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NLDS Game 2: Brewers bash, bunt their way to 2-0 series lead over D-Backs
MILWAUKEE — Jonathan Lucroy drove in the go-ahead run with a squeeze and the Milwaukee Brewers showed they could bunt as well as bash, breaking away from the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-4 Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in their NL division series.
Lucroy’s safety squeeze keyed a five-run sixth inning, and came right after Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler became angry about a balk call. That’s when rookie Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke put on a play — he’d already seen Lucroy successfully bunt a few times this season.
With the score 4-all and runners at the corners with one out, Jerry Hairston Jr. took a couple of half-steps and sprinted home as Lucroy bunted toward first base. Ziegler’s awkward flip went wide of catcher Miguel Montero and the Diamondbacks imploded from there, with Milwaukee taking a 9-4 lead.
Brewers starter Zack Greinke struggled in his first postseason appearance, giving up three home runs and leaving without a decision. He was 11-0 at Miller Park, helping the Brewers win a majors-best 57 games at home.
The Brewers now hold a 2-0 lead in a postseason series for the first time in franchise history. Game 3 is Tuesday at Arizona, and Milwaukee will go for a sweep when Shaun Marcum takes on rookie Josh Collmenter.
Instead, Arizona went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and Milwaukee kept its cool until the sixth, when seven consecutive batters reached with one out.
Ziegler entered and was called for a balk when he spun and found no one behind Hairston for a pickoff attempt. Ziegler pointed down at his foot, upset at second base umpire Bruce Dreckman’s call, and walked the free-swinging Yuniesky Betancourt on four pitches.
Corey Hart singled in a run, pumping his right fist down the line, and Nyjer Morgan brought in two more with a single that had him raising his arms in celebration before the play was even over. Braun’s RBI single chased Ziegler and gave Milwaukee a 9-4 lead.
Greinke made his second consecutive start on three days’ rest and Braun gave him a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a 438-foot homer, his first ever in the postseason. The Brewers took a 4-1 lead on Fielder’s run-scoring single and Rickie Weeks’ RBI triple in the third.
But Arizona chipped away.
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