Milwaukee Brewers fall 11-3 to Atlanta Braves
MILWAUKEE — Matt Kemp homered three times and drove in five runs, helping the surging Atlanta Braves pound the Milwaukee Brewers 11-3 on Saturday night.
Atlanta collected a season-high 20 hits in its fourth straight victory. Dansby Swanson also homered, and Jaime Garcia (1-1) pitched six innings for his first win with the Braves after spending the first eight years of his career in St. Louis.
Kemp connected in the fifth, seventh and eighth for his first game with three homers. He became the first Braves player to accomplish the feat since Mark Teixeira in 2008.
Milwaukee right-hander Jimmy Nelson allowed five runs and 11 hits in five innings. Jonathan Villar had two hits for the Brewers, and Keon Broxton scored two runs.
Garcia walked five, but yielded just two runs and three hits. The veteran left-hander was particularly effective against the middle of Milwaukee’s lineup – holding Eric Thames, Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw hitless.
Kemp gave Atlanta a 5-1 lead with a drive to right with two outs in the fifth after Freddie Freeman’s broken-bat single against a shifted defense. He homered down the left-field line in the seventh and tacked on another two-run shot in the eighth.
Swanson also hit a two-run shot in the seventh off Milwaukee’s beleaguered bullpen.
Nelson wasn’t helped by his defense — or the crowd. The Brewers committed two costly errors and Orlando Arcia’s at-bat in the fifth ended when a fan wearing a Wisconsin Badgers pullover reached over the right-field railing and caught a foul ball that was ruled interference.
It was a frustrating night all around for Milwaukee, which lost slugger Ryan Braun when he was ejected in the seventh for arguing balls and strikes.
The lone nifty defensive play came from the loge level when a fan caught Brandon Phillips’ foul ball in the fifth with a cup of beer. He then downed what was left with the ball inside.
Phillips returned to Atlanta’s lineup after missing the past two games with a strained groin. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games in his first at-bat, but was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double following a hard-hit ball off the right-field wall.
With the single, Phillips became the second active player with 200 career hits against Milwaukee, joining Albert Pujols.
Braves: RHP Mauricio Cabrera, on the DL with elbow soreness, pitched two innings at Class A Florida. He is headed to Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday.
Brewers: Shaw didn’t take his at-bat in the fifth, leaving with a right-hand contusion. He was hit by a pitch on the right hand in the first, but took his at-bat in the third.