Brewers bounce back against Braves
Jeff Suppan pitched seven scoreless innings, Mike Cameron and Prince Fielder hit third-inning home runs and Milwaukee beat the Atlanta Braves 9-0 on Friday night to snap a five-game skid.
The Brewers opened a six-game trip with their eighth straight road victory after losing five straight games at home, including four in a row to the Chicago Cubs.
With the Cubs’ 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday, the Brewers moved four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.
Suppan (6-7) gave up only five hits with the three walks and one strikeout. Brian Shouse and Guillermo Mota each pitched an inning to complete the Brewers’ fifth shutout.
It was Suppan’s second dominant effort in three starts against Atlanta this season. He gave up four hits and overcame five walks in eight scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over the Braves on May 28 in Milwaukee. He allowed four runs in a 4-2 loss in Atlanta on June 25.
Suppan loaded the bases with three walks in the fourth but escaped the jam when pinch-hitter Greg Norton hit an easy fly ball to left field.
It was the only time the suddenly punchless Braves threatened. The Braves, who have lost six of seven, again were without catcher Brian McCann, who missed his fifth straight game while recovering from a slight concussion but was given medical clearance before the game for use as a pinch-hitter.
The Brewers scored six runs in the first three innings to knock left-hander Chuck James out of the game. James (2-4), recalled from Triple-A Richmond for the start, gave up six runs on six hits and four walks in 2 2-3 innings.
Rickie Weeks led off the game with an infield single, moved to second on J.J. Hardy’s walk and scored on Ryan Braun’s double to center. Corey Hart’s fly ball to right drove in Hardy for a 2-0 lead.
Weeks drove in Jason Kendall with a triple in the second. Fielder hit a homer into the second section of seats in right field with one out in the third. After Bill Hall walked, Cameron added a two-run homer for a 6-0 lead.
James was pulled after walking Kendall and Suppan, but reliever Buddy Carlyle struck out Weeks.
Hall led off the eighth with a double off Royce Ring and scored on pinch-hitter Gabe Kapler’s single to left. With the bases loaded, Hardy hit a high bouncer to third that drove in Kendall, and Kapler also scored on Omar Infante’s wild throw to first for an error.