for this game

Brewers' Sheets stymies Braves

Jun 24, 2008 - 2:48 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Ben Sheets and the Milwaukee Brewers continue to heat up in June.

Sheets scattered one run and four hits en route to recording the 15th complete game of his career and Mike Cameron homered to lead the surging Brewers to a 4-1 triumph over the Atlanta Braves in the opener of a three-game set on Monday.

J.J. Hardy and Ryan Braun drove in a run apiece with RBI doubles in the third for Milwaukee, which won for the 14th time in 20 tries in June.

"I'm thinking complete game whenever I toe the slab," Sheets said. "I'm pitching good. There have been spots in my career where I've been pitching good. I have stretches (like this) every year."

The Brewers couldn't have asked for much more from a healthy Sheets (9-1), who has been lights-out this season. The lanky righthander, who has been prone to mid-season breakdowns, has had a sensational first half for Milwaukee, winning nine of 10 decisions while sporting a 2.59 ERA in 15 starts.

Sheets again was on the top of his game Monday. He struck out seven without a walk to win his fifth consecutive decision. He hurled 73 of his 106 pitches for strikes en route to improving to 6-0 with a 2.41 ERA in 10 road starts this season.

"He's been pretty good every time he goes out there," Cameron said. "He keeps us in the ballgame and works fast - really, really fast."

Atlanta's only real threat against the Milwaukee ace came in the fourth. Kelly Johnson led off the frame with a single and advanced to third on a single by Mark Teixeira before scoring on Brian McCann's double-play grounder. Omar Infante followed with a single before Sheets struck out the struggling Jeff Francoeur to end the frame.

"I beared down there," Sheets said. "I needed (to). Sometimes, if you score runs early, you relax. That was good."

Sheets cruised the rest of the way, retiring the next 16 batters in order en route to notching his second complete game of the season.

"He got tough (after the fourth)," said Johnson, who had two of Atlanta's four hits against Sheets. "Even in a favorable count, he was able to put pitches on the corner. He was dominant the whole game."

"I don't think we ever hit him very hard," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's got the best curveball in baseball and he throws 93, 95 (miles per hour) and he throws it where he wants to. Our pitcher better have a good night (to beat him). Our pitcher had a bad night."

Sheets' teammate Rickie Weeks agreed with Cox's assessment of Sheets.

"He's been like that his whole career," said Weeks, who finished 3-for-4. "He's going to attack the zone. He's the guy he is. It shows day in and day out."

Atlanta missed the potent bat of the major's leading hitter, Chipper Jones. Jones, who is batting .393, did not start for the third straight game after re-injuring his right quadriceps muscle.

Jones has had some success against Sheets, batting .348 (8-for-23) with two homers and six RBIs lifetime versus the righthander.

"Any game where you have a chance for a big hit, you like a guy like (Chipper Jones) in the lineup," Johnson said. "But that's the way it is and that's the way it's going to be (right now)."

Cameron gave Sheets all the run support he needed with a line two-run shot into the left field stands off Atlanta starter Jo-Jo Reyes (3-5) in the second. The blast was the 12th of the abbreviated season for Atlanta native Cameron, who was suspended for the first 25 games of the season for violating baseball's steroid policy.

"(Reyes) didn't have control of the strike zone early on," Cameron said. "We put some good swings on the ball. Rickie (Weeks) set the tone and everybody did their part."

The Brewers chased Reyes one frame later. Rickie Weeks opened up the frame with a double into the left-center field gap and scored on a double to the center field wall by Hardy. Braun followed with a two-base hit off the right field wall, plating Hardy to give Milwaukee a 4-0 cushion.

Reyes allowed four runs on six hits, walked two and struck out two for the Braves, who have lost three of four to the Brewers this season.

"If you're going to beat Sheets, your pitcher has to pitch a heck of a game," Cox said. "(Reyes) couldn't locate his fastball. That's the name of the game for a pitcher - locating the heater. You don't want to see it, but he's young."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIL - BEN SHEETS AND JASON KENDALL
    ATL - JO-JO REYES, BUDDY CARLYLE (3RD), ROYCE RING
    (7TH), JEFF BENNETT (8TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN

    HOME RUNS: MIL - MIKE CAMERON (12)

    Jun 23 9:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BRIAN MCCANN HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 4
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: O INFANTE (.278, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers 4, Braves 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 23 8:17 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN BRAUN SCORED J.J. HARDY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R BRAUN ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 4
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.290, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers 4, Braves 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 23 7:49 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY J.J. HARDY SCORED RICKIE WEEKS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J HARDY ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 3
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: R BRAUN (.284, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers 3, Braves 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 23 7:48 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MIKE CAMERON (12) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JO-JO REYES SCORED COREY HART.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: B HALL (.223, 10 HR, 26 RBI)

    Brewers 2, Braves 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 23 7:32 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Pasta2000 Added 5 roots

    Brewers vs. BravesApr 10 2:27 PM