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Gomez's four-hit game leads Brewers past Padres

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- The last few days have been hard for the Milwaukee Brewers, who have had to deal with a season-ending suspension to their biggest star and then the trade of one of their top relievers.

Making matters worse, one of their most productive players this season, Carlos Gomez, was mired in a lengthy slump. On top of all of that, Milwaukee lost two tough games in a row Monday and Tuesday against the San Diego Padres.

All that was forgotten Wednesday, if only for an evening, when Gomez collected four hits in the Brewers' 3-1 victory over the Padres at Miller Park.

"It looks like he's really on pitches," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He's staying down. When he's swinging like that, he's on his game."

Gomez began the day with just three hits -- two of them home runs -- in his previous 42 at-bats but got off to a good start with doubles off Padres starter Sean O'Malley in his first two plate appearances. His third-inning drive knocked in two runs and gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.

"I got lucky with two infield hits," Gomez said. "That's why baseball is so tough. It takes me (42) at-bats, and I get three hits. Today, I go 4-for-4. Every day is another day."

Gomez added a single in the fifth and another in the seventh, which set the stage for a much-needed insurance run. O'Sullivan hit Norichika Aoki in the right leg to open the seventh. Padres manager Bud Black summoned Dale Thayer from the bullpen, and with one out, Aoki stole second. With two outs, Gomez's single moved Aoki to third.

During Juan Francisco's at-bat, Thayer tried to pick off Aoki at third while Gomez took off for second. Third baseman Chase Headley's throw to catch Gomez hit second base umpire Bob Davidson in the back, allowing Aoki to score and put the Brewers up 3-1.

"Unfortunately, Bob was in the way of a thrown ball," Black said. "He told me that's the last thing he wanted to have happen. It's a play we practice in spring training; it would have been a close play."

Gomez's big day helped Kyle Lohse (7-7) continue his recent stretch of dominance.

The right-hander went seven innings, allowing just a run on five hits with six strikeouts. He is 6-1 with a 2.49 ERA in his past 11 starts.

Lohse likely could have worked even deeper in the game, but a number of long at-bats by San Diego forced him to throw a season-high 112 pitches.

"They knocked a lot of innings out of me," Lohse said. "They fouled a lot of balls off, had a lot of pitches. I wasn't making bad pitches. My game plan was to get ahead of them and make them hit my pitch, and they weren't putting them in play the way I wanted them to. You can't do anything about that stuff. I can't do anything after I release the ball, so you just get back on the mound and try to make the next pitch."

Milwaukee's bullpen took over, and after John Axford threw a perfect eighth inning, Jim Henderson -- back in the closer's role after Francisco Rodriguez was traded to the Baltimore Orioles -- worked around a two-out walk in the ninth inning and earned his 11th save of the season.

O'Sullivan (0-2), making his second start of the season, pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and three walks. He had four strikeouts.

Nick Hundley's eighth home run of the season and second in as many days gave the Padres a 1-0 lead in the third inning.

The Brewers came back in the bottom of the inning, taking a 2-1 lead on a two-run double by Gomez. Milwaukee could have added more, but Gomez and Lucroy were stranded when O'Sullivan retired Juan Francisco and Yuniesky Betancourt to end the inning.

"I was able to limit the damage there and keep them to two (in the inning) and keep us in the game," O'Sullivan said.

NOTES: The Brewers reinstated RHP Alfredo Figaro from the 15-day disabled list, filling the roster spot left open when Rodriguez was dealt Tuesday. ... After starting the season 15-32 on the road, the Padres began play Wednesday having won three of their last four away from Miller Park, including two straight in Milwaukee. ... Brewers RHP Donovan Hand expects to make his next start despite after getting hit in the right hand Tuesday by a Tyson Ross fastball. Hand said he went through his usual day-after routine without any problems and should be ready to go Sunday in Colorado. ... San Diego's Jesus Guzman started for the second time in three games, playing right field. Guzman was 4-for-10 with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs in his previous four games. .... Milwaukee is 36-0 this season when leading after eight innings.
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