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Unsung heroes: Brewers' depth paying dividends with stars sidelined
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Unsung heroes: Brewers' depth paying dividends with stars sidelined

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With the top three players in their lineup on the injured list, the Milwaukee Brewers' swing through San Diego and Chicago could have been a painful road trip.

But despite playing without Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich and Kolten Wong, the Brewers went 5-1 during that stretch and returned home Monday atop the National League Central Division, two games ahead of second-place St. Louis.

Starting pitching, as has been the case all season, led the way. Not counting the 15-2 blowout by the Cubs Friday, when Brett Anderson was lost to injury in the first inning, Brewers starters allowed a total of five runs over 26 2/3 innings during the rest of the road trip and entered play Monday leading all of baseball with a combined 2.22 ERA this season.

Those performances might have gone to waste had a number of players not stepped up to fill the void created by Cain, Yelich and Wong. Players like outfielder Billy McKinney, catcher Manny Piña, and utility man Jace Peterson (now also on the injured list) have stepped up to deliver in big moments and are a big reason why the Brewers sit atop the division.

"When you play like this, it’s going to be contributions all around the roster and I think that’s what the start of the season has been for us," manager Craig Counsell said. "We’ve gotten contributions up and down the roster."

As the team tries to bounce back from an 8-0 loss to the Miami Marlins in the series opener, here are three unsung heroes from Milwaukee's successful road trip:

 

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