SAN FRANCISCO — For the first time all season, tension began to show in the Milwaukee Brewers clubhouse following Friday night’s 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
“No one wants to go out there and lose five games in a row,” said pitcher Corbin Burnes, who twice blew a two-run lead en route to the team’s fifth consecutive loss. “We’re out here playing our (butts) off.”
On Saturday, the frustration finally boiled over onto the diamond.
Manager Craig Counsell was ejected early in a 4-1 loss to the Giants at Oracle Park that pushed the Brewers’ losing streak to six games, with the skipper reaching a visible level of prolonged, elevated irritation rarely seen from him on the field.
BOX SCORE: Giants 4, Brewers 1
For a moment, it seemed as if Counsell’s ejection – a fuse-blowing show of frustration over what the Brewers felt was an incorrect count of pitcher disengagements – would be the spark the team needed after stacking one uninspiring loss upon another on this trip out west .
Instead, a promising rally dissipated and the Milwaukee offense was silent the rest of the night against Giants starter Alex Cobb.
Cobb went seven shutout innings allowing five singles and two walks, lowering his season ERA to 2.01.
A run-scoring double by Joey Bart with two outs in the second opened the scoring against Brewers starter Colin Rea, and a Thairo Estrada two-run homer an inning later put Milwaukee in a 3-0 hole that should not have felt insurmountable.
But it turned out to be just that.
The Brewers put their first two hitters on base in the fourth, the inning when Counsell was tossed, and loaded the bases with two outs but Owen Miller grounded out to end the threat.
Milwaukee went 1 for 12 with runners on base and once again displayed no power. The Brewers have now gone homerless in six of seven games during their losing streak.
And just like that, an 18-9 start to the season has morphed into an 18-15 record.
Luckily for the Brewers, the NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates are also on a six-game losing streak and the last-place St. Louis Cardinals have dropped eight straight to fall to 10-24 on the season.
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers losing streak reaches six in loss to Giants