Milwaukee, WI – Despite blowing a five-run lead, Aramis Ramirez lifted the Brewers to a 7-6 win in the opener of a three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ramirez, whose seventh-inning home run proved to be the difference in the win, went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs for Milwaukee, which has won three of its last four games.
Rickie Weeks, who came into the game hitting .177, picked up two hits and drove in a pair of runs in the win.
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, who were coming off a three-game sweep over the Philadelphia Phillies. Bautista's three-run blast tied the game in the seventh.
Kameron Loe (4-2) picked up the win for Milwaukee, despite giving up two runs on the Bautista home run in relief of Randy Wolf. For the fifth time in his eight starts, Wolf was victim of a blown save after giving up four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The Bautista bomb let Henderson Alvarez off the hook, after the 22-year-old right-hander allowed six runs in four innings. Robert Coello (1-0) gave up Ramirez's home run and took the loss.
"He gave up a number of two out hits with runners in scoring position," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We've got to get him straightened out because of the situation with our pitching right now. We've got to get more than four innings from him and not have an adverse effect on our bullpen."
"The last few outings I've been throwing some high pitches," Alvarez said through a translator. "It just happens, I feel bad because we need our starters to go longer. But since this isn't an American League park, they had to pinch hit for me early. I felt better my last two innings."
The Jays scored first on Brett Lawrie's first-career leadoff home run.
Milwaukee quickly retaliated with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame. Nyjer Morgan and Ryan Braun delivered back-to-back one-out singles before Ramirez worked a walk. Two batters later, Weeks chopped a single up the middle to score Morgan and Braun and give the Brewers the lead.
The Brewers poured on four in the second after Edwin Maysonet started the rally with a one-out double. Wolf and Aoki followed with singles and two batters later, Ramirez crushed a two-run double to give the Brewers a 6-1 lead.
Wolf gave up a run in the third, but escaped significant damage. Lawrie led off the frame with a double, then Colby Rasmus walked and Bautista was hit by a pitch. However, Wolf induced a double play that scored Lowry and got Yunel Escobar to fly out to end the inning.
In the sixth, Encarnacion brought the Jays within three runs with a solo shot off Bernie Brewer's slider well over the left-center field fence.
After Omar Vizquel singled and Rasmus walked, Bautista launched a two-out bomb to left field to tie the game.
Ramirez led off the seventh inning with a long line drive down the left-field line. The play was originally ruled foul, but after video review, it was ruled that the ball touched the yellow line representing the foul pole on the padding over the outfield wall.
"I couldn't really see exactly where it hit," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "It looked like it hit the yellow mat. I'm a long way from there, but I heard the pad. I went to see [home plate umpire] Doug [Eddings]. [Brewers third base coach Ed Sedar] said you had to go out there and take a look at it. He thought it hit to the left of the pole, but it might have hit above the mat. I heard the mat, I really don't know where it hit."
"I knew it was a homer," Ramirez said. "If it would have hit the wall, it would have bounced back a little harder."
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless eighth and John Axford, who had blown two of his three previous save opportunities, threw a perfect ninth to pick up his 12th save and seal the victory.
It was announced before the game that Shaun Marcum will not make his scheduled start on Tuesday against the Blue Jays...On the Ramirez home run, umpires used replay for the third time in Miller Park's history and the first time this season...The Brewers are 9-0 at home against Toronto in interleague play...Bautista has hit eight home runs in his last 15 games and has reached base safely in 18 straight contests...The Blue Jays have homered in 27 of their last 31 games and are second in Major League Baseball with 94 home runs...Lawrie is hitting .315 (17-for-54) with five doubles and two home runs since moving to the leadoff spot on June 5...Milwaukee is 17-17 at home this season...Braun has hit safely in 23 straight interleague games.