Brewers continue ‘great’ start thanks to solid all-around play
MILWAUKEE — The way things are going for the pitching staff of the Milwaukee Brewers, a three-run home run from the offense seems like a decisive blow.
Such was the case Wednesday night, as Kyle Lohse continued the trend of strong starting pitching, while the offense broke out with a pair of home runs in a 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres at Miller Park.
Jean Segura’s three-run home run off Padres starter Tyson Ross in the second inning put the Brewers up 4-1 and the game felt over.
"Right now, they’re the best starting rotation, the best bullpen also," Segura said. "We’ve got a guy who . . . I mean I can’t believe what we’re doing right now. We’re doing some great things on the field, pitching, bullpen, close.
"We’ve been perfect, we’re going in the right direction. That’s what we’re here for, so hopefully we’ll continue to do that."
After allowing a leadoff double to Everth Cabrera, Lohse retired 17 of the next 19 batters he faced. The Padres were able to bring Cabrera around to score in the first inning but had just two more hits against Lohse until the seventh inning.
"We had a good pace going," Lohse said. "We had a good gameplan and just went out there and just executed. We had a couple of things we wanted to do and got them done. I pitched in more than I normally do. That’s what we wanted to do."
A shaky defensive inning in the seventh gave the Padres an unearned run against Lohse, as a poor throw from Aramis Ramirez prevented what should have been an inning-ending double play and a fielding error by Lyle Overbay kept the inning alive.
Pinch hitter Nick Hundley singled to center with two outs to score Jedd Gyorko to make it 5-2, but Lohse bounced back to strike out Yasmani Grandal to end the threat.
"He used both sides of the plate extremely well," Padres manager Bud Black said of Lohse. "It was a veteran pitcher making pitches. It was really pitching 101."
Offensively, the Brewers answered San Diego’s first inning run with a tally of their own. Scooter Gennett singled off Ross with one out and scored on a Ryan Braun double to center.
Milwaukee started the second inning with three straight hits off Ross, as Davis and Overbay singled before Segura launched his first home run since July 30, 2013. Davis added a solo shot in the fourth inning to help the Brewers match their season high for runs scored at home.
Segura, hitting in the eighth spot for the second straight night, finished with a pair of hits to raise his batting average to .247.
"It always feels pretty good when you hit a ball out," Segura said. "I’ve been feeling pretty good when I play, hopefully come back and keep grinding."
The Brewers having any kind of lead late in games has been an automatic win thus far this season, and Wednesday was no different. Tyler Thornburg, Will Smith and Francisco Rodriguez combined to work a scoreless eighth and ninth to seal the victory.
"We obviously want to score runs but we feel so good about our bullpen that when we have any lead going into the seventh, eighth or ninth, we feel pretty good," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Hopefully that continues and the offense has the feeling like we just need to get them a lead. If those starters can go those seven innings, we can protect them."
Lohse lowered his ERA to 2.38 and picked up his fourth win of the season by allowing just the one earned run over seven innings. Milwaukee’s starting rotation has produced 17 quality starts in its 22 games this season, second-best in baseball behind Atlanta’s 18.
Pitching has carried the Brewers to a 16-6 start and won them yet another series, already their fifth series win of the season.
"We’re doing a good job of keeping our heads down and doing whatever we can to win that game," Lohse said. "That series in Pittsburgh, we find a way to win those games. There have been a lot of one-run games and close ones that we’ve been winning. You can’t do that looking ahead or if guys are distracted by something. We’re doing a good job of staying in the moment.
"It’s early in the season. We just have to keep piling the wins up and see where we are at come September. That’s the attitude in here. Hopefully everyone is on the same page."
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