Milwaukee at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Milwaukee (79-74) «000000031490
Atlanta (80-74)010000000151

Brewers rally off Hudson, nip Braves to stay close in NL Central

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ATLANTA -- Aware the Chicago Cubs had already won, the Milwaukee Brewers knew they needed to beat Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Corey Hart stayed patient and found a way to get the job done.

Hart keyed a three-run, eighth inning rally and the Brewers rallied to beat the Braves 4-1, staying close to the Cubs in the NL Central race.

The Brewers, who had lost two straight, rallied off Hudson (16-9) to remain 1½ games behind Chicago, who beat Pittsburgh 13-8 earlier Friday.

"I had a feeling if we could keep it close we surely would fine a way to score some runs," said Milwaukee manager Ned Yost. "I felt like we were getting good at-bats all game, but hitting it right at somebody. We just couldn't find any holes."

The Braves, who began the day 4½ games behind the New York Mets in the NL East and 5½ behind the San Diego Padres in the wild-card race, lost a game they couldn't afford to lose.

The Brewers were in the same position, and knew it coming into the game.

"We're all fans and naturally rooting for whoever is playing the Cubs. And you're going to scoreboard watch," said Hart.

Hudson had a five-hit shutout going when Ryan Braun singled with two outs and nobody on in the eighth. Prince Fielder followed with a single and Hart lined his third hit, a run-scoring single to right, tying the score at 1. Fielder took third and Hart second when Atlanta right-fielder Jeff Francoeur bobbled the ball. Geoff Jenkins was walked intentionally to load the bases.

"I was just trying to keep the ball in play anyway I could," said Hart, who raised his average to .301 with 21 home runs, 73 RBI and 22 stolen bases.

"He's quietly a star," said Yost. "He's a run producer, a 20-20 guy, an offensive catalyst."

Hudson was replaced by Ron Mahay, who walked pinch-hitter Joe Dillon on four pitches, forcing in Fielder with the go-ahead run. Bill Hall then singled to right, scoring Hart. Francoeur, however, threw Jenkins out trying to score from second.

Until then, Hudson, who blanked the Washington Nationals 3-0 in his last start, the Braves only complete game of the season, hadn't allow a run in 17 innings.

"They took what they had and made the best out of it in that (eighth) inning," said Hudson. "Four times through the lineup, they'd seen pretty much everything I had."

The Brewers, who haven't made the playoffs since 1982, ended the Braves five-game winning streak, which had matched their season high.

Milwaukee added a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Damian Miller.

The Braves won the opener of the four-game series 3-1 on Thursday night. Milwaukee, which has the best home record (47-27) in the league, are a dismal 32-47 on the road. They have nine games left, two more against Atlanta before returning home for its final seven games, three against St. Louis and four against San Diego. Chicago has eight games remaining.

Milwaukee starter Carlos Villanueva allowed three hits in six innings, including a solo home run by Mark Teixeira in the second, a 458-foot shot to right-center. It was Teixeira's 14th with the Braves. The first baseman, who was obtained in a trade with Texas on July 31, has 27 homers overall.

"Every game is a big one now," said Villanueva. "It was fun being paired against one of the best in Hudson. It feels very gratifying. We never give up. We give everything we have."

Scott Linebrink (5-6) picked up the win with a scoreless seventh. Derrick Turnbow pitched a hitless eighth and Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 44th save in 50 chances.

Atlanta's Chipper Jones entered the game as the NL's top hitter (.342), but went 0-for-4 and dropped to .340.

The last Atlanta player to win the batting title was current batting coach Terry Pendleton with a .319 average in his 1991 MVP season.

Notes

  • Braves manager Bobby Cox was ejected in the eighth, his 10th this season and a record 135th in his career.
  • Braves' closer Rafael Soriano was given a four-game suspension on Thursday for hitting Florida's Dan Uggla. He appealed and a hearing will be held Tuesday in Philadelphia, where the Braves open a three-game series.
  • Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets was diagnosed with a mild hamstring strain and is questionable for his next scheduled start on Sunday against Braves. He will throw some on Saturday and see how he feels.
 
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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Corey Hart (right) keys a three-run, eighth-inning rally for the Brewers and finishes with three hits.  (AP)
Corey Hart (right) keys a three-run, eighth-inning rally for the Brewers and finishes with three hits. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

C. Hart
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Milwaukee

C. Villanueva
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 4
 

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Milwaukee Brewers
Craig Counsell, 2B-3B3000200 .221
J.J. Hardy, SS4000012 .274
Ryan Braun, 3B4120010 .322
    Damian Miller, C0001000 .241
Prince Fielder, 1B4110101 .289
Corey Hart, RF5131012 .301
Geoff Jenkins, LF3000102 .263
Johnny Estrada, C3020001 .279
    Mel Stocker, PR0000000 .000
    Mike Rivera, C0000000 .500
   a- Gabe Gross, PH0000000 .237
   b- Joe Dillon, PH0001100 .354
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Bill Hall, CF4011023 .256
Carlos Villanueva, P1000010 .091
   c- Laynce Nix, PH1000001 .000
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
    Rickie Weeks, 2B0100100 .232
Totals3249466  
a-announced for Rivera in the 8th
b-walked for Gross in the 8th
c-grounded out for Villanueva in the 7th
Batting
2B - Corey Hart (32, Hudson)
SF - Damian Miller (3)
SH - J.J. Hardy (4), Carlos Villanueva (4)
RBI - Damian Miller (22), Corey Hart (73), Joe Dillon (9), Bill Hall (59)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart (33), Joe Dillon (7), Bill Hall (21)
SB - Mel Stocker (2, 2nd base off Hudson/McCann), Rickie Weeks (24, 2nd base off Yates/McCann)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Hardy-Counsell-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Carlos Villanueva 6311341 3.97
Scott Linebrink (W,5-6) 1100120 3.61
Derrick Turnbow (H,33) 1000010 4.26
Francisco Cordero (S,44) 1100020 2.73
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 75-45, Scott Linebrink 24-13, Derrick Turnbow 13-7, Francisco Cordero 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 4-9, Scott Linebrink 1-0, Derrick Turnbow 1-1
Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 23, Scott Linebrink 5, Derrick Turnbow 3, Francisco Cordero 4
Atlanta Braves
Yunel Escobar, 2B3000103 .328
Edgar Renteria, SS4000021 .333
Chipper Jones, 3B4000011 .340
Mark Teixeira, 1B4111000 .308
Brian McCann, C3010100 .275
Jeff Francoeur, RF3010111 .292
Andruw Jones, CF4000034 .220
Matt Diaz, LF4010024 .337
Tim Hudson, P2010100 .270
    Ron Mahay, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    Joey Devine, P0000000 .000
Totals3115149  
Batting
2B - Jeff Francoeur (37, Cordero), Matt Diaz (21, Linebrink)
HR - Mark Teixeira (27, Villanueva)
RBI - Mark Teixeira (95)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1
E - Jeff Francoeur (5, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (L,16-9) 7.2833250 3.34
Ron Mahay0000100 2.69
Tyler Yates 0.1111200 5.26
Joey Devine 1000110 1.50
IBB - Jenkins by Tim Hudson, Fielder by Joey Devine
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 120-74, Ron Mahay 4-0, Tyler Yates 15-7, Joey Devine 18-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 10-8, Joey Devine 1-1
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 33, Ron Mahay 1, Tyler Yates 3, Joey Devine 4
Game Information
Attendance - 34401
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Jerry Layne