By The Sports Xchange
ATLANTA — The primary thing on the brain of Milwaukee’s Zach Davies when he took his turn on the mound Sunday was to forget about his last start and focus on making a fresh start.
“It was kind of just a clear mind,” Davies said. “I went out there to have fun. … Today was a lot better.”
The plan worked. The right-hander bounced back from his worst outing with one of his best, the Milwaukee offense awoke from its slumber and the Brewers beat the Atlanta Braves 7-0 on Sunday at SunTrust Park.
Davies (8-4) had allowed a career-high eight runs in his last start but fired seven shutout innings against Atlanta to help the Brewers salvage one game in the three-game series and snap Atlanta’s four-game winning streak.
“He did a great job,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “It was an outing where you felt he was in control the whole outing. For the most part, he was just ahead of hitter. He had hitters off balance the whole day.”
Atlanta managed to get only two runners as far as second base against Davies. Only once did the Braves have two runners aboard against the starter.
Davies scattered four hits and walked one batter, retired the last eight men he faced and silenced an Atlanta team that had scored 128 runs in June, the second most in the major leagues. Davies even contributed on offense with a double — the first extra-base hit of his career — and scored a run.
“I wanted to be part of the hitting, too,” he said.
Paolo Espino pitched the final two scoreless innings for the Brewers. The Milwaukee bullpen has not allowed an earned run in its last 17 straight innings.
Milwaukee got two home runs, a two-run shot from third baseman Travis Shaw and a solo homer from center fielder Keon Broxton. Shaw’s homer landed on top of the Chop House restaurant in right field, the first ball to land there since the park opened, and was measured at 429 feet.
“Probably the second-best ball I’ve hit this year,” said Shaw, who clobbered one 458 feet against St. Louis on April 21. “It was a good start in the first.”
Broxton was 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and three RBIs. He had a two-run single to highlight a three-run third inning. Broxton was 6-for-11 in the series with two homers.
The Brewers scored in each of the first four innings and finished with more runs than they have since June 14. Milwaukee scored just five runs in the first two games of the series.
“We try not to get into lulls for too long and today was another example of that,” Shaw said. “The first two games offensively we just didn’t do anything and today we were able to have some focus.”
Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (6-6) continued to struggle at home. He lasted only three innings and allowed seven runs and seven hits, two of them homers, and two walks. In nine starts at SunTrust Park, Teheran is 1-6 with a 7.58 ERA. He is 5-0 with a 2.89 ERA on road games.
“He was just erratic,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “The last couple outings he’s been so good. Didn’t look like he had the ability to get anything where he wanted it today. Today it wasn’t working for him. Just had a hard time getting the ball where he wanted and end up paying for it.”
Despite the loss, Snitker couldn’t complain about his team’s 7-3 homestand.
“Great homestand. We had some really good ballgames,” Snitker said. “Today just didn’t work. Julio wasn’t hitting on anything and had a tough day. Their guy was really efficient and throwing the ball well.”
NOTES: Milwaukee is expected to activate OF Ryan Braun (left calf strain) and 2B Jonathan Villar (lower back strain) from the disabled list for Tuesday’s game in Cincinnati. Both have been on a rehab assignment with Class A Wisconsin. The Brewers claimed C Stephen Vogt, who was designated for assignment by the Oakland A’s earlier this week. The Brewers optioned C Jett Bandy and OF Lewis Brinson to Triple-A Colorado Springs, but will likely need to make one more roster move by Tuesday. … Atlanta still has not named a starter for the second game of its road trip against San Diego. That turn is being reserved for RHP Bartolo Colon if the veteran can get past the back issues that have kept him on the disabled list. … Milwaukee 3B Travis Shaw’s throwing error in the second inning was his first error since April. … Atlanta SS Dansby Swanson saw his hitting streak end at eight games, but CF Ender Inciarte extended his streak to eight games. … Milwaukee posted its third shutout of the season and Atlanta was blanked for the fifth time.