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Braun, Brewers pound Padres

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- The West Coast swing is one of Ryan Braun's favorites.

"I just enjoy coming back to the West Coast," said the Milwaukee Brewers star, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles and resides in Malibu during the offseason. "It's always rejuvenating for me. Obviously, (Petco Park) is still a challenging ballpark to hit in, but I've enjoyed hitting here throughout the course of my career, and as a team, I think we've enjoyed getting a chance to come here and play."

Braun and Yuniesky Betancourt homered, driving in three runs apiece, and the Brewers extended their winning streak to eight games with a 7-1 rout of the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on Monday night.

The offense provided more than enough of a cushion for Milwaukee right-hander Kyle Lohse (1-1), who gave up a run on five hits in five innings. However, he left in the top of the sixth when he dislocated his left pinky after getting his hand tangled in the jersey of San Diego second baseman Jedd Gyorko while running out a fielder's choice.

X-rays were negative, and Lohse said he should be fine for his next scheduled start.

"He was throwing the ball well," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said of Lohse, who struck out four and walked one. "All of his outings have been the same. Commands the ball, mixes up speeds well. It's good we hopefully aren't going to lose him at all. He should be fine."

San Diego starter Jason Marquis (1-2) couldn't say the same. Marquis was tagged for seven runs on four hits, four walks and two hit batters in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up the homers to Braun and Betancourt, both coming in a five-run first.

"Sometimes you feel comfortable in the batters' box, you feel like you see the ball, you feel like there's a batter's eye that's comfortable for you," said Braun, who has five home runs and 13 RBIs in 16 career games at the park. "I got to make my (major league) debut here, so I have fond memories of this place. It's always a place I look forward to coming to."

Braun pointed to the baseball gods when asked how the Brewers (10-8) caught fire after a poor start.

"Baseball is a crazy game. It just happens," he said.

However, he added that the club's pitching was one big reason for the turnaround.

"Our starting pitching has been great, our bullpen has been throwing the ball really well," said Braun, whose homer was his sixth of the season and the 208th of his Brewers career, tying him for fourth on the franchise list with Gorman Thomas. "We've been getting timely hits. We really haven't been swinging the bats collectively really well, but we've gotten big hits in big situations."

Milwaukee got some big hits early in Monday's game. The Brewers wasted no time jumping on Marquis, who suffered from control problems in addition to giving up the home runs.

"I've been battling it for a while now," Marquis said of his control. "Leaving balls up in the middle of the plate, and that's what happens (home runs)."

An RBI groundout by reliever Anthony Bass in the fifth prevented the punchless Padres, who have dropped four in a row, from being blanked for the third consecutive game. The Giants handed them a three-game weekend sweep in San Francisco, where San Diego (5-14) managed just two runs.

"We've been getting guys on," San Diego catcher Nick Hundley said. "We had guys on base tonight, we just didn't get it done to drive them in. We just need to hang in there and we will be all right."

NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer explosion in West, Texas. ... Shortstop Jean Segura, whom the Brewers obtained last season in the deal that sent Zack Greinke to the Angels, has hit safely in 14 of the 17 games he's started this season. ... San Diego manager Bud Black and Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke were members of the Angels' coaching staff when the club won its only World Series title in 2002. Black served as pitching coach from 2000-06 before becoming the Padres' manager in 2007. Roenicke worked as third base and bench coach in Anaheim from 2000-10 before becoming the skipper of the Brewers in 2011. ... The game drew a paid attendance of 18,643.
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