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News » BREWERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 1 Bound and determined Answers finally found

BREWERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 1 Bound and determined Answers finally found

BREWERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 1  Bound and determined  Answers finally found
They knocked.

Knocked again.

Knocked again.

No answer.

So they kept knocking.


Another knock.


They banged a sixth time and no answer.

Never deterred, they knocked once more.

And finally, the Milwaukee Brewers busted down the door and stormed to a 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night at Miller Park. The victory was the fourth in a row for the Brewers , who seem to be righting themselves after sputtering through the first four series of the season.

"We've kind of executed a lot of phases of the game," centerfielder Mike Cameron said. "We fall behind and been finding a way to come back and win ball games. That's a sign of a maturing young Baseball team."

A leadoff home run by Felipe Lopez off Jeff Suppan to start the game was all the scoring through 6? innings. That homer was the third by the first batter that Suppan has faced in his last six starts, dating to the playoffs last year.

The Brewers had base runners in each of the first six frames but failed to score one night after going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and stranding eight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. But just as they found a way to win that game, the Brewers , ever persistent in their quest, wore down Diamondbacks starter Max Scherzer, who pitched six innings of shutout ball, and battered the bullpen after his exit.

In the decisive seventh, Bill Hall walked and Jason Kendall singled him to third with nobody out. But Craig Counsell's chopper to first baseman Chad Tracy drew Hall too far off the bag and he was tagged out in a rundown, leaving runners on first and second. Manager Ken Macha later said he would rather that happen than seeing Hall immediately retreat and allow Arizona to turn the double play.

The runners eventually moved up on Tom Gordon's wild pitch and Rickie Weeks singled home Kendall to tie the score, 1-1.

Corey Hart walked to load the bases before Ryan Braun struck out. Prince Fielder, who struck out three times against Scherzer, drew a walk against lefty Scott Schoeneweis to plate the go-ahead run.

Cameron then delivered the knockout blow with his second ground-rule double to left to score two more.

"We had three big walks in that inning," Macha said. "And then, of course, 'Cam' with the final blow."

The Brewers drew four walks in the game. Scherzer got up to 107 pitches in his six innings because the Brewers put together lengthy at-bats and even if they made outs, they didn't give anything away.

"That's the philosophy behind working the pitcher, wanting to get into the bullpen," Macha said. "As the game went on, we made him throw more pitches, we hit more foul balls.

"If you can put together a 10-, 12-pitch at-bat, it has a residual effect. It takes away an inning from the guy."

Scherzer, who came in 1-2 with a 4.91 earned run average, was firing 96-mph fastballs by the Brewers , who were barely scraping many of them even though their first four hits came against the gas.

"It was explosive," Fielder said. "I saw it well. The bat just didn't want to hit it."

The Brewers , as they did a game ago, had chances to score before that seventh inning. Weeks led off the first inning with a single but was stranded there.

Hall's two-out double off the center-field wall went to waste in the second, as did a one-out single by Weeks in the third and a one-out double by Cameron in the fourth.

"By far," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said when asked if this was Scherzer's best outing of the year. "Especially with what was on the line. It was a 1-0 game and he didn't have any breathing room."

Suppan, a bit forgotten in the game with all the action coming after his departure, put together his third consecutive quality start since being pushed back in the rotation. He threw 6 1/3 innings, allowed one run and didn't walk anyone.

Suppan quickly settled down after the leadoff homer, helped by a pickoff of Justin Upton, a double play and a caught stealing.

Suppan wouldn't say being pushed back has led to better starts, insisting that better command of his pitches had been the difference.

"After that leadoff home run, he pitched very well," Macha said. "No walks.

"Command of the Baseball was huge for him, changing speeds, used his curveball nicely. The most impressive thing to me is no walks."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items salready copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: May 1, 2009

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