Brewers hit for the cycle in four-run first inning, hold on to win fifth straight game, 5-4 over Cubs

This was the only successful stolen base tonight. - Mike McGinnis

Tonight's game featured the Brewers hitting for the cycle in the first inning, five total home runs, and four runners caught stealing, three over the last two half-innings. Overall, it added up to a 5-4 win for the Brewers.

WP: Marco Estrada (1-0)
LP: Jeff Samardzija (1-2)
SV: Jim Henderson (3)

HR: Ryan Braun (4), Carlos Gomez (2), Luis Valbuena (2), David DeJesus (2), Anthony Rizzo (5)

MVP: Jim Henderson (+.176 WPA)
LVP: Alex Gonzalez (-.066 WPA)

Box Score
Win Expectancy Graph

Less than a week ago, the idea of the Brewers winning five games in a row seemed like a fantasy. It didn't take long for the Brewers to prove that it could happen.

The Brewers wasted no time tonight, recording four runs in the first inning before recording their first out of the game. Norichika Aoki started the game off by reaching base thanks to an error by first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Jean Segura followed him with a single, and Ryan Braun hit a three-run home run into the bullpen to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead. Rickie Weeks and Jonathan Lucroy followed with a double and triple to make it 4-0. Overall, the team hit for the cycle before they even recorded and out on offense.

The first inning was about as good as it got for the offense, though. They only recorded one more run in the game, off of a solo home run from Carlos Gomez in the seventh inning. However, that run would end up being critical for the Brewers. Other than that, they had only four other baserunners (two hits and two walks), and three were erased when they were caught stealing.

The eighth inning was particularly bad for the Brewers. Segura singled to start the inning and stole second base, then Braun followed with a walk. What followed was one of the most unusual sequences you may ever see in baseball. Segura tried to steal third, but ran too soon and Shawn Camp had him picked off between second and third. Braun advanced to second while Segura was in the rundown, but then got back to second base as Luis Valbuena tagged both Segura and Braun, who were both now at second base. Umpire Phil Cuzzi ruled Braun was out, but Segura thought he was out and started heading back to the dugout. When he realized he was not ruled out, he ran to first base safely. Replay showed that Segura was tagged when he was off of second base, but was not called out. The final result was that Braun was out and Segura was safe at first base. Segura would then try to steal second again, but was caught stealing this time. Still confused? Maybe this will help:

On the pitching side, both starters got roughed up a bit tonight. Marco Estrada pitched six innings, putting up a quality start while allowing seven hits, three runs, and two walks with four strikeouts. All three of the runs he allowed came on two home runs. On the other side, Jeff Samardzija pitched seven innings and allowed six hits, five runs (four earned), and one walk, with four strikeouts. He also allowed two home runs in his start.

In the bullpen, John Axford pitched the seventh and worked around one hit for a scoreless inning, striking out two. Tom Gorzelanny got the first out of the eighth inning, but allowed a solo home run to Anthony Rizzo. Burke Badenhop followed with two clean outs to end the eighth.

Jim Henderson pitched the ninth inning with a one run lead, going for the save. He got Luis Valbuena to fly out for the first out, then struck out Darwin Barney for the second. Pinch hitter Dioner Navarro singled to keep the game going, and new Cub Julio Borbon pinch ran for him. Borbon tried to steal second with David DeJesus up, but a perfect throw from Lucroy got him and ended the game.

The Brewers go for their sixth straight win tomorrow evening. Hiram Burgos makes his major league debut for the Brewers, and Edwin Jackson starts for the Cubs. First pitch is at 6:10 pm.

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