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Milwaukee at St. Louis

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Milwaukee (59-43) «0001100024101
St. Louis (57-47)101100000350

Braun's ninth-inning blast helps Brewers sweep Cardinals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers are on quite a roll.

The left fielder hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to cap his second straight four-hit game and lift Milwaukee to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Brewers' eighth straight win.

The latest victory completed a 7-0 road trip that included a four-game sweep of the Cardinals.

Braun has led the offensive resurgence, reaching base in his last nine plate appearances. He went 14-for-29 on the trip with three homers. He said Thursday's home run off closer Ryan Franklin (3-4) provided him with a huge thrill

"To me, a game-winning homer is the best feeling in the world," he said. "There's nothing better."

Home runs have become commonplace with Milwaukee. The Brewers have hit at least one in each of their last 20 games, a franchise record.

J.J. Hardy had three hits and Prince Fielder added two for the Brewers as the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters went 9-for-12 on a night Milwaukee had 10 hits.

"Right now, our confidence level is at an all-time high," Braun said. "This is the way you want to start the second half of the season."

Eric Gagne (3-2) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Salomon Torres recorded his 19th save in 23 chances by striking out the side in the ninth.

"Clutch hitting, great pitching, this was a great road trip," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "We've got a lot of clutch players, a lot of guys who really want to win and it shows."

Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets threw seven strong innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out four. He left the game with his team trailing 3-2.

St. Louis scored runs in the first and third innings and carried a 3-2 lead into the ninth. Hardy started the winning rally with a one-out single. Braun then ripped an 0-1 offering from Franklin into the bleachers in left-center.

"I made some really good pitches (but) messed up on one," Franklin said.

St. Louis used a run-scoring single by Rick Ankiel to jump in front in the first. Aaron Miles doubled in the third and Adam Kennedy came around to make it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by Albert Pujols, who was 0-for-2 and has just two hits in his last 14 at-bats.

Milwaukee capitalized on a wild streak by St. Louis starter Todd Wellemeyer to climb within 2-1 in the fourth. Wellemeyer, who went five innings, walked four in the frame.

The Brewers have outscored their opponents 44-21 during the winning streak.

Sheets says it's been a combination of timely hitting and solid pitching that has put the Brewers within one game of first-place Chicago in the NL Central.

"I still believe it all starts with starting pitching," Sheets said, "But I may be a little biased."

Notes

  • The Brewers (59-43) are 16 games over .500 for the first time since the end of 1992 season when they finished 92-70.
  • The Brewers have won their last seven road games and have a major league-best 14-5 road mark since June 11.
  • The Brewers have hit 31 home runs in their 20-game homer streak.
  • Milwaukee, which has won the last six games against the Cardinals, swept a series in St. Louis for first time since September 1999.
  • St. Louis will play 17 of its next 24 games on the road.
  • Cardinals 3B Troy Glaus was 2-for-14 in the series.
 
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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Ryan Braun takes a long look at his two-run blast in the ninth inning that lifts the Brewers.  (AP)
Ryan Braun takes a long look at his two-run blast in the ninth inning that lifts the Brewers. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
Milwaukee

J. Hardy
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Ray Durham, 2B5000021 .286
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
J.J. Hardy, SS5230000 .300
Ryan Braun, LF4142100 .301
Prince Fielder, 1B3120212 .278
Corey Hart, RF5001005 .281
Bill Hall, 3B4000113 .231
Mike Cameron, CF3010100 .230
Jason Kendall, C2001211 .256
Ben Sheets, P3000014 .091
   a- Russell Branyan, PH1000001 .246
    Eric Gagne, P0000000 .000
    Craig Counsell, 2B0000000 .246
Totals35410476  
a-lined out for Sheets in the 8th
Batting
2B - Prince Fielder (18, Franklin)
HR - Ryan Braun (26, Franklin)
RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (74), Corey Hart (60), Jason Kendall (27)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kendall (10)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Durham-Hardy-Fielder
E - Corey Hart (5, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Ben Sheets 7432240 2.87
Eric Gagne (W,3-2) 1100100 6.75
Salomon Torres (S,19) 1000030 2.63
Pitches-Strikes - Ben Sheets 96-62, Eric Gagne 14-8, Salomon Torres 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ben Sheets 4-13, Eric Gagne 1-1
Batters Faced - Ben Sheets 27, Eric Gagne 4, Salomon Torres 3
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, LF4120001 .294
Aaron Miles, SS-2B4010002 .320
Albert Pujols, 1B2001101 .349
Rick Ankiel, CF4011002 .276
Troy Glaus, 3B4000021 .278
Ryan Ludwick, RF3100120 .290
Jason LaRue, C4000021 .240
Todd Wellemeyer, P2010010 .176
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P1000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Adam Kennedy, 2B2100101 .268
    Cesar Izturis, SS0000000 .225
Totals3035237  
Batting
2B - Aaron Miles (10, Sheets)
SF - Albert Pujols (5)
RBI - Albert Pujols (56), Rick Ankiel (58)
2-OUT RBI - Rick Ankiel (27)
SB - Skip Schumaker (8, 2nd base off Sheets/Kendall)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Glaus-Pujols, Miles-Kennedy-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Todd Wellemeyer 5522520 4.19
Russ Springer (H,6) 1000110 1.97
Kyle McClellan (H,22) 1.1200100 2.89
Ryan Franklin (BS,5; L,3-4) 1.2322031 3.94
Pitches-Strikes - Todd Wellemeyer 92-58, Russ Springer 12-6, Kyle McClellan 26-17, Ryan Franklin 35-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Todd Wellemeyer 5-7, Kyle McClellan 3-0
Batters Faced - Todd Wellemeyer 24, Russ Springer 4, Kyle McClellan 6, Ryan Franklin 8
Game Information
Attendance - 41233
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano