- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Eric Sogard is making the most of the second chance he’s been given after injuries have sidelined some key members of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Sogard had a career-high four hits and drove in a run, and Jimmy Nelson struck out eight in six-plus innings and hit an RBI single to help the Brewers beat the San Diego Padres 6-2 on Tuesday night.

Sogard, a former Padres farmhand, was called up from Triple-A on Friday after Ryan Braun went on the disabled list, and made his first big league appearance since Oct. 2, 2015. He missed all of last season after having knee surgery.

“I’m definitely just grateful to be out there after missing a full year last year,” Sogard said. “It puts a little different perspective on the game and allows me to go out and have some fun. Obviously after major surgery like that you never know what the future holds.”

Sogard has come up big in his three starts. He homered both Friday night and Monday night, and then had his career night Tuesday. The Brewers played the last two games without third baseman Travis Shaw and first baseman Eric Thames. Sogard started at shortstop Monday night and at third base Tuesday night.

The key to coming back from the surgery was staying positive, Sogard said.

“I just continued to work at it. I’ve a great physical therapist who continued to get me better. It’s been an interesting process to go through but I think it’s made me better in the long run.”

Sogard had one of six hits against lefty Clayton Richard in the first inning that helped the Brewers to a 5-0 lead. The Brewers had five straight hits with one out, including RBI singles by Jesus Aguilar and Domingo Santana, and a two-run double by Manny Pina. Sogard hit an RBI single with two outs.

Sogard doubled with two outs in the sixth and scored on Nelson’s single to right.

“You bring a guy up and he steps in and he performs, it’s a boost,” manager Craig Counsell said. “It really is. When you’ve got guys of the caliber we’ve got out right now, and somebody steps in there … it makes you appreciate the depth of our group, really.”

Counsell said the big first inning “does a lot for your starting pitcher as much as anything, that he’s got some breathing room.”

Nelson (2-2) gave up two runs and seven hits, with one walk. He allowed Wil Myers’ solo homer to straightaway center field leading off the sixth and then was chased by consecutive doubles by rookie Hunter Renfroe and Matt Szczur opening the seventh.

Richard (2-5) lost his third straight decision, over five starts. He allowed six runs and 10 hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked none.

“I didn’t throw the ball terrible, just a few pulled changeups and that really hurt,” Richard said. “It seemed like we were just off on a few balls, unfortunately it was too much of a hole to get out of.”

Manager Andy Green said the Brewers “were lifting them just enough to get them into the outfield. A couple unfortunate circumstances for Clayton which probably normally gets out of there with two runs and then it’s still a close ballgame. We weren’t able to hold them there though.”

Renfroe tied the club record with an outfield assist in three straight games when he threw out Sogard trying to score on a liner to right by Keon Broxton to end the fourth. Sogard was aboard on a double and advanced on an error.

Santana threw out Szczur trying to score on Manuel Margot’s fly to right to end the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: Thames has strep throat and missed his second straight game. “He’s pretty miserable,” Counsell said. “He’s improved today for sure. Hopefully tomorrow he takes a big step forward. He’s got some solid antibiotics running through his system.” … Shaw didn’t start due to a swollen index finger suffered Sunday.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (2-0, 2.66) comes into Wednesday night’s game 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four career starts against San Diego. This will be his second start at Petco Park.

Padres: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (4-3, 5.12) will try to improve to 3-0 this season at Petco Park, where he’s allowed only one earned run in 20 innings.

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