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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jimmy Nelson's difficult second half had a disappointing conclusion on Friday night.
Nelson was knocked out in the fifth inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers lost 6-4 to the Chicago Cubs.
Nelson, regarded as the team's top pitching prospect coming into the season, went 0-6 in his last seven appearances with a 6.59 ERA.
"I've had the most frustrating, disappointing second half of the season I've ever had," Nelson said.
Nelson was sent to the bullpen in early September but was starting for Matt Garza, who was shut down due to shoulder tightness. The right-hander was charged with five runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.
In 14 appearances, including 12 starts, Nelson was 2-9 with a 4.93 ERA. The team only won four of the 12 games he started but he was a respectable 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA on Aug. 15.
"I had a great first half," he said. "I know what I was doing mechanically, physically, and mentally. It's something I want to get back to."
The Brewers lost for the 24th time in 34 games on a day the team said it would retire uniform No. 1 to honor retiring Commissioner Bud Selig, who bought the Seattle Pilots out of bankruptcy and moved them to Milwaukee in 1970.
Chris Coghlan homered on Nelson's second pitch of the game. He also doubled in the third and scored three times.
Neil Ramirez (3-3) pitched a perfect inning for the win and Hector Rondon got three outs for his 28th save in 32 chances.
Milwaukee went 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.
"In this instance, we were very fortunate that our pitching has been very good, especially on the back end," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "They've grown a lot. They've gotten better and they continue to impress."
Brewers shortstop Jean Segura went 3 for 4 with his fifth homer.
Nelson struck out four and walked one.
"The command is kind of all over the place," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "Made some great pitches and then all of a sudden, it's high and down the middle."
Eric Jokisch pitched four innings for Chicago in his first major league start. He allowed two runs, one earned, and three hits while throwing 86 pitches.
"I was a lot more nervous than I thought I would be," he said.
Brewers: Garza was scratched due to stiffness in his right shoulder. The team said he would have started if the game had any bearing on the team's playoff situation. Garza went 8-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 27 starts in the first year of his four-year, $50 million contract.
Cubs: Tsuyoshi Wada will start for the Cubs in Game 2 of the series. The team scratched Kyle Hendricks for Sunday's final game of the season and said Jacob Turner would start instead. Hendricks has pitched 182 innings between the Cubs and the minor leagues this year and the team said it had nothing to gain by having him pitch the season finale.
Brewers: Wily Peralta, Saturday's scheduled starter, is 16-11 overall, but 0-3 vs. the Cubs this year. Owner Mark Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin will discuss the club's September collapse before Saturday's game.
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