Milwaukee offense awakens, spurs win over San Diego
MILWAUKEE — Kyle Lohse pumped his right first waiting in the on-deck circle as Jean Segura’s three-run homer cleared the left-field fence in the second inning.
It sure felt good for Milwaukee’s veteran right-hander to get some early run support in Miller Park from a lineup off to a middling start at the plate at home.
Lohse allowed five hits and no walks in seven innings, Khris Davis added a solo shot in the fourth and the Brewers improved to a big league-best 16-6 with a 5-2 win Wednesday night over the San Diego Padres.
"You get some runs on the board, it is big for us to go out and shut down the next inning to keep the other team down and keep the momentum going," Lohse said.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save, his 313th over 12 full big league seasons.
Brewers batters backed up another good outing by the pitching staff with nine hits at home, where the team had been averaging just two runs and six hits entering the night.
After four straight one-run games, going 3-1, the Brewers got a relative breather.
"It’s always nice coming in to the last inning with Frankie coming out there and he doesn’t have to be perfect," manager Ron Roenicke said. "If you’re two runs up with your closer coming in you feel really good about a ball game."
Roenicke said before the game it was only a matter of time before his squad broke out of its hitting slump at home — and his players backed him up with four runs and five hits in the first two innings.
Tyson Ross (2-3) allowed a season-high five earned runs in six innings, regressing after striking out nine and shutting out the Giants over eight innings in his previous start last week. He had little to celebrate Wednesday, a day after he turned 27.
Milwaukee was aggressive from the outset and made solid contact early in counts. Ryan Braun doubled home a run in the first on a 1-1 pitch, the same count on which eighth-place hitter Segura hit a 385-foot homer off the green facade over the left-field wall.
"He just couldn’t get ahead of hitters and put them away," Padres manager Bud Black said of Ross. "They jumped out on some balls that were out of over the plate. The big blow was the home run."
Getting the 24-year-old Segura going will help what’s already a potent Brewers lineup. Segura, who was dropped from second to eighth in the order after starting the season hitting .232, hit his first homer since July 30, spanning 269 plate appearances.
Segura said being dropped in the order was tough, but he feels he’s making progress with the bat. Still, the Brewers are 10 games over .500 even with Segura still finding his way.
"We’re doing some great things on the field, pitching, bullpen," Segura said. "We’re going in the right direction."
San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the first off of Seth Smith’s sacrifice fly, but was otherwise limited until pinch-hitter Nick Hundley’s RBI single with two outs in the seventh.
Lohse, in his 14th season in the majors, was changing speeds and mixing his curve effectively with a slider and fastball.
"He used both sides of the plate extremely well. It was a veteran pitcher making pitches," Black said. "It was really Pitching 101."
NOTES: A fan sitting in the front row next to the Brewers dugout left with an ice pack on her right wrist after apparently being hit by a bat that flew out of the hands of Padres pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal in the seventh on a strikeout. … Black said RHP Josh Johnson is scheduled for elbow ligament-replacement surgery for the second time in his career and will miss the entire season. Johnson was placed on the DL before the season began. … Brewers RHP Brandon Kintzler (rotator cuff) had a 40-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and appears on track to return from the DL on Friday. The setup man has been sidelined since April 9. … The Padres will start LHP Eric Stults (1-2) when they begin a three-game series in Washington on Thursday. … The Brewers are off Thursday and plan to start RHP Matt Garza (0-2) at home against the Cubs on Friday.