video thumbnail

MIL@ATL: Hart hits a game-tying homer in the seventh

ATLANTA -- The Brewers scored just six runs while being swept in a four-game series at Turner Field last May as part of a seven-game losing streak that they overcame en route to winning the National League Central.

In their 2012 return to Atlanta, the Brewers had plenty of offense. Just not enough pitching.

Randy Wolf struggled like he often does against Atlanta, then the Braves broke an eighth-inning tie against Francisco Rodriguez for a 10-8 victory Friday night before a sellout crowd of 50,635.

Dan Uggla delivered a broken-bat two-run single after a leadoff hit by Martin Prado and a walk to Freddie Freeman as the Braves won their fourth straight home opener.

Rodriguez splintered Uggla's bat with a first-pitch fastball, but Atlanta's second baseman was strong enough to dribble the ball through the drawn-in infield for the one-out hit.

"It was a good pitch," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

The results weren't, though, and Rodriguez took responsibility.

"I didn't get the job done," he said.

But Milwaukee's bullpen pitched a lot better than Wolf, who came in with a 5-12 record against the Braves and now has an ERA approaching 6.00 at Turner Field.

"I can't remember the last time I felt that uncomfortable," said Wolf, who had trouble getting a feel of his pitches. "It was really ugly. The ball wasn't going anywhere I wanted it to go."

Brian McCann and Matt Diaz homered in a six-run fifth against Wolf that gave the Braves an 8-3 lead.

McCann tied his career high with four hits and drove in four runs.

"You combine him being a very good hitter with me being a bad pitcher today and it's not a good combination," Wolf said.

"There is not too many places you can go to get him out," Roenicke said.

But the Brewers battled back and tied the game in the seventh as Corey Hart followed a two-run single by Ryan Braun with a home run off Eric O'Flaherty.

Just like in Chicago at the start of the Brewers' road trip, Braun was the target of boos each time he came to the plate and heard the chant of "Cheater! Cheater! Cheater!" But the reigning National League MVP was 3-for-5 and raised his average to .357.

Alex Gonzalez and George Kottaras hit back-to-back homers in the second inning off Jair Jurrjens, but Wolf couldn't hold that lead. The veteran left-hander was charged with eight runs in 4 1/3 innings as he gave up nine hits and walked three.

McCann followed a leadoff triple by Michael Bourn and a one-out walk to Freeman in the fifth with a three-run homer on a hanging 2-and 0 pitch. Then it was Diaz's turn to go deep against Wolf, picking on the first pitch after a hit by Uggla.

Wolf was pulled after a single by Jason Heyward and reliever Marco Estrada allowed an RBI single by Bourn before finally ending the big inning.

Wolf walked leadoff hitter Bourn on four pitches and McCann smacked a two-out double to give the Braves a quick 1-0 lead. But the Brewers struck back in the second after Jurrjens had retired the first five batters.

Mat Gamel blooped a single to left field before Gonzalez and Kottaras homered. It was the second homer of the season for Gonzalez and the third for Kottaras.

Uggla made it 3-2 with a two-out double in the third, then the Braves drove Wolf out of the game while sending 11 men to the plate in the fifth.

The Brewers got two runs back in the sixth on a double by Hart that just missed being a home run. That was it for Jurrjens, who allowed five runs on seven hits.

"It was just a great game all the way around," Uggla said of the victory. "Everybody picked each other up. The Brewers just battled until the last out. It was a fun game. The crowd was awesome.

"You can never say enough good things about [McCann]. He steps up in big situations. He'll put the team on his back when he needs to. He was just unstoppable. They had to make a great play to get him out."

Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks robbed McCann of a fifth hit in the eighth, but Uggla came through with his game-deciding broken-bat hit.

Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth for the Braves and pitched around Braun's third hit to pick up the save.

"I keep it reasonably close and we win the game," Wolf said. "It's frustrating to stink that bad."

"We haven't been in a slugfest for quite some time," McCann said. "Tonight was that and we came out on the winning side. Guys put up some great at-bats and made their pitchers work."

MLB.com Comments