Jhoulys Chacin had walked three batters each of his last three outings, so the Brewers’ veteran right-hander was surprised when the Kansas City Royals kept swinging early in the count.
They had no choice the way he was pounding the strike zone.
“We’re playing well,” Counsell said. “You got to earn the wins. You have to earn them every day.”
The Brewers scored all they needed off Jason Hamel (0-2) in the fourth inning on two hits, a walk, an error and a pair of sacrifice flies. Only three of the runs were earned after outfielder Jorge Soler dropped a would-be flyout to the groans of about 5,000 fans that braved the cold, wet weather.
Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas had not played a single fourth-quarter minute in the series before getting the call down the stretch to play alongside Delon Wright, Lowry, DeRozan and C.J. Miles, a group that barely shared the floor this season.
“We’re all capable of going it offensively and defensively and it showed tonight,” DeRozan said. “Everybody stepped up and Delon stepped up big.”
Raprtors coach Dwane Casey acknowledged he was “searching” for the right lineup combination
“I thought Delon Wright did a good job down the stretch handling the ball,” Casey said. “It gave us an opportunity for Kyle and DeMar to get off the ball a little bit more and I thought that was the difference.”
Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Valanciunas had 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Raptors improved to 5-0 in home Game 5s over the past five years.
“Delon Wright came in and made some big shots and big plays for them,” Washington’s John Wall said. “Whenever he gets over 10 or 15, nine times out of 10 they win the game. He’s a big key to their team when they go small.”
He yielded just three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks, lowering his ERA from 6.86 to 5.26. Darvish left with a 2-1 lead, but Milwaukee tied it the score in the seventh off the bullpen to deny Darvish his first victory with Chicago.
The four-time All-Star, signed to a six-year contract, entered with just one solid outing: He allowed one run over six innings at Milwaukee on April 7.
Darvish got his second big league double and fifth hit with a drive into the right-field corner in the fifth inning against Suter. After trotting into second, Darvish slipped, but he got to his feet and pitched a scoreless sixth.