MILWAUKEE — One-third of the way through the season, the Milwaukee Brewers sit with their best 54-game record in franchise history.
A suddenly red-hot offense led the way Wednesday night, as the Brewers scored early and added on late in an 8-3 win to take the three-game series from the Baltimore Orioles at Miller Park.
The Brewers have won four of their last six games to reach the one-third mark of the schedule at 32-22 and 2 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the National League Central.
"I like the way we’re playing," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said."We had a couple of weeks when we didn’t play that well but I think we’re playing good ball again. The offense is really going. Pitchers, there are a couple of guys we need to get cleaned up some."
Milwaukee recorded 10 or more hits for the eighth consecutive game, as the Brewers jumped on Baltimore starter Bud Norris for runs in each of the first three innings. A pair of walks put two on in the first before Carlos Gomez drove in the first run of the game with a single, extending his hitting streak to nine games in the process.
After the Orioles tied it on a Nelson Cruz home run against Yovani Gallardo in the second, Ryan Braun doubled home a pair of runs with two outs in the bottom half of the inning. The Brewers manufactured a run in the third, as Gomez was hit by a pitch, stole second and then ended up scoring on two consecutive fly outs.
Like the previous two games in the series, the Orioles fought back and had it within 4-3 in the eighth inning. The Brewers didn’t need extra innings this time around, as the offense quickly tacked on four runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Gomez led off with a double and moved to third on a bloop single from Mark Reynolds. With the Orioles switching to the left-handed Brian Matusz, Roenicke pinch hit Rickie Weeks for Scooter Gennett. Weeks came through with an RBI single to give the Brewers a big insurance run.
Continuing to swing a hot bat, Khris Davis followed with a majestic three-run home run — his third of the series — to make it 8-3.
"It was huge because they had the momentum going and for us to deliver a big blow like that puts a hurting on that," Davis said. "It was a good win."
Davis finished the series against the Orioles 7-for-11 with three home runs and five RBI and is 12-for-27 with four home runs over his seven-game hitting streak. His average has jumped from .215 to .251 in the past 10 days.
"I’ve found something I can believe in, in my swing, and I couldn’t be any more happy with the way I’ve been able to put quality ABs together day after day," Davis said. "I’ve shown flashes, but I’ve been able to hold onto something where it keeps me locked in.
"Just spinning on pitches and trusting my hands. Working the other way. That opposite-field approach. Just feeling like my hands will do the work and using the bat as a tool rather than letting the bat swing me."
Taking the final two games from the Orioles has helped the Brewers erase what was a bit of a rough patch, losing five of seven in Chicago and Atlanta. Since, Milwaukee has won four of six and taken two straight series to regain a good feeling as the calendar is about to hit June.
"We expected to be here," Gallardo said. "Going into spring training, you always want to be in first place no matter what point in the season it is. We have a good mix of guys in this clubhouse to keep this going throughout the year."