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Sheets gets in win column, helps Brewers to first sweep of Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

MILWAUKEE -- Ben Sheets is back to winning, and the Milwaukee Brewers already are accomplishing unprecedented feats.

Sheets got his first victory since tearing a back muscle last August, and the Brewers beat Atlanta 5-4 Wednesday for their first sweep of any kind against the Braves.

"There's a first time for everything," Sheets said. "I'm glad it was this time."

Sheets' fastball reached 96 mph on the radar gun as late as his final inning. Sheets (1-2) gave up two runs and six hits, striking out nine in six innings.

"Believe it or not, Benny wasn't nearly as sharp as his last start," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He's back healthy again -- we don't even think about that anymore -- and doing what he does best. He was on the attack."

The Brewers ace's season ended last Aug. 26 when he hurt himself while pitching against the Braves. He began this year on the disabled list with shoulder problems related to the back but struck out 16 in a pair of losses at New York and home against Cincinnati.

"I'm thinking about making outs. I told y'all, I feel good," Sheets said in his native Louisiana drawl. "I'm not saying something couldn't happen, but if it keeps going, I'm going to keep pitching like I am and I ain't going to worry about it."

Milwaukee won three straight for its first sweep of any length over the Braves since moving from the American League to the NL in 1998. It's yet another step for a team that has real expectations for the first time after going 81-81 last season.

"That's the class of the league over there. It's been the class of the league or in the top class of the league the last 14 years," said Yost, who spent 12 years on the Braves coaching staff with Cox before becoming Milwaukee's manager in 2003. "We've never even won a series at home against them, let alone a sweep."

Closer Derrick Turnbow got his eighth save in eight chances despite allowing his ERA to balloon from 0.00 to 1.80. He had not allowed an earned run this season until Jeff Francoeur hit an RBI triple in the ninth and scored on Brian McCann's sacrifice fly.

Milwaukee scored three times in the fourth to take the lead for good at 3-1. After Jeff Cirillo led off with a single, first baseman Adam LaRoche made a wild throw just over shortstop Wilson Betemit's glove on a possible double-play grounder by Geoff Jenkins.

"Tough play. I should've ate it," LaRoche said. "I threw to the inside of the bag, just as I was releasing the ball, he went to the outside."

Carlos Lee hit a sacrifice fly and after a deep flyout by Prince Fielder, Corey Koskie homered off Jorge Sosa (0-4).

"He made a real mistake on 0-2 to Koskie," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

The Braves closed to 3-2 in the sixth when LaRoche doubled home Andruw Jones from first. The Brewers scored in the bottom half as third baseman Chipper Jones bobbled Chad Moeller's hard, two-out grounder with the bases loaded.

Fielder made it 5-2 when he hit an RBI single in the seventh off Mike Remlinger after Lance Cormier had loaded the bases on walks.

Sheets was even stronger early than his first home appearance when he struck out 10 in seven innings in a loss to Cincinnati.

Sheets retired the first six batters, striking out four, before McCann led off the third with a single. McCann reached second on a sacrifice bunt by Sosa, and scored when Marcus Giles hit a soft single up the middle to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

"Same old Sheets," Cox said. "That curveball is unreal. It's the best in baseball."

Notes

  • Sheets walked LaRoche in the fourth. Sheets has walked only one this season and struck out 25.
  • The Brewers optioned RHP Mike Adams to Triple-A Nashville.
  • Atlanta finished 3-5 on its trip.
  • The Brewers improved to 9-4 at Miller Park, winning eight games after trailing.
  • Atlanta fell to 2-11 in games in which it allowed a home run.
  • Cox said SS Edgar Renteria is on track to return on Friday after straining his left ribcage against San Diego April 15.
  • Cirillo started at second base for the second time this year for Rickie Weeks, and Moeller started at catcher instead of Damian Miller.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Milwaukee

C. Koskie
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Atlanta

B. McCann
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B4011021 .215
Ryan Langerhans, LF4000021 .281
    Ken Ray, P0000000 .000
Chipper Jones, 3B4010030 .276
Andruw Jones, CF3210111 .284
Adam LaRoche, 1B3011111 .221
Jeff Francoeur, RF4111013 .190
Brian McCann, C3131000 .305
Wilson Betemit, SS4000023 .254
Jorge Sosa, P0000000 .250
    Chuck James, P0000000 .000
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1000000 .194
    Lance Cormier, P0000000 .000
    Mike Remlinger, P0000000 .000
    Matt Diaz, LF0000000 .200
Totals3048421210 
a-grounded out for Villarreal in the 7th
Batting
2B - Chipper Jones (2, Sheets), Adam LaRoche (7, Sheets)
3B - Jeff Francoeur (1, Turnbow)
SF - Brian McCann (2)
SH - Jorge Sosa 2 (2)
RBI - Marcus Giles (2), Adam LaRoche (12), Jeff Francoeur (9), Brian McCann (7)
2-OUT RBI - Marcus Giles (1), Adam LaRoche (7)
CS - Marcus Giles (1, 2nd base by Sheets/Moeller)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Chipper Jones (3, Misplayed grounder), Adam LaRoche (1, Wild throw)
Atlanta Braves
Jorge Sosa (L,0-4) 5.1540141 6.89
Chuck James 0.1100000 2.45
Oscar Villarreal 0.1000110 1.80
Lance Cormier 0.1011300 2.92
Mike Remlinger 0.2100020 4.26
Ken Ray 1100210 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jorge Sosa 92-64, Chuck James 4-3, Oscar Villarreal 12-6, Lance Cormier 21-8, Mike Remlinger 11-8, Ken Ray 26-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge Sosa 5-7, Oscar Villarreal 1-0
Batters Faced - Jorge Sosa 22, Chuck James 2, Oscar Villarreal 3, Lance Cormier 4, Mike Remlinger 3, Ken Ray 6
Milwaukee Brewers
Gabe Gross, CF4000110 .333
Jeff Cirillo, 2B4210102 .300
Geoff Jenkins, RF3110210 .253
Carlos Lee, LF2101214 .304
Prince Fielder, 1B4011002 .361
Corey Koskie, 3B4122023 .328
J.J. Hardy, SS3020113 .272
Chad Moeller, C4000002 .231
Ben Sheets, P2000010 .000
   a- Bill Hall, PH1000013 .269
    Dan Kolb, P0000000 .000
    Matt Wise, P0000000 .000
   b- Brady Clark, PH1010000 .206
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000 .000
Totals325847819 
a-struck out for Sheets in the 6th
b-doubled for Wise in the 8th
Batting
2B - Corey Koskie (7, James), Brady Clark (2, Ray)
HR - Corey Koskie (2, Sosa)
SF - Carlos Lee (1)
RBI - Carlos Lee (18), Prince Fielder (13), Corey Koskie 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Koskie 2 (2)
CS - J.J. Hardy (1, 2nd base by Sosa/McCann)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Cirillo-Hardy-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Ben Sheets (W,1-2) 6622190 4.00
Dan Kolb (H,2) 1100000 0.00
Matt Wise (H,4) 1000020 3.60
Derrick Turnbow (S,8) 1122110 1.80
Pitches-Strikes - Ben Sheets 92-62, Dan Kolb 9-7, Matt Wise 22-15, Derrick Turnbow 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ben Sheets 5-3, Dan Kolb 2-0, Matt Wise 1-0
Batters Faced - Ben Sheets 24, Dan Kolb 3, Matt Wise 3, Derrick Turnbow 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18511
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Ed Rapuano