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Braun homers, Brewers 'pen holds off Padres

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Associated Press
August 22, 2010
— Brewers manager Ken Macha was asked Saturday night if he could have imagined his team beating the first-place San Diego Padres two straight games without his starting pitchers getting out of the fourth inning.

Macha could only smile.


The Brewers did beat the Padres for the second straight night under those exact circumstances, relying on four relief pitchers for a 6-5 win. On Friday night, Milwaukee used three relievers to overcome a poor start.


"A nice job by our bull pen," Macha said. "They have really helped us the last two nights."


San Diego's Matt Stairs set a big league record for most career pinch-hit home runs when he connected for his 21st, a two-run shot in the eighth inning. He snapped a tie with Cliff Johnson.


Padres manager Bud Black said the record is very special.


"To be able to perform at that level to break a major league record is an outstanding accomplishment," he said. "It is one of the hardest roles on a team."


Chris Narveson lasted only three-plus innings for the Brewers, giving up three runs and four hits. Mike McClendon (1-0), called up from Triple-A Nashville Aug. 12, pitched three scoreless innings to get his first career win and earned a postgame beer shower in the clubhouse


"It is pretty exciting," he said. "It was one of the best games I've ever been involved in and a fun way to get my first win."


Zach Braddock pitched a scoreless seventh. Kameron Loe gave up two runs in the eighth inning, but John Axford came on to get five outs for his 19th save in 21 chances for the team's fourth straight win.


McClendon entered the game and quickly gave up a walk and an RBI single to Padres pitcher Kevin Correia. He then settled down to get the next three outs to get out of the fourth inning, including striking out Adrian Gonzalez.


"You know when the pitcher gets a hit off you, it is not your night," he said. "I was able to make some quick adjustments and get it turned around pretty quickly."


Kevin Correia (10-8) struggled for the Padres, who lost their second straight after winning five in a row. Correia lasted only 4 1-3 innings, his shortest stint since the All-Star break. He gave up four runs and seven hits, after giving up no runs in two of his last three starts.


Correia said he didn't have his best stuff Saturday.


"I didn't have real great off-speed stuff tonight," he said. "I can usually get away with that because my fastball is pretty good, but all the balls they hit were on off-speed pitches."


The Brewers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning. After Alcides Escobar doubled with one out, Prince Fielder hit a liner that Padres' second baseman David Eckstein could not catch. Escobar scored on the play as the ball bounced away from Eckstein into right field.


Casey McGehee's sacrifice fly and Dickerson's RBI groundout in the third inning pushed the Brewers lead to 3-0.


The Padres came right back in the fourth inning as the first six batters reached base against Narveson, including three on walks. Chris Denorfia knocked in two runs with a double and Correia helped his own cause with an RBI single to tie the game at 3.


Dickerson's sacrifice fly and Jonathan Lucroy's RBI single in the fifth inning gave the Brewers a 5-3 lead. Ryan Braun hit his 17th homer into the Brewers' bullpen in the sixth inning to increase the lead to 6-3.


It was Braun's first home run in 22 games his last came July 24 against Washington.


"I hope that will get him (Braun) going," Macha said.


NOTES: Prior to the game, the Padres activated Eckstein from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Ryan Webb to Triple-A Portland. Eckstein had been on the disabled list since July 21 with a right calf strain. The Padres also recalled OF Luis Durango from Triple-A Portland and sent down INF Everth Cabrera Brewers All-Star RF Corey Hart was held out Saturday with a sore hamstring. The Brewers said Hart was day to day.



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