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Milwaukee at Atlanta

W: J. Bennett (1-0) L: J. Suppan (10-12)
S: R. Soriano (8)
HR: MIL - R. Weeks (12)   ATL - None

Ex-Brewer blocks Milwaukee from gaining ground

CBSSports.com wire reports

ATLANTA -- For Jeff Bennett, it was nothing personal. He just wanted to help his new team's playoff chances.

In his first major league start, Bennett allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings against his former team, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.

Milwaukee, trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 1982, slipped to 1½ games behind the NL Central-leading Cubs, who were idle. The Brewers have nine games left, one fewer than Chicago.

The Braves also have nine games left, and they closed to 4½ games of the East lead when the New York Mets lost to the Florida 8-7 in 10 innings. Several players and coaches hung around the clubhouse to cheer on the Marlins.

"We still have a chance to make the playoffs. This was real important," Bennett said. "I've been on several teams in the minors that put on a run at the end of the season and did well. With as much pop as we have in our lineup, you can't count us out."

The Braves have won five in a row, equaling their season high.

Bennett's lone season in the majors was 2004, when he went 1-5 with a 4.79 ERA for the Brewers. He had been in the minors ever since, spending part of the time recovering from major elbow surgery.

The 27-year-old right-hander was called up Wednesday from Triple-A Richmond to make a start for Atlanta's thin rotation -- against Milwaukee, no less.

"This was not a revenge-type thing," he said. "I was just looking over there and seeing a lot of friends on that team. It was just a lot of fun, more than anything."

Bennett struck out the side in the first, including Prince Fielder and Corey Hart with two runners aboard. He finished with eight strikeouts, fooling the Brewers with a new style since his surgery.

"I'm not throwing as hard as I was when I was with them," Bennett said. "I'm moving it around and changing speeds. I'm sure that threw them off a little bit."

Chipper Jones was 3-of-4 for the Braves, raising his average to .342 and passing Colorado's Matt Holliday for the NL lead. Holliday went 1-for-4 against Los Angeles, his average slipping to .339.

Atlanta's Edgar Renteria, third in the batting race, was hitless in three at-bats and dropped to .336.

Rickie Weeks homered for Milwaukee, which has gone deep 216 times this season. That ties the franchise record set by the 1982 team known as "Harvey's Wallbangers," which lost to St. Louis in the World Series.

But that was it off Bennett, who lasted until the sixth. After giving up a walk and a single, he was replaced by Manny Acosta and walked off the mound to a standing ovation. He felt like he belonged.

"You're not going to rattle him," Braves catcher Brian McCann said. "You could tell in his eyes. He wanted the ball. He knows he's got the stuff to pitcher here and stay here."

Acosta struck out Geoff Jenkins to end the sixth. Rafael Soriano, who was handed a four-game suspension earlier in the day for plunking Florida's Dan Uggla on Monday, pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save.

Soriano appealed the suspension and will be allowed to pitch until Major League Baseball hears his case. In the meantime, he helped put a dent in Milwaukee's playoff hopes.

"We have to win games from here on out," Weeks said. "We could rattle off 10 in a row, but we would still need help here and there."

McCann put Atlanta ahead with an RBI single in the first, the Braves catching a break when right fielder Joe Dillon stumbled and fell going after a routine fly. Atlanta extended its lead on Jones' two-run, bases-loaded single off Jeff Suppan (10-12) in the second.

"Having the bases loaded with Chipper up was a difficult situation," Suppan said. "I tried to make the best pitch possible. Honestly, I don't know what the pitch was. He's a very, very good hitter. That was the game."

Suppan lasted six innings, giving up seven hits, walking two and striking out six while losing for the first time since Aug. 22. He had gone 2-0 with a pair of no-decisions in his previous four starts.

Jones also had singles in the first and fifth before grounding out sharply to the pitcher in the eighth. The fifth-inning single was questionable, a grounder to second that was bobbled by Weeks but ruled a hit by the official scorer.


  • Renteria lined out to second, struck out and hit into a double play.
  • Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets was diagnosed with a mild hamstring strain and is questionable for his next scheduled start on Sunday.
  • Suppan dropped to 3-8 with a 5.38 on the road, but he did have his best outing ever against the Braves. He had given up 14 runs in 13 2/3 innings vs. Atlanta, an ERA of 9.22.
  • The Braves have two other five-game winning streaks this season.
Copyright 2017 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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Braves righty Jeff Bennett fans eight and allows only one run in 5 2/3 innings of work.  (AP)
Braves righty Jeff Bennett fans eight and allows only one run in 5 2/3 innings of work. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Bennett
IP 5.2
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 8

C. Jones
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B4111131 .232
Joe Dillon, RF3010111 .354
    Seth McClung, P0000000 .000
    Mike Rivera, C0000000 .500
Ryan Braun, 3B4010012 .320
Prince Fielder, 1B3000122 .289
Corey Hart, CF3000113 .297
Geoff Jenkins, LF3020000 .265
   a- Kevin Mench, PH0000000 .272
   b- Tony Gwynn Jr., PH-LF1000001 .265
Damian Miller, C3000023 .241
   c- Laynce Nix, PH1000011 .000
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
J.J. Hardy, SS4010000 .276
Jeff Suppan, P1000010 .123
   d- Gabe Gross, PH-RF2000000 .237
a-announced for Jenkins in the 8th
b-flied out for Mench in the 8th
c-struck out for D. Miller in the 8th
d-flied out for Suppan in the 7th
2B - Geoff Jenkins (24, J. Bennett)
HR - Rickie Weeks (12, J. Bennett)
SH - Jeff Suppan (9)
RBI - Rickie Weeks (29)
SB - Rickie Weeks (23, 3rd base off Acosta/McCann)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Joe Dillon 1
DP - Weeks-Hardy-Fielder, Hardy-Weeks-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Suppan (L,10-12) 6733260 4.72
Seth McClung 1100100 4.32
Ray King 1000010 4.86
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 86-54, Seth McClung 18-8, Ray King 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 6-4, Seth McClung 1-1, Ray King 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 25, Seth McClung 4, Ray King 3
Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B4000014 .281
Edgar Renteria, SS3000111 .336
Chipper Jones, 3B4132000 .342
Mark Teixeira, 1B3000121 .309
Brian McCann, C4021000 .275
Jeff Francoeur, RF3000013 .292
Andruw Jones, CF3110000 .221
Matt Diaz, LF2110110 .338
Jeff Bennett, P2000012 .000
    Manny Acosta, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1010000 .197
    Ron Mahay, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
a-hit a bunt single for Acosta in the 7th
RBI - Chipper Jones 2 (96), Brian McCann (91)
2-OUT RBI - Chipper Jones 2 (27), Brian McCann (40)
Team LOB - 5
E - Brian McCann (13, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
Jeff Bennett (W,1-0) 5.2611181 1.59
Manny Acosta (H,3) 1.1000210 2.41
Ron Mahay (H,6) 0.1000110 2.69
Tyler Yates (H,13) 0.2000010 5.15
Rafael Soriano (S,8) 1000010 3.13
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Bennett 89-55, Manny Acosta 34-19, Ron Mahay 8-3, Tyler Yates 6-5, Rafael Soriano 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Bennett 8-1, Manny Acosta 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Bennett 24, Manny Acosta 6, Ron Mahay 2, Tyler Yates 2, Rafael Soriano 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26595
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Ed Montague