Brewers 10, Diamondbacks 2
After a tumultuous offseason, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has had a strong start to this one.
Braun hit two home runs Saturday to give him the National League lead with 22 and lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 10-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Braun, whose 50-game suspension was overturned before the season, is putting up numbers that are similar to his first half during the 2011 season when he was the NL MVP. And that has come with the free agent departure of Prince Fielder, who hit behind Braun last season.
He is hitting .313 and has 55 RBIs to go along with his league leading home runs.
''It's been good so far,'' Braun said. ''The one thing that challenges me is plate discipline and sometimes I've been swinging out of the strike zone. But overall, I am happy with where I am at.''
As is Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who said Braun's first home run in the third inning came off a very good pitch from Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley that was low and outside.
''There are not too many guys who can drive the ball like he does,'' Roenicke said. ''He can still hit the ball out of every part of the ballpark.''
Roenicke was also thrilled with the start of rookie pitcher Mike Fiers (3-2), who pitched six shutout innings to get the win. He struggled early in the game stranding five runners in the first three innings, but retired the last 11 batters he faced and ended up with a career-high 10 strikeouts.
In all, Fiers has not given up a run in his past 19 innings.
''He's a hard guy to figure out'' for hitters, Roenicke said. ''The ball is all over the place. He's been great for us. He really had a nice ball game tonight.''
Fiers said he had to work through some control issues in the first inning, but felt really good as the game went along.
''You have to be able to pitch through the tough times,'' he said.
Miley (9-4) lasted just 3 2/3 innings for Arizona, giving up eight runs and eight hits. Miley failed in his attempt to become the first Arizona pitcher to record 10 wins before the All-Star break since Brandon Webb (13-4) in 2008, and the first National League rookie to do so since 2002, when Kaz Ishii was 11-5 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said Miley missed his spot with Braun twice and paid for it.
''You can't do that to a great hitter like Braun,'' Gibson said. ''Wow. He's leading the league in home runs for a reason.''
The Brewers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning as Corey Hart led off with a triple off the center field wall. He scored when Rickie Weeks struck out, but the ball got past Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero on a wild pitch.
Braun's third-inning solo home run gave the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
The Brewers broke the game open in the fourth inning, scoring six runs. After Hart and Weeks singled, Ransom hit his seventh home run of the season. Carlos Gomez hit an RBI triple and Braun followed with a two-run homer to give the Brewers an 8-0 lead and force Miley from the game.
Ransom's RBI single in the fifth inning and Gomez's fourth home run of the season in the sixth inning increased the lead to 10-0.
Gerardo Parra's fielder's choice in the eighth inning and Miguel Montero's eighth home run of the season in the ninth inning accounted for Arizona's runs.
Notes: Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said RHP Daniel Gibson (3-2, 7.35 ERA) got a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, which confirmed he has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He said the date for Hudson's surgery may be set as soon as Monday. ... Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy was on the field during batting practice chatting with Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. ... The game's attendance was 41,647, the Brewers' 10th sellout of the season.