ATLANTA — As he watched hitter after hitter reach base for Milwaukee, Brian Snitker felt like his Braves were always behind.
Instead, Atlanta stayed close despite being outhit 19-9 and took advantage of Ozzie Albies’ tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7 on Sunday.
“I’m so proud of the way the guys fought today,” said Snitker, the Braves’ manager. “At one point of the game I felt like we were about eight runs down. There’s a lot of grit in these guys, a lot of fight. They’re tough.”
Albies’ homer was one of three hit by Atlanta. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Dansby Swanson added two-run shots for the Braves, who took two of three in a matchup of playoff contenders.
The Brewers had two or more hits in each of the first seven innings.
“It was tough when they keep getting hits but we have to keep fighting through it and that’s what we did today,” Albies said. “We never give up.”
Jesus Aguilar drove in four runs with three hits, , including a three-run homer, for Milwaukee. The Brewers left 13 runners on base to only four for the Braves.
“It was a crazy game,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “When you strand 13, you always think you’ve left runs out there.”
The Brewers’ inability to deliver with runners on base reached a peak in the seventh. Facing Jonny Venters (2-1), Ryan Braun hit into a bases-loaded double play to end the inning.
“In the seventh, we’re against Venters, we had a chance to score,” Counsell said. “That’s probably the inning you look back and, you know, we had the right guys up, [Christian Yelich is] up, Brauny’s up, and it just didn’t play.”
Albies gave Atlanta the lead by lining his 21st homer over the left-field wall on a slider from Dan Jennings (4-4) to lead off the seventh.
Milwaukee also left the bases loaded in the fourth.
A.J. Minter pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances. Eric Kratz hit a one-out single before Lorenzo Cain, who had four hits, flied out. After Kratz moved to second on a wild pitch, Minter struck out Christian Yelich to end the game.
After allowing only one earned run in three straight starts, Sean Newcomb lasted only four innings, giving up five runs on 12 hits and two walks. The left-hander was tagged for a combined 10 runs on 17 hits in 7⅔ innings in two starts against the Brewers this season.
Brewers starter Chase Anderson also was pulled after four innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks.
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“You feel bad as a starting pitcher to not really do your job,” Anderson said. “Those guys, they’ve played well this series and we’ve had one win. They’ve swung the bats really well, and we’ve got to figure out a way to pick them up.”
Davies back Tuesday
Right-hander Zach Davies will join the Brewers in Chicago on Tuesday, but will make at least one more minor league rehab start after permitting four runs in five innings for Class AA Biloxi at Tennessee on Saturday.
Davies, 25, last started for the Brewers on May 29, sidelined by right rotator cuff inflammation and back stiffness.
The results haven’t been there for him in three of four appearances since restarting his rehab on July 27. After opening with 2⅓ shutout innings and four strikeouts, he’s allowed 10 earned runs over his past three outings (12⅓ innings) with eight walks and eight strikeouts.
That isn’t why the Brewers are keeping him in the minors. Their plan all along was to keep Davies down for at least one more turn to help him get back on a five-day schedule.
“We’re going on fourth months really,” Counsell said, “that we’ve missed here. We’ve got to get him in a routine of getting out there every five days. That’s what’s most important, and that’s what we’re getting done.”
The temperature for the first pitch was 86, and each starter struggled with humid conditions. Snitker noticed Newcomb frequently grabbing handfuls of dirt on the mound. Anderson had similar problems.
“I couldn’t get my hand dry the first couple of innings,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t figure that out.”
A rare hit
Anderson, who took a .088 batting average into the game, enjoyed a rare hitting highlight. He slapped a 0-2 pitch from Newcomb up the middle for a two-run single in the second. He also drove in two runs against the Cubs on Sept. 9, 2017.
From the infirmary
Brewers right-hander Taylor Williams (right elbow) had what Counsell called a “positive” bullpen session and could come off the 10-day disabled list without a minor league rehab. ... Brewers catcher Manny Pina left the game one inning after being hit by Freddie Freeman’s foul tip in the fifth. “He’s hurting,” Counsell said. “But I don’t have anything more than that.”
Following an off day on Monday, RHP Jhoulys Chacin (11-4, 3.91) will start when Milwaukee opens a two-game series at the Cubs on Tuesday. Chacin struck out while pinch-hitting for Anderson in the fifth.