MILWAUKEE -- Brewers closer John Axford was still feeling bad Friday about his costly blown save 24 hours earlier, but at least the tone of his Tweets had changed."It seems the people like me again," he said. That's because Axford and Ryan Braun combined to foot the bill for 5,000 tickets to Sunday's game against the Astros, which were gobbled up by fans at Brewers.com on Friday morning in about 45 minutes. The gesture was part of the team's Fan Appreciation Weekend at Miller Park. The Brewers play in one of baseball's smallest markets but entered Friday ranked 11th of the 30 Major League teams with an average attendance of 34,951, and 10th of the 30 teams by filling Miller Park to 83.4 percent capacity. "When we really notice it is we go on the road and we see teams that are in first place, or teams like when we went into Pittsburgh a month ago and they were hot, and people came in to watch them, and then the last trip we went in and there wasn't that many people there," manager Ron Roenicke said. "[Miller Park] is a pretty special place. The people stick with us and come out to watch us play. "I know it was a disappointing season this year, especially the first half, and they kept coming out. Believe me, [for] these players, myself, the coaches, it really is a neat place to be." Reliever Eric Gagne made a similar gesture in 2008, when he bought 5,000 tickets for fans in the final week. Braun was in his first full season then; now he is the face of the franchise. "When we weren't playing nearly as well as we wanted to in June and July, the fans were always there supporting us, and this is our way of saying thank you," Braun said. "We want them to know how much we appreciate it."
Peralta on track for final start after MRI is negative
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers pitching prospect Wily Peralta received a clean bill of health after an MRI scan of his right arm on Friday. The right-hander remains scheduled to make one more 2012 start on Tuesday against the Padres -- assuming the Brewers are still alive in the National League Wild Card race.The 23-year-old's status was in question after he exited a stellar start against the Reds on Thursday complaining of tightness in his right biceps. After the MRI showed no physical damage, Peralta was able to play catch at Miller Park. "I was really happy that he wasn't real sore today," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He still felt it a little bit, but he wasn't very sore, which is very encouraging. He saw the doctors and everybody says he is fine, physically." But the Brewers won't risk another Peralta start unless they need it, or he is 100 percent healthy, Roenicke said. The team entered Friday four games behind the Cardinals in the chase for the second NL Wild Card with only six to play. Peralta pitched well against the Reds on Thursday, allowing two singles in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, but he was dealing with discomfort in his biceps after the second. He said something to veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who passed along word to Roenicke and head athletic trainer Dan Wright. They cleared Peralta to continue pitching, but it became clear during a strikeout of Reds pitcher Mat Latos in the sixth inning that something was amiss. Peralta's sudden wildness prompted a change to reliever Brandon Kintzler. Did Peralta make a mistake by not alerting the athletic trainers or coaches earlier about his issue? "No," Roenicke said. "He felt a little something in the second inning, a little tightness, and it's a little different when it's in the biceps -- it's not as dangerous for him to go out there and pitch." Peralta is 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance since his promotion from Triple-A Nashville. He has pitched himself squarely into consideration for next year's starting rotation.
The Brewers' scheduled starters for the remaining regular-season games are Marco Estrada on Saturday and Mike Fiers on Sunday against the Astros, then Shaun Marcum, Peralta and Yovani Gallardo in next week's series against the Padres. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez entered the final homestand with 50 doubles, three shy of the franchise record set by Lyle Overbay in 2004.
Jean Segura will not be a candidate for NL Rookie of the Year honors next season. The rookie shortstop topped 130 at-bats on Friday, the threshold for determining "rookie" status per Major League Baseball rules.