MILWAUKEE (AP) – A .349 hitter with runners in scoring position, Michael Brantley doesn’t mind sharing the sharing the reason for his success at the plate.
See the ball, hit the ball and drive the runners in.
Brantley homered, doubled and drove in four runs, helping Cleveland withstand a rocky ninth from closer Cody Allen for a 7-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
“Plain and simple, do whatever I can to get the runners in,” said Brantley, who had four hits. “The more runs we have, the better chance we have to win. It’s no secret.”
The Brewers tried to follow the same steps in the ninth.
Allen entered with a three-run lead. But a scoreless stretch for the bullpen that started with one out in the third ended with Adam Lind’s RBI double with one out in the ninth.
A single for Aramis Ramirez put runners on first and third before Khris Davis hit into a game-ending double play started by third baseman Giovanny Urshela.
Allen pumped his fist on the mound after picking up his 20th save. Austin Adams (1-0) threw 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief.
“You get into a situation where one swing can beat you, you start pitching a little different,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “He’s fine.”
The Indians snapped an eight-game losing streak dating to 2001 in the interleague series with the Brewers.
Like Brantley, Lind also went 4 for 5 with a homer, double and four RBIs.
But struggling Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse (5-11) couldn’t hold on to an early 4-1 lead. He allowed 10 hits and five runs in five innings.
When asked if he was committed to Lohse for another start, manager Craig Counsell said the righty is next scheduled to pitch on Monday in San Francisco.
“Well, I think his track record keeps him” in the rotation, Counsell said. “He’s had two darn good years here, and you hope he gets it going.”
Brantley hit a three-run shot in the third to tie the game at 4, then delivered an RBI single in the fifth to give the Indians the lead for good.
He has now hit safely in five straight games and 10 of his 11. The left-handed hitter’s average is back at .300 or better for the first time since June 30.
BREWERS’ BLOWN CHANCES
The Brewers had other chances against the Cleveland bullpen.
With the Indians leading by two, Bryan Shaw allowed Scooter Gennett to reach on an infield single to lead off the eighth before getting Ryan Braun to fly out and Gerardo Parra to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
It was in stark contrast to the early innings for the Brewers, who got to Cleveland starter Cody Anderson for 10 hits and four runs in 2 2-3 innings. It was the worst game in five major league starts for the rookie, who saw his ERA rise from 0.89 to 1.91.
Lohse’s era rose to 6.29, and he has allowed 23 homers, second-most in the NL. He’s struggling with his locating his pitches.
Asked how he felt, Lohse turned to an anecdote.
“Ever see a guy try to pull something off the shelf, drops it, tries tries to put it back, knocks it over some more and the whole thing falls down? Yeah, about like that,” Lohse said.
Indians: Nick Swisher, who has been on the disabled list since June 14 with left knee inflammation, is scheduled to play the outfield again Thursday at Double-A Akron. Francona said Swisher was moving well during a minor league rehab assignment.
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta (left oblique) was scheduled to rejoin the team on the upcoming road trip to Arizona. Counsell said it was unclear yet whether Peralta would get another rehab start in the minors before going back in the rotation. Peralta has been sidelined since May 23.
Indians: Trevor Bauer (8-6) makes the first home start for Cleveland since the All-Star break in the opener of a four-game series Thursday against the White Sox. Bauer is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA this season against Chicago.
Brewers: Mike Fiers (5-7) is 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in 33 innings over his last five starts. He’ll open a four-game series at Arizona on Thursday.