McClung shaky...Brewers can't sweep Braves
With the roof open for the first time of the season, our better angels realized soon that things didn't look good for Seth McClung and the Brewers at the start of Thursday afternoon's finale against the Braves. Atlanta loaded the bases in the first inning, but a superb double play by J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks averted the disaster...at least for a little while.
The Braves finally scored in the 3rd on a Mark Teixeira "single"--Teixeria hit a hard dribbler between Prince Fielder and Weeks, which plated Yunel Escobar, but resulted in Weeks also getting charged with an error on the throw to first. Weeks' throw was a bit high, but mostly because McClung paused while running to cover first and Weeks had to wait for him to get there...the FSN Wisconsin guys blamed Fielder for not getting back to first, but Fielder was sprawled out after having dove for the grounder.
McClung took the 1-0 deficit into the 5th with him, and that's when he reached his limit--after getting Escobar to ground out, Kelly Johnson singled and stole second, resulting in McClung giving Chipper Jones a free pass. Teixeria then took a 2-0 fastball out of the park to make the score 4-0. After getting Greg Norton to fly out for the second out, Jeff Francoeur hit a double to left...McClung then intentionally walked the #7 hitter, Gregor Blanco, to get to the #8 hitter, catcher Corky Miller. But McClung walked Miller on four straight pitches, prompting skipper Ned Yost to yank him, opting to go with Tim Dillard to face the Braves' pitcher, Jorge Campillo. Campillo hits a Texas Leaguer into shallow right that Corey Hart just missed, plating Francoeur and Blanco, and hanging McClung with 6 ER's over 4 2/3rds IP...and bringing the score to 6-0.
The bottom of the 5th was the only highlight for the Brewers' offense on the day...first Russell Branyan hit his first homer in the majors to start the inning, while Dillard collected his first ever major league hit later on in the frame. Campillo went to the showers after 5.0 IP, 4 hits, the 1 run (earned), and 6 K's. Bobby Cox paraded out four relievers for the rest of the game, and only one of them--former Brewer Jeff Bennett--allowed any hits the rest of the way.
Dillard pitched 1 1/3rd scoreless innings (but gave up the hit that plated two of McClung's runners); Brain Shouse worked two scoreless innings, while Julian Tavarez gave up a pair of runs in the top of the 9th. Hart was the only Brewer with more than one hit, going 2-for-3 on the day to raise his BA to .302; Branyan went 1-for-2 to raise his BA above .300 to .308.