By The Sports Xchange
MILWAUKEE — Save for one 15-run outburst last weekend at Arizona, offense has been hard to come by for the Milwaukee Brewers since they traded All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy before the deadline 10 days ago.
On Wednesday night, though, Chris Carter gave the Brewers all the offense they needed.
Carter hit a three-run blast in the fourth inning, and right-hander Chase Anderson worked into the sixth as the Brewers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park.
“We have been scuffling to score runs,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “The three-run homer cures that.”
The home run was Carter’s team-leading 26th of the season and his 19th of the year at Miller Park, the most homers for a player in his home park in all of baseball.
“It’s nice to get a few runs on the board,” Carter said. “We’ve struggled the last couple games scoring runs and have lost a couple of close ones.”
Carter’s home run provided a 4-1 lead for Anderson (7-10), who improved to 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.
“It feels good to be consistent, going three or four starts and being able to do the same thing each time,” said Anderson, who allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings. “Two runs or less, that’s the goal each and every time out. It’s good to actually produce that and give the team a chance to win.”
The Braves collected six hits and drew just one walk off Anderson, who yielded an RBI single in the third to Ender Inciarte and a fourth-inning solo home run by Freddie Freeman, the first baseman’s first of two in the game.
Anderson struck out three and walked one. He threw only 84 pitches before giving way with one on and one out in the sixth.
“I thought it was a key spot in the game in the middle of their lineup,” Counsell said. “I wanted to go with a fresh reliever. Oftentimes that sixth inning can be a big spot in the game. It almost feels like the other big spot in the game besides the ninth where you are figuring out whether you leave your starter in or go to a reliever. … I thought it was a good spot.”
Blaine Boyer got out of the sixth inning, and Carlos Torres threw a scoreless seventh.
The Braves pulled within one in the eighth on Freeman’s second homer of the day, off Corey Knebel, before Tyler Thornburg worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season.
“(A) good ballgame,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Other than the three-run homer, that’s about it, really. The story of the whole thing. You make a mistake to that big guy, he’s going to make you pay. That’s what he does.”
Atlanta got only four innings out of starter Joel De La Cruz (0-5). The right-hander allowed all four Milwaukee runs on seven hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts but had to leave the game after taking a comebacker from Orlando Arcia off his left leg.
The bullpen kept the Braves close, putting up zeros for the final four innings while allowing four baserunners and stranding three in scoring position.
“It’s tough when you lose your starter that quick and got to go to the bullpen,” Snitker said. “We’ve been trying to stay away from that. (The relievers) did a great job, holding the game in check, and gave us a chance.”
NOTES: Braves RHP Julio Teheran will throw a bullpen session this week, and if all goes well, will follow with a minor league rehab start as he works his way back from a strained right lat that has sidelined him since Aug. 2. … Atlanta RHP John Gant worked five innings and threw 70 pitches in a rehab start Wednesday, while C Tyler Flowers, out since July 10 with a broken left hand, is expected to rejoin the Braves next week. … Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he was sad to learn that Prince Fielder’s career was coming to an end. Fielder spent his first seven major league seasons in Milwaukee, where he and Counsell were teammates from 2007-2011. “I went through the same thing,” Counsell said. “Same injury, same doctor, same surgeon. I know what he’s going through and the pain he’s experiencing. It’s not fun. I really valued my time with him. I’m saddened by this news. It’s not the way it should end for him.”