Brewers 5 Blue Jays 4
MVPs of the Game:
Mike Cameron: 1/4; HR, SB, 2 Rs, 2 RBIs
Greg Zaun: 2/3; HR, 2B, BB, R, 3 RBIs
The Brewers stroked two more solo homeruns and scored two big runs on good baserunning from third base to take game two of this interleague series. Ben Sheets struggled with his command because his stuff had a little too much movement, but he managed just fine, going six innings and givin up only two runs. Shaun Marcum didn't live up to his numbers, giving up four in six innings, though he did strikeout six and walked only one. The Brewers just had his number. The game came down to the wire though as the Brewers bullpen bent, but didn't break as a result of Torres' four out save, his ninth of the year.
The scoring started with the long ball, which is the usual for the Brewers and their new third baseman, Russell Branyan. Branyan crushed a ball to left center and hit the scoreboard for a 445-foot bomb in the second inning. The Blue Jays tied it up with some small ball with two outs in the fourth. After a Vernon Wells single, Lyle Overbay walked, bringing up Greg Zaun. After fighting off a few pitches, Zaun promptly drilled an opposite field double down the left field line, scoring Wells and tying the game.
The Brewers answered immediately. Corey Hart led off the inning with a ground-rule double. Hart advanced to third on a shallow fly ball to right that Matt Stairs played all too non-chalantly, bringing up Mike Cameron. A swinging bunt and the immediate break for home by Hart brought the run in, despite Marcum's best attempt, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead that they would never relinquish. Cameron would advance to third on a single by Jason Kendall one batter later, when Ben Sheets came up.
For those of you who don't know. Sheets looks like a minor leaguer at the plate, but his recent trend of just swinging hard has paid huge dividends. Nevertheless, he didn't have to swing this time. Sheets dropped a bunt down right in front of home plate. Scott Rolen broke half way to home as catcher Greg Zaun tried looking back Cameron at third. Cameron simply followed Rolen wherever he went, until Zaun tossed the ball to first. The second the ball was released, Cameron broke for home as he was about a quarter of the way up the path already. Cameron ran right through the plate despite a perfect throw from Overbay and gave the Brewers a 3-1 lead.
The Blue Jays didn't budge however, scoring runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th, all coming from the bottom half of the order. Vernon Wells doubled and scored in the 6th. Scutaro, pinch hitting for the pitcher singled and scored in the seventh and Zaun smoked a first pitch fastball from Mota into the stands in the eighth. But the Brewers would just keep answering back, scoring one of their own in the sixth and seventh innings on Mike Cameron's homerun and an RBI single by Corey Hart in the 7th.
Things got a little interesting in the 8th though. After Greg Zaun's homerun, David Eckstein stroked a two out double to the gap and Marco Scutaro walked. That was enough of Mota for Yost, who brought in Torres. After walking Brad Wilkerson, Torres induced a groundball from Inglett to end the bases loaded threat and pitched a harmless ninth to finish the game.
Game Changing Play:
The Brewers were awarded an extra baserunner in the fourth when Cameron had the swinging bunt and Marcum was unable to get Hart at home. Cameron would end up scoring two batters later. Instead of conceding the run, the Jays gave up a second which was the difference in this one run affair.
- Branyan has nine homeruns already in just 59 ABs and 18 hits. Of those 18 hits, 13 of them are for extra bases, giving him an .831 slugging so far. That's absurd, even for the sample size. Interestingly, he's walked 10 times in that span. Ryan Braun has walked 12 in 289 ABs. He could learn something from the guy.
- The Brewers are lucky to have a guy like Torres right now. Their bullpen has been lights out for a while, and it's about time they come back to earth. Torres has been asked to pitch a lot of innings, and has had some pivotal 4-5 out performances to save the struggling Mota. When Gagne gets back, he should immediately be moved to the 7th or 8th inning role along with Riske, who returns today.
- The Brewers are the only team in the NL Central to have won the last two nights. As a result they've gained two games on the Cubs and Cardinals, who have been struggling against the Rays and Royals. The Cubs could be in big trouble since Zambrano left the game yesterday with a right shoulder injury. He's hoping it's shoulder tendinitis, but that's wishful thinking. If he's hurt for a long period of time, the Cubs are going to have a lot of work ahead of them.
Who's on Tap?:
The Brewers go for the sweep this afternoon as Dave Bush takes the hill to try and not ruin a good run of pitching. AJ Burnett will be taking the helm for the Jays, trying to build off a short but good outing against the Cubs last week.
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