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06/25/08 5:11 PM ET
Brewers fall short of sweep in Atlanta
Suppan goes six innings; offense hindered vs. Braves
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Jeff Suppan made it past the second inning, but he didn't make it back into the win column. Suppan surrendered a pair of costly hits to Braves starter Jorge Campillo, who scored twice and frustrated Brewers hitters over seven innings of Atlanta's 4-2 win at Turner Field on Wednesday. Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson drove in three of Atlanta's four runs and helped avoid what would have been the Brewers' first-ever sweep in Atlanta. For the second straight start, a four-game Brewers winning streak ended with a Suppan (4-5) loss. If the Brewers' offense appeared sluggish, Campillo (3-2) certainly had something to do with it. He spotted 86 mph fastballs and 70 mph changeups that danced past hitters through seven innings. Campillo allowed only one hit outside of Milwaukee's three-hit, two-run third inning. The Brewers brought the tying run to the plate in both the eighth and ninth innings against Braves relievers, but Blaine Boyer worked around a two-out triple by Rickie Weeks in the eighth inning and closer Mike Gonzalez allowed a harmless single in the ninth on the way to his second save. "I didn't feel like we looked sluggish a bit," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "If you understand the game or you've got any baseball knowledge, you understand that's a 'good-pitched' game. That's what it is. That's all it is." Suppan was better than his last time out, when he didn't make it through the second inning and exited in a 6-2 hole. On Wednesday, the veteran right-hander was charged with four runs on nine hits and got the Brewers to the seventh inning only trailing by a pair of runs. "You take good and bad things from each outing and you get ready for your next game," Suppan said. "I really don't talk about five days ago or 10 days ago or two years ago. Today, there were a couple situations where if I located a little bit better I think it could have been a different outcome." Campillo allowed as many runs (two) as he scored. He was a 2-for-12 hitter (.167) entering the game, but was 2-for-3 against Suppan with singles in the middle of both Braves rallies. The Brewers had just taken a 2-0 lead in the third inning on RBI doubles by catcher Mike Rivera and second baseman Weeks when Campillo hit a one-out double in the third inning. Gregor Blanco also singled off Suppan, who recorded the second out and then engaged in an eight-pitch battle against Johnson. Johnson won. He hit an inside fastball that cut back over the plate for a two-run double that tied the game at 2. "I still think it was the right pitch," Suppan said. "Bad location. That cost two runs right there. I just tried to minimize the damage." Campillo again figured in the decisive fifth inning. Braves left fielder Brandon Jones, who misplayed a line drive over his head in Tuesday's Brewers win, was on the other end of a similar play when his line drive got over Ryan Braun's head for a double. Campillo followed and bunted a first-pitch slider foul. He showed bunt again on the next pitch but "slashed" a single that left runners at first and third. Blanco gave the Braves a 3-2 lead -- their first lead of the three-game series -- with a single to right field. Two batters later Johnson made it 4-2 with another RBI single. Braun was not sure if he could have headed off the rally by running down Jones' leadoff hit. "That's one of those plays that's extremely difficult to read, and you see Gold Glovers have difficulty with that play," he said. "Even if I did read it well, it one-hopped the wall and I don't know if I would have got there." On the mound, Campillo was just as effective. Mike Cameron, Rivera and Weeks strung together hits in Milwaukee's two-run third, but Corey Hart's one-out double in the seventh inning was the only other hit off Campillo. The changeup specialist struck out six without issuing a walk. "He never misses his spots," Braun said. "He really doesn't make many, if any mistakes, at all. You just have to go up there and battle. This was one of those days when you can't try to do too much and when you do, you don't have any success. Give him credit, he pitched great." The Brewers also succumbed to Campillo on May 29 in Milwaukee, back when he was still building his pitch count after a move from the bullpen to the starting rotation. He has a 3.15 ERA in his seven starts. "He's pitched great all year," Braun said. "Overall he has below-average stuff, but he has phenomenal control. ... Guys who throw harder, have better stuff, make mistakes more often. A guy like [Campillo] has pinpoint control." Said Braves manager Bobby Cox: "If you want to look at a true pitcher, he's the epitome of one." The Brewers still managed to take two of three games for their second series win at Turner Field in six seasons under Yost, a former Braves coach. "We'll take two of three here," Braun said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.