Ryan's Place

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Brewers Beat Braves 8-5

From Sportsline.com:

Ben Sheets felt just fine this time. He always seems to perk up when facing the Atlanta Braves.

After lasting only one inning in his last start, Sheets made it to the eighth Saturday night for the Milwaukee Brewers, who got homers from Bill Hall and Prince Fielder in an 8-5 victory over the Braves.

Sheets improved to 5-1 with a 3.02 ERA in his last six starts against the Braves, piling up 60 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings.

"It wasn't great, but it was good," he said. "I'm taking it start by start."

Sheets (3-4) has been slowed all season by injuries. He left his previous appearance after the first when his right pectoral muscle tightened up, and the Brewers sent an extra pitcher to warm up before the game just in case he had more problems.

Not to worry. Sheets retired the first nine hitters before Pete Orr led off the fourth with a double. By then, the Brewers already had a 5-0 lead.

"He doesn't look like he came off a pectoral muscle (injury) or whatever," Atlanta's Jeff Francoeur said. "He looks like he's fine. I still say he's got the best curveball in the league, by far. We just weren't able to jump on it at all until a little later in the game."

Sheets tired in the eighth, giving up three hits on three pitches to start things off, and the Braves pushed across three runs to close to 7-5. But Francisco Cordero struck out Francoeur with the bases loaded and Tony Graffanino provided some insurance with an RBI double in the ninth.

"It wasn't much of a setback in his last start. He just felt a slight little strain," manager Ned Yost said. "This is the way Benny is capable of pitching. That last one was just a bump in the road. I'm not surprised he came back strong."


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