The Milwaukee Brewers understand that everything is over-analyzed during the first week of the season. Which is exactly why they’re not overly concerned about their slow start.
After dropping three of its first four games, Milwaukee continues its three-game series against the host Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
The Brewers have begun the season by going 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position, but outfielder Hunter Renfroe offered some perspective after Monday’s 2-0 loss.
“It’s four games,” he said.
Renfroe is 1-for-14 with five strikeouts to begin the season for the Brewers, who are making their first visit to Baltimore since 2003.
Milwaukee will turn to left-hander Eric Lauer (2021: 7-5, 3.19 ERA), who went 6-2 with a 2.23 ERA over his last 15 games (14 starts) last season.
The 26-year-old is making his first career appearance against Baltimore. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 6 2/3 innings during spring training but displayed increased velocity on his fastball.
Lauer solidified his spot in this season’s starting rotation with his strong finish last year.
“This past offseason, I felt the best as far as knowing what I was going into and having something to build off of from last year,” Lauer said. “This was the first offseason where I felt like I actually had a lot to build off of. I knew a solid place of where I was going.”
The Brewers could use a strong outing from Lauer after the team’s first four starters — Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta and Adrian Houser – yielded 15 earned runs and 13 walks in 16 1/3 innings.
Baltimore opened the season by losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Rays before celebrating its home opener with a stellar performance on the mound in Monday’s 2-0 victory.
Starting pitcher Bruce Zimmermann and four relievers combined to allow six hits. Mike Baumann tossed 2 1/3 innings for the victory.
Jorge Lopez worked around a one-out walk in the ninth for his second career save and first since 2019.
Cedric Mullins drove in two runs while Anthony Santander had two hits and reached base four times for Baltimore, which had lost its three previous home openers.
Santander has picked up where he left off last year, when he finished by hitting safely in 10 of his final 13 games. The 27-year-old is 5-for-10 with a home run through four games.
Jorge Mateo ignited the sellout crowd of 44,461 when he raced home from second base on Mullins’ single up the middle in the second inning.
“That was one of the louder moments here since I’ve been here,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said, adding that he’d like to see that electricity in the ballpark continue. “We’ve just got to give them something to cheer about.”
Hyde has not announced a starting pitcher for Tuesday, but he could lean on the tandem of left-hander Alexander Wells and right-hander Spenser Watkins for the bulk of the innings.
Both pitchers joined the Orioles on Monday from Triple-A Norfolk. The 24-year-old Wells posted a 6.75 ERA in 11 games (eight starts) last season, while the 29-year-old Watkins had an 8.07 ERA in 16 games (10 starts).
–Field Level Media