Braun suspended and Padres beat Brewers 5-3
Today’s news from the Associated Press was selected by Media Writing student Alexandria Rogers.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Andrew Cashner used his arm and his bat to help San Diego earn a rare road victory.
Cashner pitched a solid six innings and had a key bunt single to lift the Padres to a 5-3 win over Milwaukee on Monday night, hours after Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was suspended for the season.
“We went to the small ground attack there started by Cash,” San Diego manager Bud Black said of Cashner’s bunt single that started a four-run rally in the sixth.
Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, was suspended Monday afternoon for the final 65 games without pay for being tied to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance enhancing drugs.
The game took a back seat to the news that Braun was the first player to be suspended for baseball’s latest drug scandal. Braun spoke to his teammates, issued a statement and left Miller Park without answering questions.
“I am not perfect,” he said in the statement. “I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.”
Braun’s teammates described him as somber, depressed and apologetic during a five-minute speech in the clubhouse before batting practice.
“It was one of those things where you kind of get embarrassed a little bit saying that you are suspended,” Rickie Weeks said. “When a guy goes through something like this, you want to get the truth out and then everybody can formulate their hypothesis and take things from there.”
Jonathan Lucroy was one of the more vocal Brewers expressing support for Braun. He said he came to Miller Park Monday still believing Braun had not used PEDs, but the star outfielder pulled him aside and told him he was accepting a suspension.
Lucroy said he felt deceived, but had forgiven Braun.
“I felt that way,” he said. “He came up to me before the meeting and told me about it. I said, ‘OK man.’ He said ‘I’m sorry and I screwed up.’ I said, ‘OK.’ I forgave him.
“I think it’s tough, especially when people do something like that, they make a mistake,” he said. “It takes a bigger person to forgive him then to hold a grudge.”
The loss of Braun leaves another hole in a lineup that has been without Corey Hart (knee) all season and Aramis Ramirez, who has played in only 54 games and is on the disabled list due to recurring knee pain.
The watered-down lineup had only four hits, but showed no immediate effects from the announcement regarding their star player. Milwaukee scored twice in the first off Cashner but managed only one more run the rest of the game.
The Brewers said the controversy didn’t hamper them in the game.
“I had bigger things to worry about,” Milwaukee starter Tom Gorzelanny said. “I had guys at the plate trying to hit me.
“Once the game started it was easy for everybody to focus on that, to worry about what we had ahead of us,” he said. “As a team you can’t think of anything else except what you have to do.”
Jesus Guzman homered in the second and capped the sixth inning off Gorzelanny (1-4) with a two-out double that snapped a tie, scoring Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin to give the Padres a 5-3 lead. It was only their 17th win in 50 road games.
Cashner (6-5) allowed three runs on three hits and three walks while striking out six in six innings.
Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances.
Logan Schafer, starting in center field for injured NL All-Star Carlos Gomez, walked with one out in the first. Jean Segura doubled to center field, and Schafer — who was running on the pitch — slid and scored on a close play for a 1-0 lead.
Lucroy then doubled to score Segura and make it 2-0.
“My timing and my rhythm was off in the first inning,” Cashner said.
Milwaukee didn’t allow a run in its weekend series against Miami, but had its 36-inning scoreless pitching streak snapped in the second when Guzman hit his sixth homer to bring the Padres within 2-1.
The Brewers extended the lead to 3-1 in the fifth when Norichika Aoki scored on Segura’s groundout.
Gorzelanny was having little trouble with San Diego until Cashner and Everth Cabrera led off the sixth with a pair of bunt singles. Chris Denorfia then hit a groundout to advance the runners to second and third, and Chase Headley was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Quentin doubled to the base of the wall in right field to score Cashner and Cabrera, tying the score 3-3. Guzman then hit the first pitch from Gorzelanny down the left-field line for another double, scoring Headley and Quentin to snap the tie and give the Padres a 5-3 lead.
“Those two doubles were huge hits,” Black said.
Gorzelanny pitched 5 2-3 innings, giving up five runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six.
Notes: It was Gorzelanny’s 115th game as a starter vs. 114 games as a reliever. … Segura has a nine-game hitting streak.