06/24/08 10:54 PM ET
Bush delivers stellar effort in win
Right-hander carries Brew Crew with seven strong innings
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
"It was a little nerve-wracking," Bush said. "But we all have a lot of faith in Salomon. He's been around for a long time and he's been in a lot of situations like that."Not with the Brewers, he hadn't. Torres set a career high with his 13th save, but for the first time worked himself into trouble. He entered the night perfect in 11 save opportunities since Eric Gagne was sidelined by a right shoulder injury, but walked the first batter he faced after falling behind, 3-0, then grooved a first-pitch fastball Mark Texeira and watched it sail over the left-field fence for a two-run home run that made it a one-run game. "Mentally, I wasn't as focused as I should be," Torres said. "That fly ball to left field redirected my attention to what I needed to be doing." Brian McCann followed with a single, then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt -- Torres made a fabulous play to get the out -- and to third on a groundout. Torres intentionally walked outfielder Brandon Jones to face pinch-hitter Corky Miller, a backup catcher with a .103 batting average. Torres fell behind, 3-0, but threw three straight strikes and retired Miller on a line drive to Hardy. "The positive thing I can take out of all this is that when things got tough, I was able to redirect my attention, to keep the focus on and to pitch the way I've been pitching lately," Torres said. "Concentrate on keeping the ball down and letting them swing." The Brewers will go for their first sweep in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon. They have already secured just their second series win here in Yost's six seasons, thanks to a pair of stellar starts; Ben Sheets retired the final 16 Braves hitters in order on Monday before Bush retired nine in a row to begin his own outing Tuesday night. "He set the bar pretty high yesterday, so I'm not sure I was going to top that," Bush said of Sheets. "I just try to be consistent." Weeks reached on the first of three Braves errors in the first inning and scored the first of two Brewers runs in the frame. In the second, Hardy hit an RBI double over the head of left fielder Jones, who badly misread the ball. Weeks made it 4-0 in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly, with Jason Kendall scoring from third base when right fielder Jeff Francoeur's strong throw home sailed over the catcher's head. Francoeur had not committed an error in his first 77 games, but was charged with two of Atlanta's four errors on Tuesday. "It was just an ugly, ugly game," said Chipper Jones, who came off the Braves' bench with his sore right quad to produce an eight-inning leadoff single that went unrewarded. "Even to have a chance to tie and win the game, I don't know how we were in that situation." Bush didn't allow a baserunner until the fourth, when Gregor Blanco reached on an error by first baseman Prince Fielder. Yunel Esccobar followed with the Braves' first hit, an infield single that struck Bush in the back of the left foot, but was erased when Johnson hit a line drive to Fielder, who dove back to the bag to complete the first of two unassisted double plays. Bush finally allowed a run in the seventh, when Texeira doubled and went the rest of the way on a pair of groundouts to second base. With Bush at 98 pitches, Yost went with left-hander Brian Shouse in the eighth. Torres took the ninth, and he sure made it interesting. "I didn't want to make it too easy for you guys," he told reporters. "I want to give you something to write about."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.