Thames responds to suspicions after hot start

First baseman sets Brewers record with 11th April homer

Thames responds to suspicions after hot start

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames understands the suspicions. If it were some other player hitting home runs at a record pace, especially after playing three years abroad, Thames might be suspicious himself.

But after hitting his Major League-leading 11th home run in the Brewers' 9-1 win Tuesday -- giving Thames more homers (eight) in six games against the Reds than any other Major Leaguer has homers, period -- Thames submitted to a random drug test for the second time this month and responded to those who have been whispering he must be "on something" to hit like this.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez's 2 triples, HR lead Crew to win vs. Reds

Perez's 2 triples, HR lead Crew to win vs. Reds

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames did it again, and he is not the only Brewers hitter teeing off against the Reds.

Thames continued his habit of hitting a home run every time the teams play, lifting a two-run shot amid a five-run sixth inning in the Brewers' 9-1 win on Tuesday at Miller Park. Hernan Perez also homered after hitting a pair of run-scoring triples, and Jonathan Villar drove in four runs for Milwaukee's fifth victory in six games against Cincinnati this season.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Worth the wait: Thames T-shirts available

Worth the wait: Thames T-shirts available

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames mania has swept Milwaukee, but where's the merch? Fear not, American consumer, for it has arrived.

Before a limited supply of shirseys -- T-shirts with a printed player name and number -- hit the virtual shelves of MLBShop.com and the actual shelves at Miller Park, you could buy a Kirk Nieuwenhuis tee or a Hank the Dog coffee mug, but the name "Thames" was conspicuously absent from the cornucopia of collectibles. That, despite the fact the first baseman had the hottest name in Major League Baseball, leading the way in home runs, slugging percentage, total bases and OPS, among other categories.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peralta starts as Crew goes for sweep vs. Reds

Peralta starts as Crew goes for sweep vs. Reds

Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta is coming off a poor start his last time out on Friday vs. the Cardinals, but he has historically been solid against the Reds. Peralta will face the Reds' Rookie Davis in Wednesday afternoon's three-game series finale at Miller Park, as the Brewers look to complete a sweep of Cincinnati.

The game can be seen exclusively on MLB.TV.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thames, Perez slug Crew past Reds in opener

Thames, Perez slug Crew past Reds in opener

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames is the early-season toast of Major League Baseball, but you don't have to remind the Reds. Thames has hit as many home runs in five games against Cincinnati -- seven -- as any other big leaguer has hit this season, period.

Thames went deep in each of the first two innings of the Brewers' 11-7 win over the Reds on Monday at Miller Park, where Milwaukee roughed up rookie left-hander Amir Garrett and Thames ran his MLB-best home run total to 10, matching a franchise record for April.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crew cuts: Thames rips 2 HRs! April record?

Brewers first baseman has 7 dingers in 5 games against Cincinnati

Crew cuts: Thames rips 2 HRs! April record?

MILWAUKEE -- After putting up video-game numbers during three years in South Korea, Eric Thames is doing the same in his return to Major League Baseball.

Thames added two home runs, two walks, three RBIs and three runs scored to his outrageously productive April in the Brewers' 11-7 win over the Reds at Miller Park on Monday, running his Major League-leading home run total to 10 and tying Carlos Lee's franchise record for dingers in the opening month while setting a new mark with 24 runs scored.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Thames' story a powerfully uplifting one

Brewers slugger proving to be a real find after three seasons in Korea

Thames' story a powerfully uplifting one

How much fun is it to watch Brewers first baseman Eric Thames play right now? There's power and discipline in that swing. There's joy, too, because the backstory is so sweet and so improbable.

Thames has been the most productive player in the Majors this season. He hit two more home runs on Monday night in the Brewers' 11-7 win over the Reds, bringing his homer total to 10, which is three more than any other player in the Major Leagues has.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillips homers again for Colorado Springs

Phillips homers again for Colorado Springs

Posting zeroes has become the norm for Class A Kane County's Jon Duplantier in the first month of the Minor League season. On Monday, the D-backs' No. 8 prospect fired five dominant frames to extend his scoreless innings streak to 20 1/3 to begin the season.

Duplantier, 22, allowed three hits and struck out eight batters en route to his first professional win. He generated six ground-ball outs and did not record a flyout in the outing, throwing 45 of his 69 pitches for strikes in his third start (and fourth appearance) for the Cougars.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Counsell, Crew consider having pitcher hit 8th

Former Brewer Gennett returns to Miller Park with Reds

Counsell, Crew consider having pitcher hit 8th

MILWAUKEE -- With leadoff man Jonathan Villar emerging from a slow start and two-hole hitter Eric Thames still swinging a hot bat, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the team has "talked quite a bit, actually," about batting the pitcher eighth, an alignment he has not employed since last May.

The personnel must be right for it to make sense, Counsell said. When it works well, teams maximize the number of times their top-of-the-order hitters step to the plate with men on base -- but there is sometimes a tradeoff.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nieuwenhuis joins Brewers' young Triple-A OF

Counsell assured the club's top prospects will remain priority

Nieuwenhuis joins Brewers' young Triple-A OF

MILWAUKEE -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis is on his way to Triple-A Colorado Springs after accepting an outright assignment on Monday, and it's up to the veteran manager there, Rick Sweet, to figure out how to fit him in.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who spoke with Sweet on Monday afternoon, assured onlookers that Nieuwenhuis' arrival will not cut into the development of outfield prospects Lewis Brinson (No. 1 on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects), Brett Phillips (No. 10) and Ryan Cordell (No. 16) all off whom are off to great starts. The SkySox also have former top-30 prospect Kyle Wren, at 26 nearly four years younger than Nieuwnenhuis, already in the mix.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers OF leads Pipeline Team of the Week

Brewers OF leads Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The latest edition of MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week (April 17-23) is led by an all Milwaukee Brewers outfield, with Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison and Demi Orimoloye all earning a spot. This marks the first time one team has accounted for all three outfield spots on the Team of the Week.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Villar starting to see benefits of extra work

Villar starting to see benefits of extra work

MILWAUKEE -- The hits have started to fall for Brewers leadoff man Jonathan Villar, and it's been a team effort, from the video room to the indoor batting cage to the dugout.

The biggest factor, Villar said, is that he was granted the opportunity to swing his way through an early-season funk.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nelson struggles with walks, late rally falls short

Nelson struggles with walks, late rally falls short

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Leake grabbed a bat and did his best Adam Wainwright impersonation, while Jimmy Nelson remained 0-for-St. Louis.

Leake, who entered the day as the National League's ERA leader, surrendered multiple runs for the first time this season, but made up for it by hitting a go-ahead, two-run single in the fourth, capping a three-run Cardinals rally in their 6-4 win over Nelson and the Brewers at Miller Park on Sunday. The Brewers mounted a valiant effort in the bottom of the ninth but fell for the fifth time in six games, while the Cardinals have won six of their last seven.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Suter optioned to make room for Garza

Righty pitches scoreless inning, picks off baserunner in game Sunday

Suter optioned to make room for Garza

MILWAUKEE -- Brent Suter's latest stint in the big leagues was capped by a new career-high for crowd noise.

Suter, sent back to Triple-A Colorado Springs after the Brewers' 6-4 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, worked a scoreless seventh inning that ended with Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter and manager Mike Matheny drawing ejections from plate umpire John Tumpane.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cordell homers in four-hit game for Sky Sox

Cordell homers in four-hit game for Sky Sox

It seems like every time he takes the mound, Kolby Allard keeps showing why the Braves drafted him No. 14 overall two years ago.

The 19-year-old left-hander, already pitching for Double-A Mississippi, has a 1.29 ERA through his first four starts of 2017 after tossing five scoreless innings against the Montgomery Biscuits on Sunday. Allard scattered five hits, walked one and struck out five.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers not ready to call up prospect Brinson

Outfielder tearing up Triple-A, but Crew fans should remain patient

Brewers not ready to call up prospect Brinson

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' top prospect, Lewis Brinson, is off to a great start at Triple-A, and you can almost hear the drumbeat beginning outside Miller Park. "When," fans are beginning to ask, "will we see this guy in Milwaukee?"

Barring a sudden change in circumstances, not imminently, GM David Stearns said Saturday. He cited a number of factors which lead club officials to believe Brinson is best served -- for now -- by remaining in Colorado Springs, where he went 5-for-8, including his third home run, in a doubleheader Friday. The performance pushed his average to .410, highest in the Brewers' Minor League system, and his OPS to 1.196, third-best in the Pacific Coast League.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense can't back Anderson vs. Cards

Offense can't back Anderson vs. Cards

MILWAUKEE -- A banged-up Aledmys Diaz did not start for the Cardinals on Saturday, but he made his presence felt with one big swing off the bench.

Diaz, sitting out the start after he tweaked his back and shoulder the night before, delivered a pinch-hit, tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning to back starter Lance Lynn, and the Cardinals held off a Brewers rally in the eighth on the way to a 4-1 win over Milwaukee at Miller Park.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Botched squeeze play hurts Brewers in loss

Botched squeeze play hurts Brewers in loss

MILWAUKEE -- Chase Anderson squared for a squeeze bunt -- a phrase you don't often see associated with manager Craig Counsell's Brewers -- and missed. Of the many pivotal moments in a sometimes sloppy, sometimes entertaining game Saturday, this was the one that may have hurt most.

Anderson and outfielder Keon Broxton each took the blame after a botched safety squeeze in the fifth inning of a tie game contributed to a 4-1 loss to the Cardinals at Miller Park.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braun homers, but Waino too much for Crew

Braun homers, but Waino too much for Crew

MILWAUKEE -- Here's one way for the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright to get back on track: start mashing.

Struggling on the mound to start this season, Wainwright took matters into his own hands at the plate on Friday by driving in four runs including a go-ahead, two-run homer in the Cardinals' 6-3 win over the Brewers at Miller Park.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Broxton takes baby steps in Brewers loss

Broxton takes baby steps in Brewers loss

MILWAUKEE -- Keon Broxton's "best night of the season," as Brewers manager Craig Counsell called it, came at just the right time.

Broxton snapped an 0-for-18 drought with a second-inning triple, then walked in the sixth to represent a bright spot in the Brewers' 6-3 loss to the Cardinals at Miller Park on Friday, the same day the team cut ties with its other center fielder, Kirk Nieuwenhuis. The roster move reinforced what Counsell said the other day: The Brewers are committed to letting Broxton play through his early-season funk.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nieuwenhuis DFA'd to make room for pitching

Reliever Suter called up from Triple-A in corresponding move

Nieuwenhuis DFA'd to make room for pitching

MILWAUKEE -- He was one of the Brewers' best hitters in home games a year ago, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis' slow start in 2017 left him vulnerable to losing his roster spot Friday.

The Brewers recalled left-hander Brent Suter from Triple-A Colorado Springs to fortify the bullpen and designated Nieuwenhuis for assignment. If he clears waivers, Nieuwenhuis -- who is 3-for-25 with 15 strikeouts this season -- will have the right to elect free agency rather than accept the assignment to Colorado Springs.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brinson stays hot with big hits in doubleheader

Brinson stays hot with big hits in doubleheader

No pitcher has been more dominant than Class A Columbia's Merandy Gonzalez to begin the season. That trend continued on Friday night, as the Mets' No. 14 prospect extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 2/3 by tossing seven frames in a win against Lexington.

Gonzalez allowed just three singles and struck out a season-high seven batters en route to his third win in as many starts for the Fireflies. He retired nine consecutive batters at one point before setting down the final seven he faced to finish with 88 pitches (64 strikes).

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Villar's movement in Piscotty AB causes delay

Villar's movement in Piscotty AB causes delay

MILWAUKEE -- Defensive shifts have had a great impact on Major League Baseball in recent years, at times providing unique situations with fielders moved all over the diamond.

Such an instance took place Thursday at Miller Park. The Brewers employed a shift with right-handed-hitting Stephen Piscotty at the plate with a runner on third and two outs in the top of the first inning.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crew hits 3 HRs in win over Cardinals

Crew hits 3 HRs in win over Cardinals

MILWAUKEE -- Move over, Harvey's Wallbangers. Milwaukee has a new slugging crew.

The Brewers padded their Major League-leading home run tally by launching three more on Thursday, when Travis Shaw, Eric Thames and Jett Bandy each went deep with runners on base to account for all of Milwaukee's runs in a 7-5 win over the Cardinals at Miller Park.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Cardinals on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sensational Thames returns home with HR

Brewers first baseman leads MLB in dingers after slugging No. 8 vs. Cardinals

Sensational Thames returns home with HR

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames left Miller Park as a question mark and returned as one of the most talked-about players in Major League Baseball. Then he showed the home fans what all the fuss was about.

Thames hit a go-ahead, two-run home run -- his Major League-leading eighth this season -- in the Brewers' 7-5 win over the Cardinals. It came fresh off a nine-game road trip so magical that Thames called his boyhood hitting coach in California and said, "I have no idea what's going on."

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Listen to the Korean call of Thames' eighth HR

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Listen to the Korean call of Thames' eighth HR

The Brewers had another game on Thursday night (they beat the Cardinals, 7-5), so, of course, Eric Thames hit another dinger.

The 30-year-old now has an MLB-leading eight over the last eight days. You've probably heard the newest as called by the Brewers broadcast team, but click play in the main media slot above to hear the Korean call on MBC Sports Plus: The country where Thames got his swing back, hit 102 home runs over three years and earned the nickname "God."

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Shaw launches 458-foot homer vs. Cardinals

Brewers third baseman unleashes three-run shot off Martinez in first inning

Shaw launches 458-foot homer vs. Cardinals

MILWAUKEE -- Travis Shaw hit a baseball at Miller Park on Thursday where few sluggers do.

During the Brewers' 7-5 win, Shaw hit a three-run home run off Cardinals ace Carlos Martinez that rocketed off Shaw's bat at 113.8 mph and traveled a Statcast-projected 458 feet -- or, it would have sailed that far had it not clanked off the facing of the stadium's third deck. It was the hardest-hit homer by a Brewers batter this season, and "one of the best balls I've ever hit," Shaw said.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.