it before, it kind of brings a comfortability,” Ortiz said of playing every day. “It helps me get locked in, seeing my name in the lineup every day. I know what I’m capable of doing, and being ready for the game. All of that stuff comes into play when you’re playing every day.”

Jackson Chourio puts the Brewers on the board

The Rangers struck first on the board against Milner, though it was with their left-handed batters against the southpaw. Corey Seager doubled with one out in the first and then came around on Smith's seeing-eye single.

Milner stayed in through the end of the second inning, striking out two and retiring all four of the right-handed batters he faced.

The Brewers finally struck with a runner in scoring position in their sixth such at-bat of the day. With two outs in the third and William Contreras on second after leading off the inning with a ringing double, Jackson Chourio whistled a single to right off Rangers starter Andrew Heaney to tie the game at 1.

It was part of a game in which Chourio had four hard-hit balls, but luck wasn't on his side.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers 3, Rangers 1: Joey Ortiz homers, Bryse Wilson delivers

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