CLINTON — For the second time in two seasons, the Clinton LumberKings got the best of rehabbing major-league pitcher Matt Garza.
The Milwaukee Brewers starter, making a 90-pitch rehab start for Wisconsin, was tagged for the loss Monday in a 5-4 Midwest League game at Ashford University Field.
Commuting to Clinton from Chicago where the Brewers opened a series against the Cubs on Monday night, Garza worked 5.2 innings and gave up nine hits, striking out eight batters and walking two during an outing which saw throw 57 strikes among the 88 pitches he threw to 28 batters.
He also allowed five runs, four earned, including three during a deciding fourth inning.
Garza had already surrendered a third-inning RBI single to Bryson Brigman in the third before Clinton’s Kristian Brito tied the game at 2-2 when he opened the bottom half of the fourth with a towering homer to left.
Rayder Ascanio followed a Jhombeyker Morales single with a run-scoring double to move the LumberKings ahead to stay. Ascanio later scored on a wild pitch as Clinton opened a 4-2 lead which reached 5-2 on a RBI double by Brito in the fifth.
Garza, an 11-year major league veteran who played for Beloit shortly after Minnesota selected him in the first round of the 2004 draft was making his first-ever appearance on the mound at Clinton.
He did lose to the LumberKings a year ago in a five-inning rehab start for Wisconsin, tagged for all three runs Clinton scored on seven hits in a 3-1 win over the Timber Rattlers on June 9 at Grand Chute, Wisconsin.
Monday’s start for Garza followed a five-inning rehab appearance for Colorado Springs last Wednesday in a Pacific Coast League game at Memphis. He is working his back to the majors from a groin strain suffered during the preseason.
Ljay Newsome earned the win for Clinton, scattering seven hits over six innings.