Braun, Brewers stay hot as Milwaukee wins fifth straight
The Milwaukee Brewers are feeling right at home on the road and gaining more confidence with each win.
Ryan Braun hit a two-run triple during a three-run eighth inning rally to lead the Brewers to their fifth straight win, 9-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.
Carlos Gomez and Mark Reynolds homered and Jean Segura doubled and drove in a run for Milwaukee, which has won all five games during the streak on the road beginning with a sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said winning on the road can be a huge boost for a club.
”When you win on the road, and not just winning but against the teams that we’re playing, then it becomes really important,” Roenicke said.
The Brewers snapped a 4-all tie in the eighth when they scored three runs on one hit off Antonio Bastardo (0-1). Reynolds scored the go-ahead run on an error by first baseman Ryan Howard, who let Logan Schafer’s grounder go into right field.
Braun, who hit three homers Tuesday, broke the game open with a two-run triple to the wall in left-center that made it 7-4.
Tyler Thornburg (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory.
Braun, who served a 65-game suspension for violations of major league baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract, was booed during each of his four putouts and every at-bat – none louder than when he reached third in the eighth.
Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
”We’re just getting hit after hit and it’s fun to be a part of,” Reynolds said. ”Offenses go through this, they just click. Guys get big hits. You go through these streaks where it’s fun to be a part of and tough to get us out. We’re just going to ride this streak out as long as we can.”
Philadelphia starter Roberto Hernandez allowed four runs – three earned – on seven hits in five innings while coming within one strikeout of matching his career high with nine.
”Hernandez threw the ball well,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. ”He was mixing his pitches and did a nice job.”
Brewers starter Matt Garza gave up four runs – three earned – on eight hits in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks.
”I couldn’t really find a groove,” Garza said. ”I fought myself for six and am happy to keep my team in there. All that matters is the `W’. We stack as many as we can and see what happens at the end of September. That’s what you play for.”
The teams combined for five runs on four hits and two errors in a shaky first inning where both teams looked in early season form. Milwaukee scored a pair of the runs in the top half, bolstered by four-time Gold Glove winner Jimmy Rollins’ rare error at shortstop.
It was a continuation of a problem for Philadelphia, which upped its total to nine errors in eight games. Sandberg, in his first full season as a manager after taking over for fired Charlie Manuel last Aug. 16, has stressed getting back to fundamental baseball.
”We definitely have to straighten things up,” Sandberg said. ”We’re working on it.”
Philadelphia took the lead with three runs in the bottom half that included a Garza balk and second baseman Scooter Gennett’s throwing error.
Segura’s second-inning RBI double tied it at 3 and the Brewers went ahead 4-3 on Gomez’s solo homer to left in the fourth. As is his custom, Gomez eschewed the traditional home-run trot for an all-out sprint around the bases.
Marlon Byrd’s single to center in the fifth tied it at 4.
Ben Revere, criticized in Philadelphia on Wednesday for making an error and misplaying another ball in Tuesday’s 10-4 home-opening loss, made a spectacular, diving catch to rob Gennett of a hit in the second inning.
Roenicke successfully challenged a first-inning out call by second base umpire Adrian Johnson, who incorrectly ruled that Revere beat Garza’s throw to second. Replays, though, showed that Segura tagged Revere’s leg before he reached the bag. The replay caused a delay of 1:29.