MILWAUKEE — Norichika Aoki has been coming up with some big hits for the Brewers during a surge that has taken them to the fringe of the NL wild-card race.
Aoki had a two-run double to key a four-run seventh inning and made a key defensive throw, helping the Milwaukee Brewers rally pas
The Brewers sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh, but did all the damage on two hits and a sacrifice fly in snapping the Braves’ five-game winning streak.
“The few hits we got, Nori’s was huge,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said after Milwaukee improved to 15-2 over their last 17 home games, including a seven-game winning streak at Miller Park. “He’s really been driving the ball. He’s hitting both gaps. It’s a nice swing. It’s not feeling for the ball. He’s swinging it.”
On Sunday, Aoki’s two-run homer in the ninth against St. Louis tied the game at 4, but the Brewers lost to the Cardinals 5-4 on Allen Craig’s two-out RBI single.
Aoki, speaking through his interpreter Kosuke Inaji, said that he really wasn’t shocked by the new power stroke.
“I really wouldn’t say surprised,” Aoki said. “I’m happy with the results of the extra-base hits I’ve been getting lately.”
Milwaukee has won 16 of 21. The Brewers entered Monday six games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild-card spot. The Braves were 5 1-2 games ahead of the Cardinals for home-field advantage in the one-game wild-card playoff.