Brewers botch pitching change, lose to Braves 5-4

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 22, 2014 at 11:40 pm •  Published: May 22, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers made a call to the bullpen.

Too bad no one was warming up.

On a night when two coaches were attending graduations, the Brewers messed up a pitching change, gave up three runs in the seventh inning, and lost to the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Thursday.

"I feel bad about everything," said manager Ron Roenicke, who took the blame for the botched communications in the Milwaukee dugout and bullpen. "It's going to be hard on me."

Ryan Doumit's pinch-hit single brought home the tying and go-ahead run after the Brewers summoned relief pitcher Will Smith, who was just sitting around in the bullpen with his jacket on.

After a lengthy delay while the umpires sorted things out, Smith was allowed to throw only the customary eight warm-up pitches on the mound before facing Doumit.

It wasn't really a surprise when Doumit ripped a single to left past the drawn-in infield, bringing home the tying and go-ahead runs.

"I certainly think that had something to do with it," Roenicke said.

Pitching coach Rick Kranitz and bullpen coach Lee Tunnell were both excused from the game.

Rick Tomlin, normally the minor league pitching coordinator, filled in for Kranitz but apparently didn't realize that the manager wanted Smith warming up.

After Roenicke went out to tell the umpires of a double switch, he stunningly learned that no one was throwing in the bullpen, which is shielded from his view in the left-field corner. Not that it's usually an issue; there are monitors in both dugouts that show what's going on in the home and visiting bullpens.

"Miscommunication," Roenicke said. "There's a certain way we do things, and when Kranitz isn't here, I didn't go back and tell Rick Tomlin who to get up and bring in. It's my fault."

The Braves trailed 4-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth.

B.J. Upton hit a two-out homer, barely clearing the right-field wall, and the Braves rallied for the win the next inning. Gerald Laird also had a key hit, a run-scoring double that ricocheted off an infielder's glove.

Jean Segura had three hits for Milwaukee and scored two runs, driven home both times by two-out hits from Jonathan Lucroy.

Alex Wood (4-5) worked a scoreless inning for the win, and Craig Kimbrel earned his 12th save.

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