MILWAUKEE — Matt Kemp hit three home runs and Jaime Garcia worked six innings as the Atlanta Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-3 Saturday evening at Miller Park.
Garcia (1-1) battled with his command, walking a season-high five batters, but held the Brewers to a pair of runs while only allowing three hits with three strikeouts.
The Braves’ offense backed him up with a season-best 20-hit performance, including Kemp’s three home runs and a fourth from Dansby Swanson. The Braves hadn’t recorded 20 hits in a game since 2008.
Jimmy Nelson (1-2) gave up 11 hits with a walk and two strikeouts over five innings of work.
Staked to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Nelson avoided early jams with a pair of outfield assists, but Freddie Freeman’s RBI double in the third tied the game at 1, and the Braves took a 2-1 lead on Tyler Flowers’ run-scoring single in the fourth.
Nelson gave up a one-out double to Ender Inciarte in the fifth. He took third on an error by Jonathan Villar and scored on a passed ball. Nelson retired Adonis Garcia on a bouncer to third, but Freeman followed with a single, and Kemp broke the game open with a first-pitch homer to center, giving the Braves a 5-1 lead.
Jaime Garcia had retired nine in a row before a one-out pinch-hit single by Keon Broxton in the fifth. Walks to Villar and Ryan Braun loaded the bases, and Broxton scored on a wild pitch before Garcia escaped by getting pinch-hitter Jesus Aguilar to fly out to right.
Kemp’s second homer of the day came in the seventh, a one-out shot off Tommy Milone. Nick Markakis singled and scored on a base hit by Flowers, and Swanson followed with a two-run homer to left.
Kemp struck once more in the eighth, this time off Jhan Marinez.
NOTES: Brewers RHP Junior Guerra threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Saturday as he works his way back from a calf injury suffered three innings into his Opening Day start. Manager Craig Counsell said there is still no timetable for Guerra’s return and that the team is more focused on his agility and conditioning during the rehab process than his arm. … Braves RHP Mauricio Cabrera worked two scoreless innings Saturday in a minor league rehab appearance with Class A Florida. He is expected to continue his assignment next week with Triple-A Gwinnett. Cabrera has been out all season with soreness in his right shoulder. … The Braves have scored 21 runs through the first two games of the series. They were averaging 4.0 runs per game through their first 20 contests this season. … Atlanta’s 20 hits Saturday were the most in a game since Sept. 2, 2008.