Every student of popular culture knows that the TV show "Happy Days" went over the top when The Fonz ventured from Wisconsin out to Hollywood and literally "jumped the shark."
Along those lines, sort of, the Milwaukee Brewers of Wisconsin went out to Los Angeles over the weekend in a position to get eaten up by a preseason World Series favorite. The Los Angeles Dodgers wound up being the prey, getting swept in a three-game set that again showcased how awesome Jonathan Lucroy is — and how formidable the Brewers are.
Lucroy homered and drove in five runs Sunday, leading the Brewers to a 7-2 victory that kept Milwaukee three games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. It's also the first time the Dodgers have been swept in a series longer than two games this season. In the series, the Brewers also won games started by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, but they decided to try their luck with Dan Haren, too.
"It was one of those days where I got a couple of good pitches to hit and was able to hit them hard," Lucroy said. "Haren made a couple of mistakes up in the zone and I was able to take advantage."
Lucroy isn't as cool as Fonzie, but he's pretty close. He leads all catchers with 4.6 wins above replacement.
BRAVES SWEEP, SENDING A'S TO SEVENTH LOSS IN EIGHT GAMES: Troubled by injuries before the season even started, left-hander Mike Minor came in with a 5.33 ERA for the Atlanta Braves. But he was the "Mike Minor of old" against the Oakland Athletics, teammate Freddie Freeman said, after a 4-3 victory that finished a three-game sweep at Turner Field. Minor allowed a pair of home runs to tall man Nate Freiman, but gave up only two other hits.
''We're going to need him rolling to get us where we're going to go,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Minor, who had a 3.21 ERA in 2013.
Justin Upton and Chris Johnson each homered for Atlanta, and Oakland's Jon Lester lost for the first time in seven starts. The A's have lost five straight and are percentage points behind the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.
WERTH COMES OFF BENCH TO HELP NATS SWEEP BUCS:
Washington Nationals slugger Jayson Werth had missed five straight games, including two against the Pittsburgh Pirates, because of a sore shoulder. But he drew a key walk in a tying rally in the bottom of the ninth and lined a double in the 11th before the Nats won 6-5 to complete a three-game sweep.
Scott Hairston hit a sacrifice fly to end the ballgame, Washington's sixth straight win overall, after closers for both sides blew the save in the ninth inning. The Pirates have lost five straight for the first time since September 2012.
MICHAEL CUDDYER COMES OFF DL AND HITS FOR CYCLE IN ROCKIES DH SWEEP:
Needing a particular kind of hit to complete the second cycle of his career, Michael Cuddyer of the Colorado Rockies came through with a two-run double in the eighth inning of Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. Earlier in the day, the Rockies had activated Cuddyer from the disabled list, where he had spent 60 days healing a fracture of his left shoulder.
"You don't set out to hit for the cycle, that's for sure,'' Cuddyer said. ''That's why I went down there (in the minors) for so long, to feel comfortable on the baseball field again. You never want to feel foreign on the field. I knew it was going to take a week or so to get that feel back, and today was a good day.''
Cuddyer tripled in the first, homered in the fifth and singled in the seventh, becoming the seventh Rockies player to hit for the cycle, and the first since Carlos Gonzalez in 2010. Cuddyer's first cycle came with the Minnesota Twins in 2009.
The Rockies won 10-5 after taking the first game 10-9. In the opener, a four-walk outing by closer Aroldis Chapman preceded a walk-off three-run homer by Drew Stubbs. And here it goes:
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