Hart powers Brewers past Padres 9-5
Hart batted leadoff Friday night for the sixth time this season and hit a pair of a solo homers, leading the Brewers to a 9-5 victory over the woeful San Diego Padres.
"We've had so many things happen to make our lineup different almost every day that I've had to move around," he said. "Sometimes it's me leading off or hitting fourth. My focus has been to hit the ball wherever I am in the lineup."
Rookie Martin Maldonado connected for a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Taylor Green added a two-run homer as Milwaukee earned its third consecutive victory after losing three of four at the beginning of its nine-game homestand.
Hart said it's nice to see the Brewers get on a run after struggling for much of the season. Milwaukee advanced to the NL championship series last year, but has been hurt by injuries this season and currently has seven players on the disabled list.
"We're trying to win any way we can right now," he said.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was thrilled with Hart's night and the production from Maldonado, who hit his second home run in the past week. He was called up from Triple-A Nashville on May 29 when Jonathon Lucroy broke his hand.
"His power does not surprise me, but you don't necessarily think he's going to do that," Roenicke said. "He's been very good for us so far."
Shaun Marcum (5-3) allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings while improving to 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his last three starts. But Marcum threw 115 pitches and admitted he struggled.
"I battled all night, but it was tough," he said. "I had good defense behind me and the team scored a lot of runs tonight which really helped. I made the pitches when I had to."
Everth Cabrera hit an inside-the-park homer in the third and Cameron Maybin added a conventional shot but San Diego still lost for the fifth time in six games. Edinson Volquez (2-6) allowed six runs and six hits in five innings while falling to 0-4 with a 5.86 ERA in his last five starts.
The sliding Padres are a major league-worst 5-20 on the road. Manager Bud Black said Maldonado's home run was the key to the game.
"That was the back breaker," he said. "It looked like we had some momentum. We're seeing some good swings from our hitters, but we need more consistency."
Hart lined Volquez's third pitch over the wall in right for his 12th homer, but the Padres tied in the third on Cabrera's second of the year.
Cabrera hit a one-out liner to center and Carlos Gomez tried to make a diving catch, but the ball got by him. It rolled all the way to the wall and Cabrera scored standing up.
Cabrera put the Padres in front with a bases-loaded walk in the fourth, but Marcum escaped further damage by getting Volquez to ground out.
Milwaukee grabbed the lead for good in the bottom half. With two out and two on, Maldonado hit a drive to the second deck in left field to make it 4-2. Hart led off the fifth with another shot and Aramis Ramirez's run-scoring groundout later in the inning extended the lead to 6-2.
Logan Forsythe hit a two-run triple in the ninth for San Diego.
NOTES: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers attended the game. Rodgers filmed several television commercials for the Brewers during spring training with his good friend Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun. ... Ramirez was back in the lineup after missing four games with a left quad strain. ... Cabrera's inside-the-park home run was the Padres' first since Chris Denorfia hit one on Aug. 5, 2010 against Los Angeles.
Last updated: 8:49 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012