Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Maholm of the Atlanta Braves have a bit of a history, it seems … a history that came to the surface in the top of the first inning Wednesday night at Turner Field.
Gomez belted a long home run to left-center field and admired it for a moment. That got Braves catcher Brian McCann, first baseman Freddie Freeman and Maholm irritated to the point they were shouting at Gomez. McCann then blocked Gomez’s path to the plate and the benches emptied.
Once order had been restored, Gomez had been ejected by home plate umpire Paul Nauert, while Freeman and Gerald Laird of Atlanta had been tossed by first base umpire Doug Eddings.
When all was said and done, that was more than enough offense for Kyle Lohse, who tossed a two-hit shutout in his final start of the season in a 4-0 win by the Brewers.
Lohse was pinpoint-accurate on Wednesday night, shutting out the Braves on just 89 pitches. He became the first Brewer to throw a shutout while throwing fewer than 90 pitches since Chris Bosio blanked the California Angels 4-0 on Sept. 24, 1992. It is the first sub-90 pitch shutout in the majors overall since Aaron Cook of the Boston Red Sox needed 81 pitches to blank the Seattle Mariners on June 29, 2012.
Sean Halton drove in a run for the Crew in the fourth with a sacrifice fly after Yuniesky Betancourt singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Jeff Bianchi’s single.
Betancourt was in the game because third baseman Aramis Ramirez re-injured his balky left knee in the fracas during the first inning, per Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Twitter.
Aramis Ramirez hurt his knee in the fracas. Sounds like he might be done. "With four games left, it doesn't look good." #Brewers
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) September 26, 2013
Ramirez on the behavior of both teams: "You're not supposed to do that — on both sides. You've got to be professional. And that wasn't."
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) September 26, 2013
The Brewers went up 3-0 in the seventh. Scooter Gennett and Kyle Lohse had back-to-back two-out singles and Norichika Aoki drove in Gennett with a single to left-center field. Aoki also singled home Gennett in the ninth. Aoki was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI on the night and is 13-for-25 with eight runs scored and four doubles in his last six games.
Gennett was 2-for-4 and is now 8-for-17 in his last four starts, raising his average back up to .328 after it had fallen to .317 after a 1-for-13 skid.
For his part, Gomez knows he might have gone too far, according to Adam McCalvy via Twitter.
“I did a little bit more and I apologize for this,” Gomez said. “But if you see the replay [from June], they hit me for no reason.”
Maholm hit Gomez on the left knee with a pitch in a June 23 game at Miller Park and Maholm had also plunked Gomez on July 9, 2010, when Maholm was pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. That came after Gomez had homered off Maholm at Miller Park on April 28, 2010.
So there is obviously a history between Gomez and Maholm.
Lohse (11-10) was an artist, throwing 67 of his 89 pitches for strike and never allowing a runner past first base. Atlanta’s only two hits were a leadoff bunt single in the first by Andrelton Simmons and a seventh inning single by Evan Gattis. Lohse struck out five and completes his first season as a Brewer with a 3.35 ERA. Through 11 starts, Lohse was 1-6 with an ERA of 4.39; he was 10-4 with a 2.84 ERA the rest of the way and completed two of his final three starts.
Lohse pitched a four-hitter in a 5-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park on Sept. 13.
Maholm (10-11) took the loss for Atlanta, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out seven in seven innings. Scott Downs surrendered a run in the ninth inning, getting two outs and allowing two hits. The loss also knocked the Braves a half-game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the race for the best record in the National League and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
The Brewers now head to Citi Field in New York for their final series of the season against the Mets. New York took two of three when the teams met at Miller Park July 5-7.
Thursday’s game is set for 6:10 p.m. Central Time on Fox Sports Wisconsin, with Johnny Hellweg (1-4) scheduled to face Dillon Gee (12-10).
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