MILWAUKEE (AP)—Corey Hart’s big contribution sure didn’t fly very far.
Hart hit a three-run, inside-the-park homer announced at 206 feet and Russell Branyan followed with a conventional shot to lift the surging Milwaukee Brewers to a 10-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday for their sixth straight win.
“That’s got to be the shortest home run, maybe, in Brewers history, so I’ve got something going,” Hart joked.
After Gabe Kapler singled with two outs in the fourth, Ryan Braun hit an RBI triple and Prince Fielder walked to bring up Hart, who flared a pitch from reliever Edgar Gonzalez down the right field line.
Justin Upton dove, but couldn’t come up with the shallow fly ball. He slipped getting up as it rolled to the wall.
“It’s a ball that he’s got to try and go after and make a play on and just missed it, not for a lack of effort,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. “If he catches it, obviously they don’t score a few of those runs.”
Upton’s slow recovery allowed the speedy Hart to circle the bases for Milwaukee’s first inside-the-park homer since Fielder did it at Minnesota last June 17 on a high popup that was lost in the lights and the Metrodome’s roof. Hart’s homer was estimated as traveling 206 feet in the air.
“When he dove, I was just automatically thinking I’d get three,” Hart said. “Obviously, he didn’t get back there quick enough so I was able to get around. Any home run is fun for me.”
Branyan, hitting .321 with four homers since his callup May 24, took the next pitch to deep to center field to make it 10-1. Milwaukee, which had the best home record in the NL last season, has outscored opponents 40-8 during the six-game winning streak and finished the homestand 8-1.
“We’re tough here, we’ve just played tough here,” said Brewers manager Ned Yost, who takes his team on a six-game trip to Colorado and Houston beginning Friday. “We set out and accomplished what we wanted to do for the most part this homestand.”
Brewers starter Manny Parra (4-2) tied a career high with eight strikeouts in seven innings, retiring his final 14 batters as Milwaukee swept Arizona for the first time since Aug. 21-23, 2000.
“I’m very happy with the way it went,” said the lefty, who earned his third win in his last four outings.
He also got more than enough run support.
Tied at 1, Milwaukee scored four runs in the third inning on five straight singles and a sacrifice fly off Diamondbacks starter Micah Owings.
Owings (6-4) allowed five runs—four earned—in three innings, his shortest start of the season. It took him 25 pitches to record his first out after committing a throwing error and allowing an RBI double by Kapler, who tied a career high with four hits.
“They’re a hot team,” Owings said. “It’s unfortunate because we were better than that, too. We’ve got to find a way to win games.”
The NL West leaders are mired in a deep slump, having been swept in two of the last three series and losing 12 of their last 16 games.
Melvin acknowledged that his team’s frustration is growing, and the players agreed.
“Nobody is feeling sorry for us. Nobody but us can get it done,” Chad Tracy said.
Milwaukee has hit back-to-back homers three times this season. … Kapler last had four hits in a game on June 28, 2003 with Boston. … Diamondbacks 1B Conor Jackson (strained right quad) was out again. Melvin said he would also be willing to sit Jackson the first day of their series starting Friday against the Pirates, if necessary, to make sure he doesn’t suffer any setbacks. … Brewers 3B Bill Hall entered in the seventh. Hall, who has acknowledged he’d like to be traded if he’s not an everyday player, has been platooning with Branyan.