Badly in need of something to go their way Monday with what once appeared to be an easy victory starting to slip away, the Milwaukee Brewers got some help from Mother Nature. A stiff wind that had been blowing out to right field most of the day shifted in the late afternoon at Wrigley Field, keeping Starlin Castro's ninth-inning, bases-loaded, two-out drive in the ballpark as the Brewers escaped with a much-needed and tense 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Where might Castro's drive have landed had the wind not shifted? "I think probably off the wall," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, whose club snapped a five-game losing streak. "Hey, some things went our way, so that was good." The benefactor of that break was Jim Henderson, moved into the closer's role earlier in the day when Roenicke decided to switch from struggling John Axford. The Brewers took a 7-2 lead into the ninth, but reliever Brandon Kintzler surrendered three consecutive hits to turn it into a save situation. Henderson wasn't helped when third baseman Yuniesky Betancourt was unable to make a leaping catch of Luis Valbuena's liner, turning it into an RBI single. After striking out pinch hitter Steve Clevenger, Henderson was put in further peril when Martin Maldonado, a backup catcher playing first base in the Brewers' injury-depleted infield, whiffed on pinch-hitter Scott Hairston's grounder to load the bases. Henderson then engaged in two fierce, eight-pitch battles with hitters Dave Sappelt and Castro. Sappelt fouled off two 3-2 pitches before finally swinging through a fastball to strike out. Castro also made Henderson work, fouling off four 1-2 pitches before flying out to rightfielder Norichika Aoki. It was Henderson's 30th pitch of the inning.
Wind change helps Brewers from blowing lead, game
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Apr 9