The Milwaukee Brewers had every reason to be intimidated heading into their first road series against the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. The Sox received their World Series rings in a touching Opening Day ceremony that included appearances from Boston Marathon bombing victims. For many Brewers, including game two starter Wily Peralta, it was their first trip to Fenway Park, in more ways than one.
However, despite some defensive gaffes, the underdog Brewers exited Beantown with a three-game sweep to spoil Boston's opening week. Timely hits in the later stages of games one and two helped the Brewers pull away, but it was the pitching throughout that carried the day.
Marco Estrada started the series off on the right note, going 5 and 2/3 innings while giving up only four hits, one earned run and striking out six in a 6-2 Brewers victory. Red Sox manager John Farrell was complimentary of Estrada's performance.
"I thought, first time we've seen Estrada, he kept us off-balance with a very good changeup. He pitched ahead in the count quite a bit," said Farrell.
Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke agreed.
"Marco's changeup (Friday) was unbelievable."
Wily Peralta faced a tough matchup on paper in game two against Clay Buchholz, but it was Buchholz who would get knocked around his home yard for 13 hits and six earned runs. Peralta did surrender a three run home run, but only two of his five runs were earned due to multiple fielding errors in the third inning. Jean Segura struggled to handle multiple ground balls on a chilly Boston night that could have cut the inning short. Still, Peralta didn't throw his defense under the bus.
"It was tough weather, and I know those guys have been playing unbelievable defense behind me and today it didn't work that way, but I know they battle a lot. Nobody wants to make errors. I know [Segura] feels bad, and I feel bad for him because I know he always plays hard," said Peralta, who did not earn a decision in the 7-6 victory.
The Brewers wrapped up the series with their ace on the mound, as Yovani Gallardo took the hill for his second start. Gallardo pitched a gem, spreading seven hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Milwaukee held on for a 4-0 win to complete a series sweep.
"Hopefully this is a sign that it is going to be a great year on the mound, and I think it's going to be," said Roenicke.
It was the Brewers' first sweep of the Red Sox since October 1993.
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