Thursday, December 18, 2014
McCann's Grand Slam Sends Braves Past Brewers 7-4
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brian McCann hit an early grand slam and the Atlanta Braves got solo home runs from Chris Johnson and Jordan Schafer in a 7-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Beaten 2-0 by the Brewers on Friday and Saturday, the Braves entered the game scoreless in 24 consecutive innings. The streak came to a quick end when McCann smacked a two-out shot to left-center in the first inning off Alfredo Figaro for his 10th career slam.
Johnson led off the second with an opposite-field homer to right field. A leadoff drive by Schafer in the fourth extended the lead to 6-0.
Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez sprained his left shoulder when he crashed awkwardly into the center-field wall while making a leaping catch of Andrelton Simmons' drive in the fourth. Gomez, hit in the left knee by an earlier pitch from Paul Maholm, immediately left the game clutching his shoulder.
Schafer had four hits in five at-bats, including a double. McCann also reached base safely four times in five trips to the plate.
The Braves, who lead the NL East despite getting shut out a major league-high 11 times this season, snapped an eight-game losing streak at Miller Park dating to April 2011.
Milwaukee scored four times off Maholm in the fifth. Logan Schafer's one-out single drove in two. Jonathan Lucroy followed with a two-run homer to straightaway center.
Atlanta added a run in the ninth on Dan Uggla's RBI single.
Five Braves relievers held Milwaukee scoreless over the final four innings. Craig Kimbrel earned his 21st save in 24 attempts.
The Brewers loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but pinch-hitter Juan Francisco, acquired in a trade with Atlanta this month, popped out in foul territory to end the threat.
Maholm (8-6) entered 3-11 with a 5.12 ERA against the Brewers and had lost six consecutive decisions to Milwaukee over eight starts. His last win against the Brewers came in 2009.
Maholm gave up four runs and eight hits over five innings while walking one and striking out three.
Figaro (1-2) lasted 3 1-3 innings for the Brewers, giving up nine hits and six runs. He struck out four and walked three.
It marked the second consecutive poor outing by Figaro, who allowed four earned runs and five hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 10-1 loss at Houston on Tuesday.
NOTES: Gomez broke his left clavicle in a game at Arizona in 2011. He is hitting .312 with 12 home runs, 37 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. ... In recognition of Polish Heritage Day, Milwaukee sported red caps and white jerseys with red accents and blue and gold lettering with the name Piwowarzy, which means Brewers in Polish, across the front. ... Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez was given a day off to rest a balky knee. Jeff Bianchi started in his place. ... OF Justin Upton was out of the Braves' lineup again with an injured right hand. ... Milwaukee 2B Rickie Weeks has a hit in 16 consecutive starts. ... The Braves travel to Kansas City for a two-game series that begins Tuesday, marking the first meeting between the teams at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are the only team the Braves have yet to visit since the start of interleague play in 1997.
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