Estrada, Brewers handcuff Braves

Stan Awtrey, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- The ability to change speeds and expand the strike zone worked wonders for Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Marco Estrada on Monday.
The right-hander threw seven scoreless innings and added two singles, helping the Milwaukee Brewers earn a 5-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Monday.
Estrada (7-4) extended his winning streak to three by striking out six and walking three while matching his season-best effort from Aug. 25, when he blanked the Cincinnati Reds for seven innings.
"Marco threw the ball well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "His changeup was great, he located the fast ball. When he has his changeup going, he's capable of doing that against anybody."
The Braves managed only two hits against Estrada. Andrelton Simmons lined a ball into left field that got past Khris Davis and turned into a triple, and Elliot Johnson added a single in the eighth.
"He gives us fits," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He threw the change to both sides of the plate and we weren't patient enough not to swing. He expanded the strike zone and we expanded with him."
Estrada threw 115 pitches, 76 for strikes, and allowed only two runners to reach third base. The Braves were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.
"He wiggled out of trouble," Roenicke said. "He made some good pitches when he needed to."
Rob Wooten pitched a scoreless eighth, and Michael Blazek pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the shutout. Atlanta was shut out for the 16th time this year, while Milwaukee threw its 14th shutout.
Mike Minor (13-8) failed in his fifth attempt to record a 14th win. He allowed three runs and eight hits over seven innings, striking out six.
"I had decent stuff," Minor said. "I felt pretty good out there. ... I couldn't keep the ball in the park."
Minor will have one more regular-season start and could be the Game 1 starter for the National League Division Series.
"He doesn't need to change anything, other than us scoring some runs for him," Gonzalez said.
Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez opened the scoring with his 22nd homer, a line-drive solo shot into the left-field stands with one out in the first inning. Gomez then struck out on his next four at-bats and slammed his helmet in disgust in the ninth.
The Braves wasted a chance in the fourth inning. Jordan Schafer and Justin Upton led off with walks and advanced when Johnson struck out and the ball got away. However, Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons followed with strikeouts to kill the threat.
Jonathan Lucroy gave the Brewers a 3-0 lead with a two-run homer, his 18th, in the fifth inning. It was his first home run since Aug. 16 against Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman.
"That was better hitting than it was pitching," Minor said.
The Brewers got two insurance runs in the eighth. Aramis Ramirez hit a one-out solo home run, his 12th, off reliever Anthony Varvaro. With two outs, Sean Halton doubled and scored on Yuniesky Betancourt's infield singled when sure-handed Atlanta shortstop Simmons threw wildly to the plate.
The Braves have now lost three of four meetings against the Brewers.
NOTES: Gonzalez was ejected in the seventh inning by plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Paul Janish was hit by a pitch, but Hernandez ruled that Janish didn't try to get out of the way. ... After clinching the NL East title Sunday, the Braves rested 1B Freddie Freeman, 2B Dan Uggla and C Brian McCann on Monday. ... Brewers SS Jean Segura missed his fifth consecutive game due to a strained right hamstring. The team hopes he will be able to play again during the season's final week. ... Milwaukee RHP Tyler Thornburg (3-1) opposes Atlanta RHP Freddy Garcia (1-2) on Tuesday. Garcia will make his third start for the Braves.

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