Sheets shines as Brewers sweep Giants

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Associated Press
Sunday, April 6, 2008
— Brewers ace Ben Sheets struck out eight in a five-hit shutout, his first in nearly seven years, as Milwaukee swept the San Francisco Giants with a 7-0 victory on Sunday.

Sheets (1-0) had his 96 mph fastball and big curveball working right from the start, striking out the side in 11 pitches in the first inning and getting at least one strikeout in each of his first five innings.

He also retired the last 10 batters in his second career shutout. His first was also a five-hitter on May 29, 2001, against the Cardinals.

Ryan Braun fell a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Gabe Kapler homered for the second time in as many days as the Brewers scored in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings off Giants left-hander Barry Zito.

The 2002 AL Cy Young winner has never gotten on track since signing a $126 million, seven-year contract with the Giants before last season.

Zito (0-2) complained about the lack of velocity on his fastball in his opening start, and while he managed to throw it as hard as 87 mph, he looked shaky and didn't get any help from his defense, which committed two errors that led to runs.

In the second, shortstop Brian Bocock misplayed Corey Hart's grounder and Hart scored on J.J. Hardy's double off the wall to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

The next inning, Kapler's sacrifice fly scored Jason Kendall, who had gotten on when third baseman Jose Castillo's throw pulled Rich Aurilia wide of first. Kendall had advanced to third on Rickie Weeks' single.

Kendall had a sacrifice fly of his own in the fourth, and the Brewers made it 5-0 the next inning with the solo homers by Kapler, who was managing Class A Greenville last season, and Braun, the NL's Rookie of the Year last season.

Zito, who yelled in frustration after Braun's home run, was gone at the end of the inning after allowing five runs -three earned - and eight hits. Braun added RBIs in the seventh and eighth innings to cap scoring.

The Giants, already banged up with injuries, managed just eight runs this series after scoring four in three games against the Dodgers. They never got a runner to third and never figured out Sheets, who threw 109 pitches and hasn't allowed a run this season after a 9.56 ERA this spring.

2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Last updated: 9:00 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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