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Surprising Brewers win fifth straight

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Perhaps the only people not surprised by the Milwaukee Brewers' hot start are the Brewers themselves.

"We know how good we are," outfielder Logan Schafer said Wednesday night after the Brewers exploded for five runs in the final two innings to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-4.

"We had a meeting in spring training where (manager) Ron (Roenicke) said we have five players who are in the top five (at their positions)," first baseman Mark Reynolds said. "That's pretty good."

It has shown on the field. The Brewers (6-2) have reeled off five straight victories, all on the road.

On Wednesday night, right fielder Ryan Braun tripled home two runs as Milwaukee snapped a 4-4 tie by scoring three times in the eighth inning. Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

Center fielder Carlos Gomez also homered for the Brewers. Gomez, who was a triple from the cycle, went 3-for-5, as did third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

The Phillies fell to 3-5 with their third straight loss.

Reynolds led off the eighth by drawing a walk from reliever Antonio Bastardo (0-1) after falling in an 0-2 hole. Reynolds stole second and was sacrificed to third by second baseman Scooter Gennett. With the infield up, Schafer's bouncer ticked off the glove of first baseman Ryan Howard for an error. Schafer was credited with an RBI, as Reynolds was running on contact.

Roenicke said it was "ridiculous" that Schafer's ball was ruled an error by official scorer Joe Bellina. Schafer also thought it was a hit but added, "It doesn't matter either way. ... We won the game and that's what's important."

One out later, Bastardo hit shortstop Jean Segura with a pitch. Braun, booed by the crowd as he had been during Tuesday's three-homer, seven-RBI performance, then laced a 1-0 pitch over the head of Ben Revere in center field, sending both runners home.

Reynolds' homer in the ninth came against reliever Justin DeFratus.

"They're a very aggressive team and swing at a lot of first pitches," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.

As for his team, he said, "We definitely have to straighten some things up."

Reliever Tyler Thornburg (2-0) picked up the victory with two perfect innings.

Milwaukee starter Matt Garza went seven innings and allowed four runs (three earned) and eight hits. He struck out four and walked two.

Philadelphia starter Roberto Hernandez worked five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and seven hits while striking out nine and walking one.

The Brewers scored twice in the top of the first on Ramirez's single and an error by Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins, but the Phillies answered with three runs in their half. The first scored on Garza's balk, the other two on an error and infield out, respectively.

Segura chased home the tying run with a bloop double in the second. Gomez hit Hernandez's 0-2 fastball into the left-field seats with two outs in the fourth, giving Milwaukee a 4-3 lead.

Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd knotted it in the bottom of the fifth, punching a single through the middle to score catcher Carlos Ruiz, who led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

NOTES: Neither 2B Chase Utley (flu) nor third baseman Cody Asche (hamstring) was in the starting lineup for the Phillies. Cesar Hernandez made his second straight start in Utley's place. Jayson Nix started for Asche, who later entered the game as a defensive replacement and doubled in his only at-bat. ... Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said RHP Mike Adams, who underwent shoulder surgery last July, threw his second scoreless inning for Class A Clearwater on Tuesday and is "on the fast track" to return. ... Sandberg also said INF Freddy Galvis, recovering from a leg infection, hit two home runs in an extended spring training game on Tuesday and is "coming along real fast." ... With three home runs and seven RBIs in Tuesday's 10-4 victory over the Phillies, Brewers RF Ryan Braun raised his career average to .405 with 10 homers and 21 RBIs at Citizens Bank Park. Only four other visiting players have hit .400 with 10 homers and 20 RBIs in a particular park in major league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: Joe DiMaggio (Sportsmen's Park), Willie Mays (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum), Mike Piazza (Coors Field) and Carlos Delgado (Kingdome). ... Braun's .392 career average against the Phillies entering Wednesday's game is the highest by a Philadelphia opponent since 1900 (min. 175 at-bats).

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