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Lucroy drives in three in Brewers' win

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COLIN FLY
May 11, 2011
— Jonathan Lucroy was in no mood to celebrate a career night.

The Brewers catcher believed his poor handling of his starting pitcher allowed the San Diego Padres to nearly rally from an eight-run deficit, got hit in the jaw on his own foul tip and made a baserunning mistake that ran his team out of a big inning.


"Good thing we scored a lot of runs because I'm not happy with the way the game went pitching wise, me calling the game," Lucroy said. "They scored way too many runs for what I want. We shouldn't give up that many and I take a lot of that on myself."


Lucroy tied career highs with three hits and three RBIs and Shaun Marcum won his fourth straight decision, lifting Milwaukee to an 8-6 victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.


"I got three hits. Great, grand, wonderful. Who cares," Lucroy said. "We still have things we need to work on. There's things, defensively, I need to work on to help our staff get better."


Milwaukee built an 8-0 lead off Padres starter Clayton Richard (1-4) as every Brewers starter had at least one hit before having to hold on late.


Lucroy provided two of the biggest blows with a two-run single in the second and an RBI double in the fourth. He also singled in the eighth after fouling a ball into the dirt that ricocheted and hit him in the jaw.


Marcum (4-1) had faced the minimum on one hit through five innings, but the light-hitting Padres came alive in the seventh with five straight singles that chased the right-hander.


"I'm not very happy about this game. We're winning 8-0 and we've got our setup guy in there, who we really didn't want to bring in, and we had to use our closer again," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We finally score a bunch of runs, we need to hold them down."


San Diego got the tying run to the plate in the eighth and the winning run up in the ninth.


John Axford recorded his seventh save after Will Venable's two-out, run-scoring single cut it to 8-6 and Jason Bartlett followed with a hit to put runners on the corners before Ryan Ludwick grounded out to end it. Ludwick is hitless in his last 21 at-bats.


"Down 8-0 early in the game, we really have nothing to lose," Padres catcher Kyle Phillips said. "We were one blast away from tying that game, or an extra-base hit from tying that game."


The last four days, the Brewers have seen the starting pitching performances they'd hoped for when they traded for Marcum and Zack Greinke in the offseason.


Marcum has been sharp throughout the season after his first start, Greinke won his first game on Monday night with six effective innings and Yovani Gallardo allowed one hit over eight innings in his last start on Saturday.


"We have some great weapons," Lucroy said. "I consider to be pretty blessed to catch guys of this quality for sure. It's pretty fun for me because they're so talented and so at the top of their game."


Milwaukee jumped on Richard in the second with five straight singles, including a run-scoring hit by Corey Hart, his first RBI of the season, and two RBIs by Lucroy before both were thrown out in an awkward 7-5-4-6-4 run down.


The baserunning gaffe hardly slowed Milwaukee.


The Brewers plated three more in the third on Ryan Braun's run-scoring single and Casey McGehee's two-run hit. Braun, the NL's player of the month for April, was 3 for 33 before his hit gave him his first RBI in May.


Richard was chased in the fourth after an error, an RBI double by Lucroy and Rickie Weeks' run-scoring single that gave Milwaukee an 8-0 lead.


Lucroy's three-hit effort improved his batting average to .324, the best among the Brewers regulars.


All the early runs proved to be enough against the Padres, who've managed eight or more just twice this season and are hitting a major league-worst .219.


Marcum allowed a leadoff single to start the game to Venable, then retired the next 14 batters until Phillips' bloop double started the sixth.


San Diego scored later in the inning on Barlett's single, and Marcum failed to get an out in the seventh after five straight hits.


Phillips drove in two runs with his single and Alberto Gonzalez followed with a single that made it 8-4, chasing Marcum. Reliever Marco Estrada followed with a double play, but a wild pitch allowed Phillips to score to set up the save situation.


"The offense bailed me out," Marcum said. "Then, the bullpen came in and did their job."


NOTES: Richard, C Nick Hundley and RHP Tim Stauffer spent time earlier Tuesday visiting with patients at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Milwaukee as part of Athletes for Hope. ... Brewers RHP Brandon Kintzler (right triceps irritation) will undergo an MRI. Kintzler hasn't pitched since the second game of a doubleheader in Atlanta on May 4. ... Miller Park's roof was open for the second time this season.



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