Brewers finish off a sweep of the Reds, Thames leaves with injury

The Cincinnati Reds are all the Milwaukee Brewers need to feel good about themselves.

For a sixth time in seven games this year, the Crew came out on top against their NL Central rivals, this time a 9-4 victory on Wednesday afternoon to finish off a three-game sweep.

Milwaukee jumped all over pitcher Rookie Davis, chasing him after just 2 2/3rds innings, and tagging him with eight runs – seven earned – on 11 hits to move back above .500 on the year.

Outfielder Ryan Braun got things started with a two-run double in the first and that was followed by three more runs in the opening inning. In the third, Orlando Arcia drilled a two-run homer that pushed Milwaukee’s lead to 8-1 and the Reds wouldn’t come close to challenging the rest of the way.

Wily Peralta got the win, though he didn’t have his best stuff. He went five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks to improve to 4-1 on the year.

Eric Thames, who had homered in his first six games against the Reds, did not go yard again, but did score twice before leaving with tightness in his left hamstring. He told reporters afterwards that it wasn’t serious and he doesn’t expect to miss any time.

Milwaukee has Thursday off, but will open a weekend series against the Atlanta Braves on Friday at Miller Park.

Thames sets franchise-record, Brewers beat Reds 9-1

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Eric Thames mashed his 11th home run of the year, setting a franchise record for the month of April in a 9-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday night.

Thames now leads the majors in home runs, slugging percentage (.929), on-base plus slugging (1.411), and runs scored (25). Having faced steroid accusations for most of his life, Thames joked about the process following the win.

“This whole thing is surprising me, as well,” Thames said of his hot start to the season. “I really have no goals for this year. I wasn’t trying to break any records or set anything. I just wanted to apply what I learned in Korea to see how it would fare here. I’m shocked at all the results.”

“So, yeah, if people keep thinking I’m on stuff, I’ll be here every day. I have lots of blood and urine.”

But it was more than just Thames who contributed to the win. Hernan Perez hit a pair of RBI triples along with a home run, while Jonathan Villar added four RBIs. Zach Davies was masterful from the mound, throwing five innings of shutout baseball, striking out six Reds batters in the process.

Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana struggled at the plate, going 0-for-4 and 0-for-5, respectively.

The win puts Milwaukee two games out of first place in the National League Central behind the Chicago Cubs.

Thames, Garza lead Brewers past Reds 11-7

MILWAUKEE — Eric Thames increased his home run total to 10, while Matt Garza impressed in his season debut to give the Milwaukee Brewers an 11-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds Monday night.

Thames’ hot April continued early in the game, blasting his ninth and tenth home runs of the year in the first and second innings of the game. He’s now hit seven home runs against the Reds this season in just five games.

But Hernan Perez may have played just as big a role in Milwaukee’s win, bombing a three-run home run at the score board in the first inning. The Brewers are now outscoring opponents in the first inning 22-7. That early run support made Garza’s job easier, striking out four batters during his four innings of work. He allowed just one earned run, but Cincinnati was able to grind out his pitch counts to 93 before his day was over.

Milwaukee is now a half game out of second place in the National League Central with two more games coming against Cincinnati at Miller Park.

Leake dominates as Cardinals beat Brewers in series finale 6-4

MILWAUKEE — Mike Leake not only threw six innings of two-run baseball, but drove in two runs with his bat, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a 6-4 win Sunday over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Leake’s two-run single in the fourth inning put St. Louis ahead for good, with Ryan Braun coming up just short of a game-tying home run in the ninth inning. Leake also dominated on the mound, striking out six Milwaukee batters in his six innings of work. He picks up his third win of the year and his ERA dropped to 1.32 on the season.

“It doesn’t feel good, it is kind of like a dagger. It is one of the last things you want to do.”

That was leake’s reaction when asked about getting a hit against opposing pitcher Jimmy Nelson when Nelson got ahead in the count 0-2. Nelson would allow just one more earned run the rest of the way, but the damage had already been done after walking six batters.

The Cardinals got the job done without swinging for the fences. It’s the first time since Apr. 14, 2014 that St. Louis has left Milwaukee without at least one home run during the course of a series.

Cardinals silence the Brewers bats in a 4-1 win

For a second straight night, the St. Louis Cardinals were able to silence the bats of the Milwaukee Brewers and come away winners.

Starter Lance Lynn (2-1) scattered three hits over six innings of work and gave up just one run to get the win, as the Cardinals beat the Brewers 4-1, the fourth loss for Milwaukee in its last five games.

Chase Anderson matched Lynn pitch-for-pitch, not giving up an earned run over his six innings of work and left the game with it tied at 1-1. But the bullpen couldn’t keep it that way, as Aledmys Diaz drilled a pitch-hit home run off reliever Carlos Torres in the seventh to give the Cardinals a lead they wouldn’t give up.

Torres took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the year.

Milwaukee’s lone offense was an RBI double for Travis Shaw in the first inning. The Crew loaded the bases in the eighth inning but couldn’t get anything out of it.

The Brewers (9-10) will look for a split of the four-game series Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.

Wainwright dominates the Brewers in a 6-3 win for St. Louis

Milwaukee had no answer for Adam Wainwright on the mound or at the plate Friday night, as St. Louis earned a 6-3 win over the Brewers.

The Cardinals starter made it five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out nine to pick up his first win of the year, but he was even more impressive when swinging his bat. Wainwright drilled a 2-run homer in the third inning, and followed that up with a 2-run single the next inning, finishing the night with four RBI’s.

“He’s certainly, for a pitcher, capable of swinging the bat, but he’s also (still) a pitcher. We’ve got to make pitches on those guys,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said afterwards. “He had a big night. His two at-bats were the difference in the game, for sure. Give him credit.”

All the damage he did was against Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta, who lost for the first time this year. He gave up all six runs over his four innings of work, and for just the third time in his career, he didn’t record a single strikeout.

Milwaukee’s bullpen did some good work in relief of Peralta, allowing just three hits and no runs over the final five innings.

The Brewers bats were largely silent, though a Ryan Braun homer in the eighth inning stretched the number of games they’ve hit at least one home run to 13 straight.

It’ll be the same two teams on Saturday night at Miller Park. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m.

Thames, Shaw power the Brewers past St. Louis 7-5

Eric Thames and Travis Shaw combined for five RBI’s to help the Milwaukee Brewers power their way past the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5 Thursday night at Miller Park.

Shaw got the party started in the bottom of the first inning, drilling a 3-run homer into the right field stands that measured 465-feet, the longest deep ball of the year in the Major Leagues. It was the third baseman’s fifth homer of the season.

Later, with St. Louis leading 4-3 in the fifth inning, Thames introduced himself to pitcher Carlos Martinez with a 2-run shot, his MLB-leading eighth home run of the year, to give Milwaukee a lead it would not relinquish.

The duo of Shaw and Thames combined to go 4 of 8 on the night with three runs scored, and Thames upped his batting average to .415 on the year.

Starter Zach Davies (1-2) got his first win of the year by going 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, striking out five and walking a pair. He turned things over to a bullpen that held St. Louis to just three hits and one run the rest of the way.

The win snapped a 2-game losing streak and allowed the Brewers to move back above .500 to 9-8 on the season.

It’ll be the same two teams tonight at Miller Park. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.

Cubs strike again in comeback fashion, beat Brewers 7-4

CHICAGO | The Brewers found a way to finish 6-3 on their roadtrip and still feel like they left something on the table. For the second straight day the Chicago Cubs came back to beat the Crew.

Addison Russell hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the 9th off Milwaukee closer Neftali Feliz. The Cubs beat the Crew 7-4. Tuesday night the Cubs came back from 5-0 down to win 9-7.

In a game that started 55 minutes late due to a rain delay, the Brewers chased star pitcher Kyle Hendricks from the game after just five innings of work. Hendricks gave up two homers and four walks in the first four innings. That’s the most homers and walks he’s ever given up in a major league start.

Milwaukee’s Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer in the first off Hendricks in the first inning. Jett Bandy hit a solo shot off Hendricks in the third. But it wasn’t enough as the Brewers bullpen blew it.

Corey Knebel gave up a run in the 8th. Brewers closer Neftali Feliz fell to 0-2 and blew his first save of the year giving up 4 earned runs in the bottom of the 9th including the big blase to Russell.

The Brewers (8-8) start a ten-game homestand against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday night at Miller Park.

Brewers blow 5-run lead, lose 9-7 at Chicago

A four-run sixth inning was enough to get the Chicago Cubs past Milwaukee with a 9-7 win on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

Jimmy Nelson had a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of sixth but couldn’t hold it. After retiring the first batter, he proceeded to give up three hits and a run before manager Craig Counsell pulled him. Insert Jared Hughes, who couldn’t stem the Cubs momentum, giving up a triple to Jon Jay that scored a pair, followed by a wild pitch that allowed Chicago to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Hughes got the loss, but Nelson’s line wasn’t pretty either. After two really good outings to start the year, he got tagged with seven runs on nine hits and gave up a pair of home runs.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s offense kept rolling along, led by first baseman Eric Thames. Though he didn’t hit a home run for the first time in five games, the lefty did go 3 or 4 from the plate and scored twice. Third baseman Travis Shaw had a pair of doubles and three RBI’s on the night, while outfielder Domingo Santana knocked in a couple runs as well.

The loss was just the second in the last eight games for Milwaukee.

The two teams will play the rubber match of their three-game series this afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Thames and Braun lead Brewers to a 6-3 win over the Cubs

Eric Thames continued his torrid start to the year as Milwaukee went to Chicago and beat the Cubs 6-3 Monday night for its sixth win in the last seven games.

With the game tied at three in the third inning, Thames stepped to the plate and drilled a home run into the left field bleachers to give the Brewers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. For Thames, it was his fifth consecutive game with a homer, tying the franchise record set by Jeremy Burnitz.

“What he’s doing is really hard to do,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s on a good streak right now, no question. Seeing this certainly bodes well for the rest of the year.”

The homer for Thames, who was signed as a free agent after spending the last three years playing in Korea, was his seventh overall on the year, which leads MLB. He’s also batting .405, which is second in the National League.

His hot start has overshadowed what has been a remarkable beginning for Ryan Braun. The outfielder had a 2-run homer in the first inning, his fifth of the year, which matches his total for all of April last season.

“It’s unique that Ryan is not getting the attention after a five home run start in the first couple weeks of the season,” Counsell said. “He’s happy with it, I guarantee it.”

Braun had a total of three RBI’s on the night, which helped make Chase Anderson a winner for a second time this year. The Brewers starter made it five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out five.

Four relievers helped Milwaukee close things out, including Neftali Feliz, who picked up his fifth save of the year.

Milwaukee (8-6) and Chicago (6-7) will play game two of their series tonight at Wrigley Field.