• Summary: The Brewers rode first-inning homers from Corey Hart and Ryan Braun to a 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks.
• Fantasy stat: With the two-run shot, Braun now has six homers in his last seven games.
• Unsung hero: Despite giving up three solo shots in a six-inning stint, Dave Bush improved to 5-1 in his last six starts.
• What a relief: Closer Francisco Cordero struck out the side in the ninth for his MLB-best 29th save.
-- ESPN.com news services
Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 3
MILWAUKEE -- A conversation with pitching coach Mike Maddux
helped Dave Bush remember what makes him a special pitcher.Opposing batters are paying the price. Corey Hart and Ryan Braun homered, Bush pitched six strong
innings and the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks
4-3 on Monday night. Two months ago, Bush and Maddux talked. They agreed to let Bush
go back to what worked for him in the past. "When I was struggling, you try to find something to work for
you," said Bush, who led the staff with 12 wins in 2006. "I was
unfulfilled after outings because I wasn't really approaching the
hitters the way I wanted to, win or lose." Through May 25, Bush was 3-5 with a 6.13 ERA. He's since turned
things around; he hasn't allowed more than four runs in any of his
last eight starts. He's lowered his ERA to 4.84. "Little more aggressive, little more comfortable, being able to
just try to pound the strike zone, move the ball around, mixed
looks, not necessarily show the same look two outs in a row, that's
probably most of it," Bush said of his adjustments. Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said that Bush, who was 2-0 in
two starts against Arizona last season, has been tough in the past. "He can elevate the ball, he comes kind of from a funky arm
angle where he elevates from," Melvin said. "He sinks it. He cuts
it. He has a good curveball. [He] threw enough change-ups, just
very unpredictable. It's tough to get a pattern from him and sit on
anything." After Bush (8-7) gave up a leadoff homer to Chris Young, Hart
and Braun rescued him in the bottom of the first. Hart started the Brewers' first by hitting Micah Owings' second
pitch deep to left-center for his 13th home run, tying the game.
J.J. Hardy followed with a single and Braun, the next batter, hit
his 14th homer for a 3-1 lead. It was the first time two leadoff men have homered in the same
game since April 23 when Houston's Craig Biggio and Philadelphia's
Jimmy Rollins did it. Bush went six innings, allowing three runs and five hits. He
struck out three and improved to 5-1 over his last six appearances,
including his first career relief victory on June 27 against
Houston. "We really needed that sort of effort out of him," Brewers
manager Ned Yost said as his team won their third straight and
remained 3½ games ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the National League
Central. The Diamondbacks lost their season-high sixth straight on the
road. They've lost nine of their last 10 away from Phoenix. Francisco Cordero struck out the side with his slider in the
ninth for his major league-leading 29th save in 32 chances. "Why would you change?" Cordero said, explaining his strategy.
"They kept chasing it." Mark Reynolds connected off Bush with two out in the
Diamondbacks' fourth for a solo home run, cutting Milwaukee's lead
to 3-2. Prince Fielder's RBI double off Owings in the fifth got the run
back for Bush, who settled down after Reynolds' seventh homer and
retired the next seven batters before being chased with no outs in
the seventh. Stephen Drew hit a leadoff homer and Reynolds singled to end
Bush's night. Brian Shouse took over and protected the 4-3 lead. Owings (5-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings.
The rookie right-hander struck out three and walked one, but still
lost his fourth straight start. His last victory was June 20
against Tampa Bay. "He's a resilient kid," Melvin said. "You talk about all the
struggles and so forth. It's not like he just goes out there and
gets to a certain level and then just implodes. It's not the nature
of the kid." The Brewers' victory helped take some of the sting away from
losing ace Ben Sheets, who went on the 15-day disabled list earlier
Monday because of a sprained finger on his throwing hand. The
right-hander, who turns 29 on Wednesday, was injured Saturday
during his start against Colorado.
After the game, the Diamondbacks called up OF Jeff DaVanon
from Triple-A Tucson and sent down OF Jeff Salazar. ... Johnny Estrada snapped an 0-for-13 stretch with a single in the fourth.
... With Sheets on the DL and reliever Chris Spurling on the
bereavement list due to a family emergency, Milwaukee summoned
left-hander Manny Parra and right-hander Grant Balfour from
Triple-A Nashville. ... Braun made a throwing error in the first
and fielding miscue in the third. "Those are plays we got to
make," Yost said.