Braves vs. Brewers
When: 4:10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Turner Field, Atlanta
On TV: Fox Sports 1
ATLANTA — Ryan Braun homered and drove in four runs, four Milwaukee pitchers combined to hold Atlanta to three hits, and the Brewers beat the Braves 11-0 on Friday night.
On a day that began with Major League Baseball suspending reliever Will Smith eight games for using a foreign substance to doctor his pitches, Milwaukee wasted little time beating up on Braves starter Eric Stults (1-5).
The win was the Brewers’ largest margin of victory since Sept. 22, 2010, when they beat Cincinnati 13-1.
Braun hit his 11th homer, a two-run shot, to make it 2-0 in the first. The 2011 NL MVP added a two-run double off Trevor Cahill in the fourth and now has 29 RBIs in his last 23 games.
Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta gave up one hit, walked two and struck out two in four innings. He left the game early because of tightness in his left side.
Michael Blazek (4-1), making his longest appearance of the season, earned the victory in relief by allowing one hit and striking out three in three innings. Corey Knebel allowed one hit in the eighth, and Neal Cotts got the last three outs.
Braun has been particularly good when swinging on the first pitch this season. After facing Stults in the first, Braun had a .636 average, seven homers and 13 RBIs in 22 first-pitch at-bats.
Braun began the night batting .320 (16 for 50) with five HRs, 16 RBIs over last 15 games. He added a double off Nick Masset in the eighth.
A night after they had a season-low two hits in a 10-1 loss, the Brewers scored seven runs, all with two out, to take a 9-0 lead in the fourth.
Slults, an emergency starter when Alex Wood was stricken with a stomach virus, issued a bases-loaded walk to Peralta for the game’s fourth run and allowed Luis Sardinas’ infield RBI single to make it 6-0. That chased Stults, and manager Fredi Gonzalez brought in Cahill, another former starter who’d been relegated to the bullpen.
Cahill fared no better, giving up Carlos Gomez’s two-run single, Kris Davis’ RBI double and Braun’s two-run double.
Stults allowed three hits, seven runs, five walks and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander has lost all four starts and has an 8.72 ERA in 22 2/3 innings this month.
Blazek got his first career hit in the seventh, driving in a run with a double off Ian Thomas to make it 11-0.
Smith plans to appeal his suspension for using rosin and sunscreen on his pitching hand. He’s available to pitch until his appeal is heard.
Brewers: C Jonathan Lucroy continues to take batting practice as he recovers from a broken left big toe, but manager Craig Counsell is still likely two weeks from beginning a rehab assignment.
Braves: Gonzalez has yet to decide when Wood, who was not at the ballpark on Friday, will pitch next. … 3B Chris Johnson, recovering from a broken left hand, will take batting practice at Turner Field on Saturday. He’s been working at extended spring training in Florida recently and hopes to begin a rehab assignment on Monday.
Brewers: RHP Mike Fiers (1-4) will face Atlanta for the first time. Despite 52 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings this year, Fiers has a 4.75 ERA in eight starts.
Braves: RHP Shelby Miller (5-1), making his ninth start, leads the NL with a 1.33 ERA. He’s 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA in eight career starts against Milwaukee.