- Associated Press - Thursday, July 28, 2016

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Once Zach Davies got going, the Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t have much of a chance.

Davies pitched 6 1/3 effective innings, Hernan Perez hit a two-run homer, singled and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 6-4 on Thursday.

Davies is now 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA with four walks and 17 strikeouts in four starts in July.

“He’s had a bunch of starts like this,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “When he gets into a groove, he runs through the lineup pretty good.”

“I was making sure I settled down a little bit and focused more,” Davies said. “Once the first inning is over, you let it go.”



Davies got some key run support for Perez, who started at shortstop for benched Jonathan Villar. Perez crushed Robbie Ray’s first pitch 458 feet off the facing of the scoreboard in deep center for the two-run homer in the third.

“That was huge, but I knew I had to keep it there and keep making pitches,” Davies said of Perez’s sixth home run this season.

Davies (8-4) allowed three runs -two earned- on six hits. Facing the Diamondbacks for the first time, he walked one and struck out five.

Jeremy Jeffress pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 25 chances.

The Brewers added a run when Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered off Tyler Clippard leading off the eighth.

Ray (5-10) cruised through the first five innings, then struggled in the sixth with the game tied at 2.

Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale was none too happy with the bullpen.

“I took him (Ray) out after he gave up the lead and our bullpen’s got to be able to hold it,” Hale said. “Burgos has got to be able to get that guy out and get us in the dugout.”

If the bullpen doesn’t get squared away, Hale hinted at some changes.

“We have got to find some guys out of our bullpen that are going to stop the bleeding, shut it down,” Hale said. “It’s imperative. If we can’t find them here, we’re going to have to go elsewhere and give other guys a chance.”

Ray struck out five straight batters, including the side in the second and fifth innings and set a career high with 11 strikeouts, one better than in his previous start, a 1-0 loss at Cincinnati on July 23.

VILLAR SITS

Brewers SS Jonathan Villar was benched for a baserunning blunder in the first inning of Wednesday night’s 8-1 loss to the Diamondbacks. Known for his aggressiveness, he tried to steal third with two outs, but catcher Welington Castillo nailed him with a perfect throw. Villar also made two errors in the top of the first.

“I think it is a good day for him to just take a step back in general,” Counsell said. “It is a good spot to just step back and watch the game.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: 3B Jake Lamb struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh and stayed in the game at third. He missed the previous two games with a bruised left hand. Hale said that Lamb would start Friday. … OF David Peralta (lower back strain) is scheduled to join the Diamondbacks on Friday. He’s been on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Reno. … OF Socrates Brito (fractured right toe) has gone 1 for 7 two rehab games with the AZL Diamondbacks.

Brewers: The Brewers have been very cautious with Braun and have given him several scheduled days off to rest. Braun had a tough May. He missed four games with right wrist soreness, two games with lower back soreness and two with neck soreness. … C Jonathan Lucroy had a scheduled game off to rest. … INF Will Middlebrooks has shown some improvement. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 25 with a lower right leg strain. “Will has made some nice progress,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He was actually able to get on the field yesterday and play catch, which is a good sign. Hopefully, we’re on the short end.”

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (3-1, 5.88 ERA) makes his second career appearance and first start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra (6-2, 2.85) aims for his 11th quality start on Friday when he faces the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second time this season. He is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two career games.

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