For the first time since their mid-April trip to New York to meet the Mets, the Braves have now scored 6 or more runs in consecutive games, and this time the Brewers were the victim as the Braves bats used a big 8th inning to power their way to a 9-3 win; their 2nd consecutive victory and the 3rd in a row over Milwaukee.
The Braves picked up where they left off in the 9th inning of yesterday afternoon's rally against the Cardinals: They took advantage of slipshod pitching and throwing from the opposition to score a run, and indeed, the first run of the game was scored thanks to Martin Maldonado making a complete adventure of things behind the plate. With Evan Gattis at the plate, Justin Upton on 1st, and Jason Heyward on 2nd, Maldonado lost a ball thrown by Wily Peralta. Maldonado's throw to 3rd ended up in left field, which allowed Heyward to score the game's first run, and the scoring ended there for the Braves until the 2nd inning.
A Ramiro Pena single in the 2nd brought in B.J. Upton to make it 2-0. In the third, Freddie Freeman hit both the ball and Khris Davis' glove over the left field fence for a solo home run to make it 3-0. If you don't believe me about the whole "glove goes over the fence" thing, then here's proof so that I won't get accused of being a lazy blogger.
Meanwhile, in the series preview I noted that despite all of the productive guys that the NL Central-leading Brewers have in their lineup, a guy like Khris Davis would be the one to probably hit the Braves pretty hard because that's just been the team's luck as of late. And as if he read the blog post for encouragement, Khris Davis delivered in the top of the 5th with a 2-run HR to cut the Braves lead down to 1. No gloves went over the fence in this incident.
A bizarre play occurred in the bottom of the 6th with Justin Upton at bat and Mike Minor and Jason Heyward on base. Justin hit a deep fly to the warning track off of Zach Duke to record what should have been the 1st out of the inning. Unfortunately for the Brewers, Martin Maldonado made another mistake behind the plate. This time, he was charged with Catcher's Interference and Justin Upton was awarded first base while a lot of people began to ponder the possibilities of how far that ball would have gone if Catcher's Interference didn't occur on the play. It ended up being a pretty important play, because this brought Gattis up to the plate and he hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Mike Minor, who advanced to 3rd on the interference. The sac fly made it 4-2 as we went into the latter stages of the game.
The 8th inning was the biggest one of the game. With Chris Carpenter on the mound, the Brewers pulled back to within 1 run thanks to Ryan Braun breaking out of his mini-slump since returning from an oblique injury to hit a HR. Braun didn't exactly receive a warm welcome from the 20,000~ or so fans at the Ted tonight, but he did continue his great run of performances away from Miller Park, as Braun has hit much better on the road than he has in Milwaukee.
The Braves struck back in the bottom half of the inning and, after stranding a few runners earlier in the game on multiple occasions, the floodgates finally opened for the Braves' offense. A leadoff homer from Ryan Doumit started the carnage, and following a 2-run bomb from Justin Upton and a 2-out RBI single by Andrelton Simmons, Ramiro Pena rounded off the big inning with a RBI single to bring in B.J. Upton to make the score 9-3. Anthony Varvaro came in in the top of the 9th and recorded a walk and 3 Ks to nail down the Braves' 24th victory of the season.
Mike Minor went 6.2 innings with 5 strikeouts and had to be thankful for the decent amount of run support that he received while he was in the game, which served as a pretty lovely start to the long series against Milwaukee. Hopefully we'll see more of the same for Julio Teheran tomorrow as the Braves will try to keep the good times rolling on offense against Yovani Gallardo.