ATLANTA – Willie Adams hit an early homer off Charlie Morton, Brett Anderson played a strong 5 2/3 innings, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 on Sunday.
The Brewers, who have a seven-game lead in the NL Central, went 20 games ahead of the .500 for the second time this season. He improved 34–19 away from Milwaukee and has won 13 of 17 Road Series this season.
“I mean, it’s a good team,” Anderson said. “It’s a playoff-caliber team, pitching and defense are strong suits and we’ve been scoring at a pretty good clip since the All-Star break. Still, we’ve all hit the offensive at the same time so far. Didn’t click at all.”
In an attempt to reach .500, Atlanta lost their ninth straight game and 12th of their last 13. The Braves, who dropped 52-54, are four games behind the NL East.
With Adams 18th homer, 13th Brewers, Milwaukee took a 1–0 lead in the opening match. Adams has been swinging a hot bat lately, hitting .319 in his last 37 matches with 10 homers and 28 RBIs.
The Brewers went 2–0 up in fifth when Lorenzo Cain reached an infield single, moved to third on a single from Luis Urias and scored on a groundout from Jackie Bradley Jr.
Anderson, who is 2-0 with 1.72 ERA in his last four starts, left with four hits and one run and one run and three strikes.
Anderson (4-5) didn’t often need to get out of trouble. Guillermo Heredia led the half of the Braves’ third with a double and moved to third on the groundout, but was trapped. Freddie Freeman got one in the fourth and Dansby Swanson was out before Anderson dismissed Austin Riley for the second time.
Atlanta’s Ozzy Albiz singled out with a sixth one, and George Soler left when Anderson issued his first free pass. Freeman, the current NL MVP, lined up to end Anderson’s day, and John Curtis dropped Austin Riley’s RBI single to make it 2–1.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said, “Brett was great today. One day where it was obviously very hot and pitch at such a high speed and he was telling the other team to hit it and see what happens . It keeps them in. The swing mode and kind of tantalizes them and gets the ground ball and doesn’t let the ball hit the air. We get a lot of outs and that’s a quick five innings.”
Morton, who was 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his last four starts, was picked up for a pinch-hitter in the sixth. Morton (10-4) conceded two runs and three hits without a walk and six strikes.
The Braves made it interesting in the seventh against Brad Boxberger when Kevan Smith scored a single and pinch-hitter Jock Pedersen hit a pitch. The Albiz exited the field to eliminate the threat.
“We were a big hit away,” said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker. “We put ourselves in position and couldn’t finish the deal. It happens. It’s a really good team we just played and got a chance to win a series too. They’re riding their pitching too. It’s a solid Bullpen. He has a really good start.”
Against Devin Williams in the Atlanta Eighth, George Soler led with a single before Freeman was dismissed, Riley singled out, Swanson dismissed and Adam Duvall dismissed.
Josh Haider retired the side in his first saving opportunity since July 8, earning his 22nd save in 23 opportunities in the ninth order.
Haider liked how much of a close game contributed to Milwaukee.
“Exactly, that’s what it seems,” he said. “The big guys go ahead and get us to hit and the pitching stays strong. At the end of the day, we give up and keep hitting as long as we can to limit the hits. Play the ball and good baseball.” Well, that’s what you want.”
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said RHP Hunter Strickland and RHP Jake Cousins, both quarantined with COVID-19 symptoms, will be living together in Atlanta and quarantined at the nearby Strickland’s home. … Counsel said INF-OF Jess Peterson, sidelined for contact tracing, could be activated during the three-match series against Pittsburgh starting Monday. … 2B Colten Wong and RF Avicel Garcia got a day off each.
Milwaukee LHP Blaine Hardy picked his contract from Triple-A Nashville and was added to the roster to replace Strickland.
Brewers: LHP Eric Lauer (3-4, 3.78 ERA) will make his Pirates series debut on Monday. Bryce Wilson (2-3, 4.83) will start for Pittsburgh.
Braves: Atlanta is closed on Mondays. LHP Max Fried (7-7, 4.32) will play the first match of the three-match series in St. Louis on Tuesday.
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