Lohse's strong outing lifts Brewers to 10-1 win
SAN DIEGO (AP) The Milwaukee Brewers' domination of the NL West could go a long way in helping them win the NL Central.
Kyle Lohse pitched six strong innings while Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez hit home runs to lift the Brewers to a 10-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Monday night.
Milwaukee has won 10 of 11 games on the road against NL West opponents this season. The Brewers' .910 winning percentage against the NL West is the highest road winning percentage by any team against any single division this season.
Lohse (12-7) allowed a run and four hits over six innings in making his first start since spraining his right ankle on Aug. 13. He beat the Padres for the fourth straight time.
''The ankle was fine,'' Lohse said. ''It was one of those things where I felt really good and really strong. And we kept putting up runs. ... I'm not used to having almost two weeks off late in the season. Everything else has been feeling good but I just needed a little break to get ahead of the ankle soreness.''
Eric Stults (6-14) was charged with four runs and nine hits in five innings as he lost his first game in August to snap his three-game winning streak.
Ramirez and Gerardo Parra had three RBIs, and Braun, Ramirez and Carlos Gomez each had three hits for Milwaukee.
''We did a really good job offensively today,'' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. ''Everybody seemed to chip in and that is always nice to see.''
Lohse skipped his last turn in the rotation after getting hurt against the Cubs. But he was efficient in striking out five as the Brewers stayed 1 1/2 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
When he struggled early with his fastball, he turned to his off-speed pitches in stifling the Padres.
''He looked like he settled down and got things working,'' Roenicke said. ''He had a good change up, real good curve balls, nice sliders. I was happy to see him get back into that rhythm again.''
Ramirez's 14th home run came in the fifth inning off an 87 mph fastball from Stults and extended Milwaukee's edge to 4-1.
The Brewers broke the game open with a three-run sixth en route to their fifth straight road win.
Braun's 17th home run in the third inning gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead, when he hit it into the left-center seats. Martin Maldonado added a run-scoring single for a 3-1 advantage.
''They were on tonight and they are an aggressive group,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''They have power, they don't walk much or strike out much. It's a good offensive group.
Braun left the game in seventh inning with a sore right knee, but he's expected to play on Tuesday.
The Padres tied the game 1-1 in the second but the Brewers got off easy.
Alexi Amarista sliced a triple down the left-field line to score Cameron Maybin after he singled. But Amarista was retired when Stults' squeeze bunt failed as Lohse's toss to Maldonado beat Amarista.
Will Venable then struck out to end the inning, stranding two runners.
The Padres lost eight of their last 11 games.
Padres: OF Carlos Quentin isn't going to play again the season, according to manager Bud Black. Quentin was limited to 50 games because of sore knees, with his most recent DL stint starting on July 27. ... 2B Jedd Gyorko, who strained his left hamstring on Thursday, returned to action by grounding out as a pinch-hitter. ... SS Everth Cabrera (strained left hamstring) has resumed baseball activities but is probably out another week.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, will have another bullpen session on Tuesday. If it goes well, he could rejoin the rotation.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (2-4, 4.15 ERA), who lost in his last start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, will be looking to rebound against the Padres.
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (11-12, 2.68) has worked at least six innings in 21 of his last 25 starts, including seven or more in 13 of those outings. His 12 straight quality starts is a franchise record.
OH MY!: Dick Enberg, the Padres' TV play-by-play announcer, is headed for the U.S. Open. Enberg, CBS' longtime voice at the Open, will return to call one last match on Sunday. With TV coverage switching to ESPN next year, CBS invited Enberg back to show its appreciation for his contributions. Enberg will miss the Padres' weekend series against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Brewers have had a least a share of first place in the NL Central every day since April 5, a span of 143 days. Milwaukee last won a division title in 2011.