Marco Estrada continued his strong second half, throwing seven shutout innings, and the Milwaukee Brewers posted their third shutout win of the season in four games against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night, posting a 5-0 win at Turner Field.
Estrada (7-4) allowed just two hits and three walks in seven innings, striking out six. In eight starts since returning from a hamstring injury on Aug. 7, Estrada is 3-0 with a 2.26 ERA in 51.2 innings. His WHIP over that span is 0.813. Estrada has been solid on the road all year—he is now 5-2 in 11 road starts with a 2.17 ERA.
Meanwhile, the Brewers had the long ball working. Carlos Gomez extended his career high to 22 homers with a solo shot in the first inning and Jonathan Lucroy hit his career-best 18th in the fifth—a two-run opposite-field shot. Both of those came off starter Mike Minor (13-8), who allowed three runs on eight hits over seven innings while striking out six.
The Brewers padded their lead in the eighth. Aramis Ramirez hit his 12th homer of the season, snapping a string of nine consecutive scoreless outings for Atlanta reliever Anthony Varvaro in the process. The Crew added another run in the frame when Sean Halton hustled out a two-out double and then scored on Yuniesky Betancourt’s infield single.
Andrelton Simmons made a fantastic diving stop on Betancourt’s hit, but his throw to the plate hit the back of the mound and skipped between Varvaro and catcher Evan Gattis all the way to the screen, allowing Halton to score.
Rob Wooten and Michael Blazek each had a scoreless inning to close out the game for Milwaukee, which is now 3-1 against the Braves this season—with all three wins coming via the shutout. The Brewers beat Atlanta 2-0 and 2-0 on June 21-22 in Milwaukee.
The scoring threats were few and far between for Atlanta. Estrada got into a little trouble in the fourth, walking Jordan Schafer and Justin Upton to lead off the inning, with both runners advancing into scoring position on Estrada’s wild pitch, strike three against Chris Johnson.
But Estrada also fanned Gattis and Simmons to escape without any damage.
That was the only time all night the Braves advanced a runner past first base, although the game wasn’t entirely without controversy.
Simmons coaxed a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh and was replaced at first base by Joey Terdoslavich, who grounded into a fielder’s choice. Paul Janish was plunked on the leg by a pitch from Estrada to bring the tying run to the plate with two outs.
Except home plate umpire Angel Hernandez called Janish back to the batter’s box, ruling that Janish didn’t make an effort to get out of the way of the pitch. Replays showed that Janish, in fact, turned his leg into the pitch just a bit.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez was ejected and Janish wound up popping up to second base to end the inning.
Gomez's night started well, homering on the first pitch he saw from Minor, but it went downhill from there, as he struck out in each of his other four at-bats.
The series continues on Tuesday night, with Tyler Thornburg (3-1) pitching for Milwaukee and Freddy Garcia (1-2) slated to go for the Braves. Game time is 6:10 p.m. Central Time on Fox Sports Wisconsin.
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