It’s been 27 years since the Milwaukee Brewers began a season with this much success on the road. After Wednesday night’s 9-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Brewers are 5-0 away from home for the first time since 1987.
It was another relatively decisive win for Milwaukee, too. Though the game was tied at 4 after seven innings, the Brewers added three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to pull away.
"When you win on the road, and not just winning, but against the teams that we’re playing, then it really becomes important," manager Ron Roenicke said.
Three victories in Boston against the defending World Series champion Red Sox have been followed by two straight in Philadelphia. During this winning streak, Milwaukee has outscored its opponents 36-16.
The Brewers’ pitching has been very good so far this season, but over the past two games, their bats have really come alive. Carlos Gomez and Mark Reynolds both homered Wednesday, one game after Ryan Braun hit three out of the park.
"When things are going well, you have somebody every night who’s doing something good," Roenicke said. "Your team is usually clicking really well when you’ve got everybody contributing, and they are right now.
"Hopefully we can continue to do this."
The historical significance of a 5-0 road start dates back to the playing days of Robin Yount and Teddy Higuera, but Milwaukee also hasn’t won five consecutive road games at any point in a season since August 2011.
Matt Garza started his second game in a Brewers uniform, but he wasn’t nearly as sharp as he was a week earlier at home against the Atlanta Braves. In his debut with the team, Garza went six innings before giving up his first hit. In Philadelphia, though, Garza struggled early on, allowing three runs (two earned) in the first inning. He settled in after that, but he only made it through six innings and did not earn the win.
"Yeah, it was a battle (for Garza)," Roenicke said. "I know we played sloppy in the first inning. That didn’t help. That inning could have gone a lot different, starting with the ball back to Matt (in which he nearly threw it away but got one out after a successful replay challenge). If we get a firm throw to second, we turn two for him, that would have helped a lot.
"But he came back and made some big pitches. Then I thought he got it going, then all of a sudden he lost it a little bit again. We thought actually he was going to be able to go back out for another inning, and then he got in trouble in the last one. He made good pitches but was a little off from his last outing."
Tyler Thornburg, who nearly didn’t make the major-league roster this season, got the win (his second of 2014) after pitching two hitless, scoreless innings.
"(Thornburg) really threw well in spring, and we thought that we needed him on this team and needed him in the bullpen, and right now he’s doing great," Roenicke said.
The Brewers (6-2 record overall) have a chance to win their sixth straight road game Thursday night, which would keep them undefeated away from Miller Park this season. Milwaukee turns to Marco Estrada, while the Phillies send Cliff Lee to the mound.