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Braves recap 5/11

May 11, 2010

Hinske, Glaus fuel Braves’ rout

MILWAUKEE — Entering this series, the Braves’ offense was anemic while the Brewers were rolling, leading the Majors in runs scored. But it sure hasn’t looked that way over the past two nights at Miller Park.After riding a six-run sixth inning to victory the night before, the Braves plated 11 runs on a season-high 16 hits Tuesday as they routed the Brewers, 11-3.

While the series-opening victory featured a pair of big hits, the entire Atlanta lineup got into the act to defeat Milwaukee for a second consecutive night. Every starter, including starting pitcher Tim Hudson, hit safely at least once, while six batters had two hits.

“It was a good night,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “Everybody had good at-bats.”

Hudson (3-1) allowed just one run while scattering six hits over six innings. He also walked six, tying a career high.

Fortunately for Hudson and the Braves, the defense behind him played well, turning a pair of double plays and stranding runners in scoring position in each of Hudson’s final five innings. On a night when he didn’t have his best stuff, Hudson was more than pleased with the outcome.

“It was a battle out there,” Hudson said. “It was one of those nights where there wasn’t a whole lot working. I was able to go out there and gut it out. It wasn’t exactly how I drew it up, but nights like tonight — for me — are more satisfying than the nights when I go out there with great stuff and it’s easy. It wasn’t easy tonight.”

Much like the first game of the series against the Brewers, the Braves were slow to start offensively, plating just two runs through the first five innings. It was enough to give them a 2-1 lead, however, and by the end of the night, the slow start didn’t matter.

Miwaukee starter Dave Bush (1-3) kept Atlanta in check through six innings. Bush allowed just three runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out three for his fourth quality start of the season and his first at home for the Brewers.

Once Bush exited the game, however, the Braves’ bats came alive for eight runs over the final three innings.

After catcher Brian McCann made it 4-1 in the seventh with the third of three straight singles, left fielder Eric Hinske broke things open with a two-run double to left. Hinske, a Wisconsin native, went 2-for-2 with two doubles and three RBIs, plus two walks.

With 20 friends and family members looking on, it made Hinske’s second career trip to Miller Park that much more special.

“It’s cool,” Hinske said of performing well in his home state. “I grew up going to County Stadium, watching [Paul] Molitor, [Robin] Yount and [Jim] Gantner. It’s a special place for me. I think about my grandpa, my dad and my brother coming down when I was a kid. It was a special night for me, for sure.” Along with Hinske’s strong night, first baseman Troy Glaus extended his hitting streak to seven games with a solo homer to left field leading off the sixth inning. Over his past 16 games, Glaus is batting .362 with two home runs and 14 RBIs.

Rookie right fielder Jason Heyward returned to the lineup with no noticeable limitations at the plate, in the field or on the basepaths.

In fact, Heyward notched his first career stolen base in the second inning and finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, three runs scored and two walks. After reaching base four times in six plate appearances, Heyward improved his on-base percentage to .423, leading the team.

“Jason had a good night,” Cox said. “We’ll keep him up in the front of the order because his on-base percentage is off the charts right now.”

The return of Heyward, who has been the most consistent threat in their lineup this season, can only help the Braves’ offense, which had been struggling mightily entering the series.

Having scored among the fewest runs in the league before arriving in Milwaukee, the Braves hope the 19-run outburst over the past two nights will be just what they need to get back on track and make up some ground on the first-place Phillies.

“You don’t have much time in this game,” Hinske said. “You start getting double digits back, and that’s a long way back. We know it’s now, the time is now. We’ve got to do something to turn it around, and I think these last two games are a good indicator of what is hopefully to come. This is momentum for us. This is ‘feel good.’ We all kind of like take a deep breath and, ‘OK, we’re fine.'”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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