MILWAUKEE (AP)—Brewers manager Ken Macha took two painkillers after enduring nearly 4 1/2 hours of walks followed by one unusual delay. He wasn’t sure how many his counterpart Lou Piniella needed.
Craig Counsell(notes) and Ryan Braun hit back-to-back homers and the Milwaukee Brewers scored six times in the seventh inning before the lights went out in a 12-6 win over the injury-depleted Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.
“I took two Advil before I came in here. I’m serious about the Advil, I am,” Macha said. “We got nine walks, a hit-by-pitch, they got seven walks and a hit-by-pitch. Tough game, I don’t know how many Advil Lou took, but I took two.”
It was Braun’s second homer in as many days and came after Counsell hit his first since June 17 and 36th of his career off Cubs starter Ryan Dempster(notes) (2-2). The consecutive shots helped the Brewers break open a tight game and earn their 14th win in 18 games, the best mark in baseball over that stretch.
“I was a little worried it was going to go foul,” Counsell said. “I thought it had enough but I thought it might go foul.”
The game was stopped for 20 minutes in the eighth inning after more than half the lights went out at Miller Park. Chicago scored three times to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 9-5 and reliever Todd Coffey(notes) had just finished warming up when the field became dark.
The Brewers responded with three runs in the bottom half to put the game away. Cubs relievers Chad Fox(notes), who hurt his elbow facing his second batter, and Aaron Heilman(notes) combined for four straight walks to force home the first run. Chris Duffy(notes) added an RBI single and Jason Kendall(notes) hit a sacrifice fly.
“I’ll tell you what, it’s not fun watching your bullpen go through that,” Piniella said.
With one out in the seventh, Counsell drove a pitch over the shortest part of the right-field wall to give the Brewers a 4-2 lead. Braun then hit a drive to left for his eighth homer.
“If there’s anybody that was more excited than him it’s me, got to get that one out of the way first,” said Kendall, who has yet to go deep this season and has only 73 career home runs himself. “We count our (batting practice) shots, our warning track shots, we count everything. All the other guys are hitting 20, 30 home runs, me and Counsell count our BP home runs and those aren’t that many either.”
Braun, who scored three times and declined to talk afterward, is hitting .442 with seven homers and 23 RBIs since April 21.
“Pretty amazing, his plate discipline, the ball jumps off his bat, he’s going to be a good one for a long time,” Kendall said.
The Cubs left 12 runners on base and have stranded 16 in losing the first two games of the series. They also could be without their top two RBI threats for some time.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez(notes) is out indefinitely after he dislocated his left shoulder on Friday night and was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. First baseman Derrek Lee(notes) was out for his fourth straight game with neck spasms.
“We had chances, we had chances,” Piniella said. “One of these days we’ll start hitting with men on base and make things a whole lot easier on us.”
A power outage at Miller Park on June 15, 2001, caused a game to be postponed. … The Cubs said Fox suffered a significant elbow injury and will be placed on the DL on Sunday. … Ramirez will be in a sling for a week and will not do any baseball activities for three weeks after that, but isn’t expected to need surgery. … Lee is scheduled to have tests on Monday in Chicago. … Brewers C Mike Rivera(notes) (ankle) threw, hit and ran on Saturday. He’s expected to go on a rehab assignment to start next week and could be activated on Thursday. … Kendall had three singles and is four hits from 2,000.