Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 1

The Milwaukee Brewers strung together quality at-bats, got solid

pitching and held onto a lead for once.

Not a bad way to close out what had been a frustrating series –

or head into the All-Star break.

Wily Peralta pitched seven effective innings, Logan Schafer

homered and drove in two runs and the Milwaukee Brewers ended a

four-game losing streak by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on

Sunday.

”I thought it was a really nice ballgame,” Brewers manager Ron

Roenicke said. ”After those last three, we obviously needed to

come out with a win. A lot of good things happened.”

The Brewers spent the first half of the season struggling with

injuries and consistency. Against Arizona, they had trouble holding

leads in three frustrating games in the desert.

Milwaukee prevented the sweep by roughing up Ian Kennedy (3-6)

with a string of two-strike hits and a second straight strong

outing by Peralta (7-9)

The hitting came early: Four runs the first two innings against

Kennedy.

Carlos Gomez hit a two-run single in the first inning, Schafer

drove in another run in the second with a sacrifice bunt and added

a solo homer in the fifth.

Peralta, coming off his first complete game shutout, effectively

worked around base runners all day, and the bullpen held after he

left, helping the Brewers end a six-game losing streak to the

Diamondbacks.

A nice finish to the first half for the Brewers with a

much-needed break coming up.

”It’s great to close out the first half like this and hopefully

we can keep it going after the break,” Schafer said. ”We’ve had

some guys banged up and these four days should be good for us to

get ourselves back healthy.”

Swept by the Dodgers earlier in the week, Arizona responded with

three impressive victories over Milwaukee.

With a chance for their first sweep of the Brewers, the

Diamondbacks fell flat, unable to bounce back after Kennedy’s shaky

outing left him stuck on 49 career wins for the seventh straight

start.

Miguel Montero homered for the second straight game, but Arizona

went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, failing to

capitalize after getting the leadoff man on six times.

A dud to finish, yes, but the Diamondbacks still head into the

break leading the NL West, 2 1-2 games ahead of the Dodgers at

50-45.

”We are in first place,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson

said. ”We had a lot of trial and tribulations, but the team has

hung in there well. We have stuck together well.”

Peralta, who tossed a three-hitter against Cincinnati his last

start, worked around base runners through the first four innings

with the help of two double plays and a pickoff by catcher Martin

Maldonado after Adam Eaton strayed too far off first in the

third.

The right-hander extended his scoreless streak to 19 1-3 innings

until Montero hit his first pitch of the fifth for his eighth

homer.

Peralta stranded runners at second and third in the sixth inning

and worked around another runner in the seventh. He allowed a run

and seven hits and struck out eight.

”He’s an emotional guy and you see it on the mound,” Roenicke

said. ”You see when he’s frustrated, but when he can regroup after

being frustrated and make good pitches, that’s what I like to

see.”

Kennedy’s frustrations continued.

The right-hander has struggled with his put-away pitches, a big

reason he’s labored through the first half of the season.

Kennedy again had trouble putting hitters away against the

Brewers, allowing four straight singles to open the game – all

after getting ahead 0-2 or 1-2.

The fourth one was by Gomez, who lined an 0-2 pitch through the

right side for a two-run single and another run came in on a

groundout by Maldonado.

Schafer drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt in the second

inning and, after falling behind 0-2, led off the fifth inning with

a homer that put the Brewers up 5-0.

Kennedy allowed five runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings, the

second straight start he’s allowed five earned runs. He hasn’t won

since June 1 against the Cubs.

”A lot of crazy things going on,” said Kennedy, 0-3 with a

6.58 ERA his past seven starts. ”I am not pitching to my abilities

every once in a while, not throwing well. Very inconsistent would

probably be the word.”

NOTES: Arizona 2B Aaron Hill ended a 0-for-16 streak with a

single in the fourth inning. … The Brewers have more than 70

stolen bases (77) before the All-Star break for the first time

since swiping 87 bases in 1993. … Diamondbacks 3B Martin Prado

made a pair of diving stops – one in each direction – to take away

hits from Maldonado in the first inning and Jeff Bianchi in the

sixth. … Arizona opens the second half of the season at San

Francisco on Friday. Milwaukee faces Miami at home the same

day.