Milwaukee, WI – Rickie Weeks hit a three-run home run as the Milwaukee Brewers used a big fifth inning to take an 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves and sweep a three-game set.
Travis Ishikawa hit a three-run double in the big inning for the Brewers, who have won five of six to move three games back of St. Louis for the final wild card spot in the National League.
"I thought even when we were playing under .500 that we had the personnel to get over and get back in the chase," said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. "At our lowest point, I still thought we had it in us, but I still had some doubts that we would get back in it. But a lot of the young guys we've called up have performed well."
Yovani Gallardo (15-8) won his seventh straight decision as he gave up just two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts over seven innings of work.
Paul Maholm (12-10) was torched for eight runs -- six earned -- on nine hits in just 4 1/3 innings. Jason Heyward hit a solo homer run in the loss for the Braves, who came into this set having won five straight.
Milwaukee put a man on base in each of the first four innings, but were unable to get any home. That changed in the fifth.
Jeff Bianchi reached base to start the inning on a Chipper Jones error and moved to second on a Yovani Gallardo sacrifice bunt. Norichika Aoki then singled and Weeks gave his team the lead with a blast over the right-center field wall.
That wasn't the end of it, though, as Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez both singled, and Jonathan Lucroy followed with a single to score Braun. After Logan Schafer walked to load the bases, Ishikawa doubled to the gap in right- center field to clear the bases. Gallardo doubled two batters later to make it an 8-2 game.
"They hit two balls really hard there and that did me in," said Maholm. "But, if you give a hot team extra outs, they're going to make you pay. That inning just went their way, the entire way. We just have to shake this off."
Atlanta was retired in order in the sixth, left men on first and second in the seventh and Jose Veras set them down 1-2-3 in the eighth.
Kameron Loe pitched the ninth, leaving two men on base as the Brewers moved a game over .500 for this first time since they were 4-3 on April 12.
Heyward homered with two outs in the first, while Dan Uggla hit into a double play in the fourth to plate Chipper Jones for a 2-0 Braves lead.
Each team won three games in the series, with Atlanta sweeping a three-game set at home back in early April ... The Brewers host the Mets for three games starting on Thursday ... Atlanta returns home to face Washington for three games ... Maholm is 3-11 in 22 starts against the Brewers in his career ... Gallardo moved to 4-1 in seven starts versus the Braves ... Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez left in the second inning with a right quad contusion.