It hasn’t been a very good start to the season for Ryan Braun, but things changed as always for him on a road game against the Philadelphia Phillies, his bat exploding with three home runs and 7 RBIs en route to a 10-4 win of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The win makes it four in a row for the 5-2 Brewers, who swept the Boston Red Sox in their previous series. Braun moved into third place on the Brewers’ all-time home runs list, passing Geoff Jenkins, which means he is 16 home runs short of reaching Prince Fielder and he’ll top the list with 37 more, which will tie him with Robin Yount who has 251 home runs in Brewers uniform.
Braun got an earful from the Red Sox fans and wasn’t exactly feeling the love from those in Philadelphia as well. He hit only three singles on the previous 20 at bats going into the game, but his performance, with home runs in the 3rd, 4th and 8th innings which helped score seven runs, showed that while voices might bother him, it becomes negligent when he plays in his favorite away ballpark. He has 10 homers and 21 RBIs in 20 career games at Citizens Bank Park.
His 3-run homer in the third ended a streak of 98 plate appearances without one, dating back to May 22, 2013. His solo homer in the fourth was sandwiched between another three run one coming in the 8th, and after taking two from Kyle Kendrick, he saved his finishing big hit for Brad Lincoln, having a rough couple of innings to end the game.
The Brewers were hot beyond just Braun – they got 15 hits on 42 at-bats as Mark Reynolds (2-for-5) and Scotter Gennett also got RBIs, and another run came via an error by Ben Revere. Kyle Lohse picked up the win despite not putting in the most impressive of pitching performances, allowing 7 hits in five innings along with four runs while also walking five batters. Luckily, he had Braun at his absolute best.
Kyle Kendrick got his first loss of the season in a truly awful performance on the mound. He lasted five innings, in which he was hit nine times and scored on six times, lowering his ERA this season to 3.75. He didn’t get much help from the offense, which did get going between the 4th and 6th innings, mostly through Jimmy Rollins who finished with two hits and two RBIs, but not enough to withstand the firestorm that was Ryan Braun on the game.
The Brewers and Phillies continue their series with the second game as Matt Garza, a loser on his first start this season, pitches for the Brewers. He actually had a very good opening game, allowing only two hits in eight innings against Atlanta, but didn’t get any offensive help. Roberto Hernandez (1-0, 3.38 ERA) will start for the Phillies.
It’s a good ballpark to hit in, and I enjoy competing against Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. I didn’t mind the fans. It’s very motivating. It’s nothing new to me.