Brewers move to within three games of wild card spotWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers moved to within three games of a playoff spot, after crushing the Atlanta Braves 8-2 last night at Miller Park.
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers moved to within three games of a playoff spot, after crushing the Atlanta Braves 8-2 last night at Miller Park.
The Brewers scored all their runs in the fifth-inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from Rickie Weeks and a three-run double by Travis Ishikawa. Milwaukee earned its first three-game sweep of Atlanta since 2006. The Brewers went above .500 for the first time since April 12th. The Crew won for the ninth straight time at Miller Park, and the ninth straight time with Yovani Gallardo as the starter. Gallardo struck out six in seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks. He won his seventh straight decision, as his record improved to 15-8. Paul Maholm took the loss, giving up eight runs – six earned – in just four-and-a-third innings. Milwaukee had base-runners in each of the first four frames, but they could not score until their big rally in the fifth. The Brewers outslugged the Braves 12-5. Jason Heyward hit a solo homer – the only extra-base hit for Atlanta in the entire three-game series.
The Braves and Saint Louis still hold the National League Wild Cards. But the race is tightening up, with the Dodgers just a game back for the final Wild Card. Pittsburgh is two-and-a-half back, and Milwaukee and Philadelphia are three behind. The Brewers have won 18-of-their-last-23 to play themselves back into contention. The Crew is off today, and will host the New York Mets tomorrow night.
Milwaukee Brewers’ first baseman Corey Hart says he hopes to get back in the lineup this weekend, when the Crew hosts the New York Mets. Hart partially tore a plantar fascia in his left foot while running the bases last weekend. He missed the entire Atlanta series, in which the Brewers swept the Braves at Miller Park. Hart is expected to get an orthotic aid for his left shoe, to try and make the injured foot more comfortable. But nobody knows if it will help enough to allow Hart to play. Still, he remains optimistic about returning on Saturday or Sunday. Meanwhile, left fielder Ryan Braun continues to play through a strained right wrist that he’s had for some time. Braun went hitless in the first two games of the Atlanta series this week, but he went 2-for-5 in last night’s finale. Manager Ron Roenicke says Braun is nowhere near 100-percent, but the reigning National League MVP shakes off that kind of talk. Braun says everything has something wrong this time of year and quote, “You just deal with it.” The Brewers are off today. They’ve won 18-of-their-last-23 games to get back into the playoff chase. They’re now just three games behind Saint Louis for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
Brewers’ first baseman Mat Gamel will not play in the Arizona Fall League. The team has decided that he’s not ready for a playing schedule, as he recovers from a torn ACL ligament in his right knee suffered in early May. The fall league does not allow injured players – but the Brewers had considered seeking an exemption if Gamel had been medically cleared to play. But instead, outfielder Josh Prince has been assigned to the Arizona Fall League. Gamel will keep working out with the Brewers – and he could still get some games in this winter in the Dominican Republic.
Prince Fielder could make the playoffs for the second straight year. The former Brewers’ first baseman ended an 0-for-18 slump last night with a three-run homer for the Detroit Tigers, as they won an 8-6 slug-fest over the White Sox in Chicago. The Tigers are just one game behind the first-place White Sox in the American League Central. And Detroit is five games back for an AL Wild Card. Last October, Fielder belted his final home run in a Milwaukee uniform in a 12-3 Brewers’ home loss to Saint Louis in Game-Two of the National League Championship Series.