Sheets got his first victory since tearing a back muscle last
August, and the Brewers beat Atlanta 5-4 Wednesday for their first
sweep of any kind against the Braves.
"There's a first time for everything," Sheets said. "I'm glad
it was this time."
Sheets' fastball reached 96 mph on the radar gun as late as his
final inning. Sheets (1-2) gave up two runs and six hits, striking
out nine in six innings.
"Believe it or not, Benny wasn't nearly as sharp as his last
start," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He's back healthy again --
we don't even think about that anymore -- and doing what he does
best. He was on the attack."
The Brewers ace's season ended last Aug. 26 when he hurt himself
while pitching against the Braves. He began this year on the
disabled list with shoulder problems related to the back but struck
out 16 in a pair of losses at New York and home against Cincinnati.
"I'm thinking about making outs. I told y'all, I feel good,"
Sheets said in his native Louisiana drawl. "I'm not saying
something couldn't happen, but if it keeps going, I'm going to keep
pitching like I am and I ain't going to worry about it."
Milwaukee won three straight for its first sweep of any length
over the Braves since moving from the American League to the NL in
1998. It's yet another step for a team that has real expectations
for the first time after going 81-81 last season.
"That's the class of the league over there. It's been the class
of the league or in the top class of the league the last 14
years," said Yost, who spent 12 years on the Braves coaching staff
with Cox before becoming Milwaukee's manager in 2003. "We've never
even won a series at home against them, let alone a sweep."
Closer Derrick Turnbow got his eighth save in eight chances
despite allowing his ERA to balloon from 0.00 to 1.80. He had not
allowed an earned run this season until Jeff Francoeur hit an RBI
triple in the ninth and scored on Brian McCann's sacrifice fly.
Milwaukee scored three times in the fourth to take the lead for
good at 3-1. After Jeff Cirillo led off with a single, first
baseman Adam LaRoche made a wild throw just over shortstop Wilson
Betemit's glove on a possible double-play grounder by Geoff
"Tough play. I should've ate it," LaRoche said. "I threw to
the inside of the bag, just as I was releasing the ball, he went to
"He made a real mistake on 0-2 to Koskie," Braves manager
Bobby Cox said.
The Braves closed to 3-2 in the sixth when LaRoche doubled home
Andruw Jones from first. The Brewers scored in the bottom half as
third baseman Chipper Jones bobbled Chad Moeller's hard, two-out
grounder with the bases loaded.
Sheets was even stronger early than his first home appearance
when he struck out 10 in seven innings in a loss to Cincinnati.
Sheets retired the first six batters, striking out four, before
McCann led off the third with a single. McCann reached second on a
sacrifice bunt by Sosa, and scored when Marcus Giles hit a soft
single up the middle to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
"Same old Sheets," Cox said. "That curveball is unreal. It's
the best in baseball."
Sheets walked LaRoche in the fourth. Sheets has walked only
one this season and struck out 25. ... The Brewers optioned RHP
Mike Adams to Triple-A Nashville. ... Atlanta finished 3-5 on its
trip. ... The Brewers improved to 9-4 at Miller Park, winning eight
games after trailing. ... Atlanta fell to 2-11 in games in which it
allowed a home run. ... Cox said SS Edgar Renteria is on track to
return on Friday after straining his left ribcage against San Diego
April 15. ... Cirillo started at second base for the second time
this year for Rickie Weeks, and Moeller started at catcher instead
of Damian Miller.