Brewers relish 'fun' win over A's

Andrew Wagner, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


MILWAUKEE -- A lot of words have been used to describe the Milwaukee Brewers this season. Among the more common are disappointing, frustrating, maddening, underachieving and, lately, struggling.
One word that had been conspicuously absent through the season's first 56 games was "fun," but that was exactly how Brewers manager Ron Roenicke summed things up after Milwaukee rallied for a 4-3 victory in 10 innings Tuesday over Oakland at Miller Park.
"That was a fun ball game," Roenicke said. "We didn't do much offensively until the end, but it was a fun game. Guys came through."
As is often the case when Milwaukee plays "fun" baseball, Carlos Gomez played a leading role Tuesday, going 2-for-5 but reaching three times and scoring the game-winning run on Yuniesky Betancourt's walk-off double in the 10th.
"Yuni got a pitch to hit and I was already on my way to steal," Gomez said. "The only thing on my mind was to score. I put my head down and tried to go as fast as I could."
After Ryan Braun led off the inning with a groundout to third, Aramis Reached reached on a base hit to left. Gomez followed with a ground out to short that retired Ramirez at second. Gomez took a big lead from first against A's reliever Pat Neshek (1-1) with Betancourt up and two out.
Betancourt took a slider for strike one, then slapped Neshek's second offering into right field. Gomez was already halfway to second and was able to easily beat Josh Reddick's throw home, clinching the victory for Milwaukee -- and snapping the Brewers' three-game losing streak.
"It's fun, it's exciting," Gomez said. "When we play fun, we're relaxed, we're a little bit better. The last few weeks, everybody has tried to push too much and overdo it. The last few games, we've played a little better."
The Brewers' comeback spoiled what had been a splendid start for A's right-hander A.J. Griffin, who threw seven shutout innings while holding Milwaukee to four hits while striking out five.
Yoenis Cespedes gave Griffin all the support he needed early with a pair of home runs, boosting his team-leading total to 12, but the Oakland bullpen couldn't preserve the lead.
Facing left-hander Sean Doolittle, Rickie Weeks and Norichkia Aoki led off the eighth with back-to-back singles and both scored on Jean Segura's triple, cutting the Oakland lead to 3-2.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin replaced Doolittle with Ryan Cook, who got Braun on a grounder to third for the inning's first out, but Ramirez tied the game when his broken-bat fly ball to short center dropped in between three A's defenders.
Gomez, though, grounded into a double play to end the threat.
"His command was off," Melvin said of Doolittle. "It was shocking to see. That's the first time in his career he's given up a three-run lead in the eighth. It was four pitches."
Milwaukee loaded the bases in the ninth but couldn't convert against lefty Jerry Blevins, then John Axford (2-3) worked around a one-out walk in the 10th to keep Oakland off the board.
Kyle Lohse started for Milwaukee, working six innings and giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out three. Lohse also allowed both of Cespedes' home runs.
"The homers keep getting us but I thought he threw the ball well," Roenicke said. "Probably could have gone a little longer with him but that was a good game."
Braun went 1-for-5, taking the field just as a report surfaced that Major League Baseball would seek suspensions of Braun and several other players with alleged ties to a Miami clinic believed to have supplied performance-enhancing drugs to major-league players.
Braun tested positive for PEDs in October 2011 but avoided suspension when an arbitrator ruled there were improprieties in the handling of Braun's test specimen.
When his name was linked to Biogenesis in Miami, Braun and his legal team said they consulted the clinic as part of his 2011-12 appeal process.
Tuesday, Braun refused to elaborate further.
"I've already addressed everything related to the Miami situation," said Braun, who told reporters he first learned of the latest developments after the game. "I addressed it in spring training. I will not make any further statements about it. The truth has not changed. I don't know the specifics of the story that came out today but I've already addressed it, I've already commented on it and I'll say nothing further."
NOTES: Juan Francisco officially joined the Brewers Tuesday and started at first base for the first time in his career. Francisco went 0-for-2 with a walk. ... A's pinch hitters are 5-for-56 this season with two home runs, seven RBI, seven walks and a sacrifice hit. ... Roenicke said RHP Marco Estrada will likely miss his next start and could end up on the disabled list due to a left hamstring strain suffered Monday night. ... Oakland RF Reddick apologized before the game for accidentally spitting sunflower seeds in the face of a Houston Astros game day employee. ... A's LHP Hideki Okajima felt fine and was available Tuesday, less than 24 hours after being hit in his left forearm by a line drive.

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