ATLANTA — The Milwaukee Brewers squandered a bases-loaded chance in the 12th inning.
Jonathan Villar made sure they didn’t blow it again in the 13th.
Villar slapped a run-scoring single to left field on an 0-2 pitch, giving the Milwaukee Brewers a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.
The Braves dropped to 2-19 at Turner Field.
"It was a long game and runs were tough for both teams," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "We got that run across, finally."
Villar’s RBI hit came off Casey Kelly (0-2), who had been scheduled to start for the Braves on Saturday. Instead, he wound up throwing 77 pitches over four innings after the Braves used up their entire bullpen by the end of the ninth — just three days after an 85-pitch outing.
"The kid was unbelievable," Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. "It’s a shame we couldn’t get him the win."
Kelly got out of his first jam, striking out Chris Carter, but he couldn’t escape when the Brewers filled the bases again in the 13th with no outs. Martin Maldonado grounded into a force at home to give the Braves a brief reprieve, but Villar came through.
Michael Blazek (3-1) picked up the win for the second night in a row. Carlos Torres earned his first save since 2014 and only the third of his career.
Atlanta’s Gordon Beckham hit the first pinch-hit homer of his career — a two-run shot over the center-field wall that erased Milwaukee’s 1-0 lead in the sixth.
But Milwaukee made it 2-2 in the eighth. With one out, Jonathan Lucroy singled off Bud Norris, and Chris Carter followed with a double down the right-field line that sent Lucroy to third. With the infield back, Kirk Niewenhuis grounded out to second to bring home the tying run.
The Brewers pushed across their first run in the fifth without a hit off Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz. Keon Broxton walked, moved to second on Junior Guerra’s sacrifice, took third on a wild pitch and trotted home on Villar’s sacrifice fly to deep right-center.
Guerra went five scoreless innings, working around four hits and four walks. Foltynewicz lasted 5 2/3, giving up four hits and a run. Neither came close to factoring in the decision.
The announced crowd of 12,869 was the smallest of the season at Turner Field. There appeared to be less than 1,000 in the stands by the end of the 4-hour, 51-minute marathon.
Broxton picked up his first big-league hit in the 13th on an attempted sacrifice bunt.
Kelly made a diving attempt on the pop-up, but the ball came out of his glove as he slid along the grass on his stomach.’
Broxton, a native of Lakeland, Florida, beamed at first base and acknowledged family and friends cheering behind the Milwaukee dugout.
The Braves came out before batting practice to work on their fielding for about 45 minutes, something you normally don’t see after spring training.
Snitker said he’s always liked for his teams to get in some extra defensive work early in the season before the heat of summer really kicks in. Also, he’s surely mindful that Atlanta has been one of baseball’s worst fielding teams, with 33 errors in their first 44 games.
"Anytime you’re handling the ball, it’s a good thing," Snitker said. "Early on, the outfielders have got to throw and the infielders need a little fine-tuning to feel in touch with the ball."
The extra work paid off. The Braves threw out two runners on the basepaths.
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Milwaukee right-handers Cory Knebel and Matt Garza both threw bullpen sessions before the game. Knebel has yet to pitch this season because of a left oblique injury, while Garza is on the 60-day disabled list with an ailing right lat muscle.
"They both did good," Counsell said. "They both got up and sat down and got up again. Garza basically threw three-type innings, Knebel threw two. They threw all their pitches, so the next step is to face hitters on Saturday."
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta (2-5, 6.99) goes in the series finale Thursday. He is 1-1 with a 1.23 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta, which a far cry from his performance this season. Opponents are hitting .363 against him.
Braves: RHP Matt Wisler (2-3, 2.93) looks to add to his impressive showing in May, having allowed only six earned runs in 30 innings this month. He won in his only career appearance against the Brewers, a 5-3 triumph last July.