MILWAUKEE -- Nick Markakis provided a pair of timely extra-base hits and the Braves preserved a strong bullpen effort while extending their winning ways with Monday night's 4-3, 12-inning win over the Brewers at Miller Park.
Markakis' ground-rule double off Carlos Torres got the Braves going in the 12th, putting runners at second and third. After Adonis Garcia was intentionally walked, Gordon Beckham delivered a game-winning sacrifice fly for the Braves, who have won nine of their last 13 games. The Brewers turned four double plays, including one to limit the damage in the 12th after Beckham's sac fly, and limited the Braves to three hits from the sixth to the 11th inning. Milwaukee has now lost four of its last five games.
"Even before I got here, they were playing really good baseball and swinging it well," Matt Kemp said after notching his second straight multi-hit game. "I think we're just keeping the momentum going. We want to finish the second half strong and see where that takes us."
Markakis and A.J. Pierzynski recorded solo home runs and Freddie Freeman completed a nifty slide to complete a double that preceded Kemp's fourth-inning RBI single. After the Braves gained a 3-1 lead against Zach Davies, Martin Maldonado hit a game-tying, two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth against Rob Whalen, who notched seven strikeouts while completing six innings in his second career start. He also singled for his first Major League hit.
"It was just a game for both teams, late in the game, there wasn't that much offense," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "From the fifth inning on, there weren't a lot of scoring opportunities."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Timely power: Davies surrendered Pierzynski's solo shot with two outs in the fifth inning, but his more costly mistake might have occurred in the second inning. After getting ahead with an 0-2 count against Markakis, he attempted to sneak a third straight two-seam fastball by the veteran outfielder, who responded by producing his seventh home run of the season and fifth dating back to July 7. Davies had not allowed a home run in his previous five starts.
"He's kind of like Mr. Reliable," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Markakis, who has hit .429/.450/.714 over his past 10 games. "He's just such a professional. He gives you great at-bats every at-bat. He just battles and never gives an at-bat away. Lately he's had a lot of big hits and big at-bats."
Martin mash: The Braves had jumped ahead early in the game due in large part to the home run ball, so the Brewers responded with some of their own power. Maldonado jumped on an 87-mph sinker from Whalen and deposited it over the center-field fence for his tying blast. It was just the sixth homer allowed by Whalen in 131 innings this season across three different levels.
"He threw me a good sinker the pitch before," Maldonado said. "He threw a pretty good sinker after that, but I was able to put a good swing on it. You don't try to hit homers. You try to have good swings, good ABs and whatever happens, happens."
Solid pen work:Jose Ramirez completed two scoreless innings and ended the eighth inning by stranding two runners with his third strikeout. Mauricio Cabrera was effectively wild, as he ended a perfect ninth by blowing a 100.5 mph fastball by Keon Broxton. Brandon Cunniff then tossed two scoreless innings to set the stage for Jim Johnson to notch his ninth save. Johnson is perfect in his past seven save opportunities dating back to July 26.
"They were unbelievable," Whalen said. "It stinks that I gave up the lead we had, but they kept us in the game all the way until we could chip away and get that one run. Hats off to those guys. They've been throwing the ball great." More >
Close, but no cigar: Everybody at Miller Park thought that the Brewers had walked off on a ninth-inning homer by Chris Carter -- until the ball landed in Kemp's glove at the wall. The Brewers first baseman turned a 101-mph fastball from Cabrera around at a 103-mph exit velocity, according to Statcast™ and nearly sent the Crew home as winners.
"I knew I had a chance," Carter said. "I knew I hit it high, and I wasn't sure if it was going to get out, but you never know here. Sometimes the ball carries more than other days."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With two steals by Jonathan Villar and one by Hernan Perez, the Brewers have been successful in 23 consecutive stolen base attempts -- a new franchise record.
HITTING STREAKS Ender Inciarte set a new career-best hitting streak when he extended his to 19 games -- the longest by a Braves player since Evan Gattis' 20-game streak in 2014 -- with a two-out fifth inning single. Inciarte is hitting .368 during the streak.
Braves shortstop Erick Aybar extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a one-out single in the eighth. Aybar has hit .374 and raised his batting average from .214 to .235 during the stretch.
WHAT'S NEXT Braves: Atlanta will send Tyrell Jenkins to the mound when this four-game series against Milwaukee resumes on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. ET. Jenkins has allowed just one earned run in 12 innings over his past two starts, but he has flirted with trouble in those starts, issuing four walks in each outing.
Brewers:Wily Peralta will make his return to Milwaukee on Tuesday when he takes the mound for the first pitch at 7:10 p.m. CT. The Brewers' Opening Day starter, Peralta had a 6.68 ERA through 13 starts before being demoted to Triple-A in June. He starts in place of the injured Junior Guerra.