Fri. Final: Brewers 7, White Sox 2
By Todd Welter
Turns out a day off was all a couple of slumping Brewers bats needed to be shaken out of their funks.
Corey Hart, Bill Hall and Mike Cameron were in the middle of some nasty slumps. How nasty? Add up all three of their slumps and the result is 7-for-114 at the plate. That number got all of them benched in the last Brewers game.
That day off did some good as all three came through with some big hits as the Brewers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Miller Park
Hart had the best day of the three slumping bats as he went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, two runs and 3RBI. Bill Hall was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run and Mike Cameron reached base twice and scored a run.
"Takes a little more than a couple days to get fully confident," Hart felt. "It's nice to get a few hits in a few key situations. It makes me get that confidence back a little bit and be able to sleep a little better."
Casey McGehee also contributed to the Brewers offensive barrage with a 2-for-4 night along with 2RBI as the Crew scored five or more runs for just the sixth time in their last 25 games.
Does anybody still want to complain about Jeff Suppan's pitching ability? If so, it would be pretty hard to find fault in the way he contributed to this Brewers (34-27) victory.
Suppan (5-4) pitched a strong 6.2-innings in which he also went 2-for-2 at the plate with a RBI to pick up his fifth win of the season. He gave up just two runs, allowed nine hits, struck out five and walked none.
"The value of not walking anybody definitely came into play because he had given up nine hits," Brewers manager Ken Macha said.
Since starting the season 0-2 with a 12.91 ERA, Suppan has turned in some quality starts. In his last 11 starts, he is 5-2 along with six quality starts and has given up just 24 earned runs.
"I had good tempo," Suppan explained about this recent quality start. "The defense did an outstanding job and made incredible plays today. They helped me out for sure."
The White Sox did get to Suppan in the fourth for two runs. A.J. Pierzynski drove in Alexi Ramirez with a double. Pierzynski plated a run on Chris Getz' RBI single.
The Sox had a chance to plate some more runs in the sixth when Getz smashed what looked to be a 2RBI double. Instead, Hart laid out and made a diving catch to rob Getz of adding to the Sox lead.
"Probably a game saving catch," Macha thought. "Probably saved two runs. That would have probably opened the game up for other side."
One reason for the Crew's recent slump has been the bats inability to bring runs home when the opportunities present themselves. The Brewers came into the contest hitting .233 over their last 10 games with runners in scoring position. That average went up a few points thanks to scoring seven runs during the sixth and seventh innings.
The sixth-inning rally started when Prince Fielder reached on an error. Hart would bring Fielder home when he ripped a RBI-double down the left-field line. Suppan drove Hart in with a bloop single to left. The Crew plated another run on McGehee's RBI-single.
The Crew added four more runs in the seventh when Hart drove in Ryan Braun and Cameron with a triple. Although it almost looked like Sox outfielder Brian Anderson was going to rob him of that heroic moment.
"I was ready to go out there and tackle him if he caught it," Hart joked.
Hall then slapped a RBI single to score Hart and he came home on McGehee's second RBI single.
Octovio Datel (1-2) took the loss for blowing the Sox' 2-0 lead in the sixth when he gave up two of the Brewer's three runs that inning. Sox starter Clayton Richard did a good job of keeping the Brewers' bats in check before the sixth.
The young lefty lasted five innings, gave up the other sixth-inning Brewers run-which was unearned-allowed four hits, struck out three and walked three. He pitched out of a third inning jam when he loaded the bases with two outs but struck out Fielder to end the inning. The White Sox (28-34) have now lost nine of their last 13 games.
"That game could have gone either way," Macha said. "It was a tight game."