TORONTO (AP)—Milwaukee’s players-only meeting worked. The Brewers had fun against one of the best pitchers in baseball.
The Brewers held a meeting after Friday night’s loss. The main message was to relax and have fun. Milwaukee has won just two of its last nine games.
Carlos Lee got things going for the Brewers with a two-run homer in the first.
“We get paid to do this, but you’ve got to enjoy what you do. You can’t just go to work and be pressing,” Lee said. “That’s pretty much what we said, have fun and play hard and whatever happens, happens. We did every little thing it takes to win games, and if that’s the way we’re going to go about it, we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Staked to a 3-0 lead in the first, Sheets (3-6) allowed two runs—one earned—and seven hits in eight innings. He struck out three and walked two. Tommy Phelps threw one pitch and earned his first major league save, retiring pinch-hitter Alex Rios on a grounder with the bases loaded.
Sheets said the early run support helped.
“It was a big relief. I wasn’t worried about giving up a solo run,” he said.
The Brewers scored three times in the first off Halladay (10-4), the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner.
“I’m glad that we got to him early because after that first inning he was pretty tough,” Lee said.
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said it was an important victory.
“To match up Roy and Ben and come out on the winning end, especially because we’ve been struggling, it’s big for us,” Yost said.
Gregg Zaun homered off Sheets in the second, but Overbay’s RBI grounder gave Milwaukee a 4-1 lead in the fifth.
Halladay, who won seven of his previous eight starts, allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked none.
“That’s the first time he hasn’t been locked in from the get-go,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
Halladay has pitched six or more innings in each of his 15 starts this season.
“Sheets did a nice job, too,” Halladay said. “When he got into tough situations he was able to come out with outs.”
Russ Adams cut Milwaukee’s lead to 4-2 with an RBI double in the seventh.
Clark, Milwaukee’s center fielder, split his lip while trying to catch Aaron Hill’s bloop hit in the eighth. The ball bounced and hit Clark in the face, drawing blood.
Toronto second baseman Orlando Hudson made a spectacular, over-the-shoulder, diving catch in center field to rob Rickie Weeks of a hit in the eighth. … The Brewers signed first-round draft pick Ryan Braun. The fifth overall selection out of the University of Miami, Braun received a $2.45 million signing bonus. The third baseman hit .388 with 18 home runs and 76 RBIs in 58 games for the Hurricanes. … Toronto’s Gabe Gross singled in the ninth for his first hit of the season. He was 0-for-13.