SAN DIEGO — Look who’s leading the NL Central — the Milwaukee Brewers.
Jett Bandy singled in the go-ahead run with one out in the ninth inning and the Brewers beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Wednesday night to take the division lead from St. Louis, which lost to Boston in 13 innings.
“High spirits all around, for sure,” Bandy said. “Hopefully we can keep that rolling.”
The Brewers have won five of six games.
“We’re all young guys, we all have stuff to prove and everyone’s going out there competing every day,” Bandy said. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, so if we can keep this going, it’s going to be really fun.”
The Brewers had only two hits going into the ninth before getting four straight with one out against reliever Brandon Maurer (0-3). Travis Shaw, who missed the previous two games with a swollen right index finger, started the rally with a double to left. Domingo Santana reached on a single that glanced off the glove of leaping shortstop Erick Aybar, and Bandy hit a bouncer up the middle to score Shaw. Keon Broxton singled to load the bases and Santana scored on Orlando Arcia’s groundout.
“We put together a good inning at the end,” manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s a good win. You take it how you can get it.”
Starter Matt Garza held San Diego to a run and four hits in six innings, struck out three and walked one. Jacob Barnes (1-0) pitched the eighth for the win and Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his second save.
“What a game like tonight’s means is finding different ways to win,” Counsell said. “Tonight was pitching. … What excites me is that we win games in different ways because that means as we go on through the season, we’ve got different tools to put together wins.”
The Padres wasted a brilliant effort by Jhoulys Chacin, who struck out eight in seven innings, retiring 19 straight batters at one point. Chacin left an inning after the Padres tied it at 1.
The right-hander fell behind 1-0 after four batters. He walked leadoff hitter Eric Sogard, allowed a single to Hernan Perez and then a one-out RBI single by Shaw.
He then settled in and retired 19 straight until walking Bandy with two outs in the seventh. He struck out Broxton to finish his night’s work. He walked two.
“He was good again,” manager Andy Green said. “He’s given us the opportunity to win a lot of games. We haven’t necessarily gotten enough runs on the board to support him. Leadoff walk to start the game; after that he ends up giving up a ground ball to let that run score but after that he was really, really good. … I thought he did a great job.”
San Diego tied it at 1 against Garza with two outs in the sixth. Wil Myers beat out an infield single to deep shortstop and scored when Yangervis Solarte’s lazy fly ball fell just in front of diving center fielder Broxton.
Brewers: 1B Eric Thames missed his third straight game with strep throat. Counsell said Thames is making progress. He hit in the indoor cage and took some batting practice on the field. “He’s just got to get his strength back,” Counsell said. “He’s feeling better; just still a little sick, fatigued. He feels like he lost some strength from being sick for four days.”
Padres: RHP Trevor Cahill, who had been scheduled to start Thursday, went on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained pitching shoulder. Righty reliever Kevin Quackenbush was recalled from Triple-A El Paso.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (4-2, 5.80) is scheduled to start the matinee finale of the four-game series. He is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three career starts against San Diego, including 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two starts at Petco Park.
Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 3.24) will start in Cahill’s spot. Cosart hasn’t won a game since Sept. 17, 2015, pitching for the Marlins at Washington.
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