Brewers 7, Royals 1

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Corey Hart is staying quiet about his strong surge at the plate and Brewers manager Ned Yost is happy to do the talking for him.

Hart had three hits and scored two runs to help Milwaukee beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 Saturday night for its fifth straight win.

Hart went 3-for-3 and is batting .422 (19-for-45) in his last 10 games with five homers and 14 RBIs. He had three hits and four RBIs in Milwaukee’s 11-6 win over the Royals on Friday night.

“We’re in one of those (stretches) where everyone is picking it up,” said Hart, downplaying his contribution. “Not one player is doing it alone.”

Yost wasn’t afraid to talk up his young leadoff hitter.

“Corey’s playing real well right now, really swinging the bat,” Yost said. “He’s starting the offense, he’s putting the ball in play.”

Since getting no-hit by Detroit’s Justin Verlander on June 12, Milwaukee has gone 9-1.

“I don’t think that woke us up,” pitcher Dave Bush said. “We’ve been steady for a while. We’re playing well.”

Hart led off the first with a single to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. Craig Counsell followed with a run-scoring double. He eventually scored on Prince Fielder’s groundout.

“They hit two good pitches in the first inning,” Royals right-hander Brian Bannister said. “They’re seeing the ball. They’re making good contact on good pitches.”

Ryan Shealy hit an RBI single in the second to cut it to 2-1 but Milwaukee pushed across three runs in the third. Ryan Braun doubled in Hart, who walked after a 13-pitch at-bat, and Johnny Estrada hit a two-run, two-out single.

“We’ve said what big two-out hits can do for an offense,” Yost said. “When you’re going good, you’re getting two-out hits. That was a big at-bat with Johnny.”

Bannister (4-4), who won his previous four starts, threw 39 pitches in the third. Bannister allowed six runs and six hits in five innings. He also struck out seven and walked three.

The Royals have lost four straight.

While Bannister had problems, Bush (5-6) avoided the big inning. Bush gave up one run and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out five, walked one and hit one batter with a pitch.

It was Bush’s second straight win after going six consecutive starts without a victory.

“He’s pitched pretty good,” Yost said. “He’s on the attack, throwing strikes, working both sides of the plate.”

The Milwaukee defense turned four double plays, tying a season high set April 10 against Florida.

“Anytime you can do that you help yourself out,” Bush said. “I had guys on base and got four double plays.”

Bush turned an unassisted one in the sixth inning, catching a soft line drive off the bat of Shealy and running to tag first base as Emil Brown took off for second.

“It’s been a long time since I did that,” Bush said. “I looked up and saw him running. I don’t think it happens very often.”

Milwaukee turned another double play in the first when Mark Teahen struck out and David DeJesus was thrown out trying to steal second. He didn’t slide, apparently thinking Teahen walked.

Royals manager Buddy Bell wasn’t pleased with the baserunning by his team.

“You’re going to have to ask them,” Bell said. “I don’t even want to know. We’re playing a hot team right now. You can’t afford to make mistakes like that against a good team.”

Bill Hall added to Milwaukee’s lead in the fifth when he hit Bannister’s first pitch over the left-field wall for his ninth homer. Hall struck out in his three other at-bats.

Notes

The Brewers and Royals wore uniforms honoring the Negro League. … Brewers SS J.J. Hardy missed his second start because of lower back tightness. Yost said after the game he’ll likely sit Hardy out of Sunday’s game but should be ready for Monday, when the Brewers host Houston. … Fielder lost his bat in the fifth inning when he swung and missed. The bat slipped out of his hands and flew at least 10 rows deep into the first-base side seats, but nobody was injured. … The Royals have been outscored 30-14 during their losing streak.

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