Brewers infielder Miller riding career-best hitting streak

It was early June, and the Milwaukee Brewers needed a boost offensively from their middle infield. Eric Sogard was hitting .114/.222/.152 in 38 games, and young shortstop Orlando Arcia wasn’t much better (.207/.244/.274 in 52 contests).

So on June 10, general manager David Stearns went to the phones and worked out a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, swapping fan-favorite (but fourth-string first baseman) Ji-Man Choi for a 28-year-old utility man, Brad Miller.

Eleven games later, the Miller experiment at a ballpark with the same name seems to be a good investment.

In his first at-bat in a Brewers uniform, Miller drove in a run. Four days later, he mashed a homer. And on July 2, Miller drew a bases-loaded walk to beat the Minnesota Twins in extra innings, brilliantly sharing his secret to walk-off BBs: “Don’t swing.”

The infielder is making a difference when he decides to swing, too.

Since joining the Brewers, Miller owns a .343/.410/.600 slash line and has collected three doubles, two homers and seven RBI in 11 games (29 plate appearances). He’s currently riding a nine-game hitting streak — the longest of his career, besting two previous runs of eight straight during his previous stints with Tampa Bay and Seattle.

Miller’s streak will be put to the test Thursday night when he faces Atlanta starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez. Miller is a career 0-for-7 with three strikeouts and four walks against the right-hander.

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NOTABLE

— Milwaukee’s 51 wins is the tied for the franchise record (through 86 games), tied with the 2014 team and the 1982 club that won the American League.

— Atlanta’s starting rotation has a 3.47 ERA, which ranks fourth in baseball.

— The Brewers have scored 10+ runs in seven games this season, and five of those have come against NL East teams. Milwaukee is averaging 7.12 runs per game against teams in Atlanta’s division.

— At Miller Park, Brewers pitchers have fanned 400 hitters in 400 innings of work. That’s a 9.0 K/9, which is good for fifth in the National League.

— The Braves, who own a 1.5-game lead in the NL East, have the best road record in the NL at 26-19.

Statistics courtesy STATS, baseball-reference.com