MILWAUKEE -- With another relatively stress-free appearance, Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez climbed another spot on baseball's all-time saves list.
Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday to close a 6-5 win over the Braves, giving him 19 saves in as many chances this season, 24 straight saves dating to last August and 367 saves in his career, tying Jeff Reardon for eighth on the all-time leaderboard.
"It's not just what he's been doing pitching, it's what he brings every day here [in the clubhouse]," said center fielder Carlos Gomez, whose three-run home run in the eighth inning put Rodriguez in a save situation. "He's a leader here of what we call 'the bus.' Having him beside my locker every day and talking to him, he puts a lot of stuff in my mind, growing me as a hitter and professionally.
"It's not only me. [It's] everybody. When you have a guy having a future Hall of Fame career, it's amazing having him on your team."
Rodriguez is the Brewers' lone representative in the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile. He's been a bright spot for a team that has spent the entire season in the National League Central cellar, holding opponents scoreless in 28 of 32 appearances and having yet to allow a run in a save situation.
When Braves pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco reached on an infield single leading off the ninth inning Wednesday, it represented only the 10th hit in Rodriguez's 19 innings of save situations. Rodriguez and Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy teamed to erase Ciriaco trying to steal second base.
"He's making it look relatively easy," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That's a tough save right there. He's helped us. That's why he's an All-Star. It's as good as he's been since he's been here."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.