Milwaukee Brewers: 250 Words or Less; 9/4/11
If the Milwaukee Brewers suffered from a confidence deficiency after being swept at home by the St. Louis Cardinals, they found the perfect prescription in the lowly Houston Astros. The Brewers completed their second consecutive series sweep at Minute Maid Park and beat the hosts for the 9th straight time, 4-0.
While the Brewers tagged Houston for 8 runs in each of the first two games of this series, on Sunday they settled for an old fashioned pitchers’ duel. Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum turned in his best performance of the season, pitching 7 shutout innings while allowing only one hit and striking out 8 batters. In fact, through the first 5 innings, Marcum himself had one more hit than the entire Astros lineup. Centerfielder Jordan Shafer finally broke up the no-hitter with a single up the middle in the 6th inning. Even though Marcum’s pitch count stood at only 99, manager Ron Roenicke took the opportunity to get his set-up relievers some work with Francisco Rodriguez and Takashi Saito handling the uneventful final two innings.
Leftfielder Ryan Braun did most of the offensive damage for the Brewers, giving Marcum all the support he needed with a 1st inning home run. He later tacked on two more RBIs with a run scoring single and a bases loaded walk. In the process, Braun took over the National League lead in batting average. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy added a solo home run of his own with 2 outs in the second and rightfielder Corey Hart, back in the lineup after taking Saturday off, increased his hitting streak to 16 games with an infield single in his third at-bat.
Now the Brewers need to “cowboy up” for their upcoming 3 game series in St. Louis against the 2nd place Cardinals. The Brewers now lead their NL Central rivals by 9.5 games with the Cards losing to Cincinnati in extra innings on Sunday. Hopefully, the Brewers will manage to acquit themselves better this time than they did in Milwaukee.