MILWAUKEE — It took the Milwaukee Brewers more than four months to reach the break-even point, and they no intention of stopping there.
Marco Estrada pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, Rickie Weeks and Aramis Ramirez homered and the Brewers beat the Atlanta Braves 5-0 Tuesday night.
The Brewers won their eighth in a row at Miller Park and got back to the .500 mark for the first time since April 24. Milwaukee has surged back into the NL wild-card race by winning 17 of 22 overall, and beat the wild card-leading Braves for the second consecutive day.
“We’re playing great baseball, and we know we have the team to go all the way,” Estrada said. “A lot of people doubted us when we were down, but we didn’t lose any confidence.”
Estrada (3-6) was dominant from the start, allowing only two singles to Andrelton Simmons in the first five innings. Estrada allowed four hits in 6 2/3 innings and struck out six.
“I felt very good out there tonight,” he said. “I was really locked in, and I had great defense behind me.”
Tim Hudson (14-6) was almost as good as Estrada for the Braves early in the game. Other than Rickie Weeks’ 18th home run in the first, he allowed only an infield single to Jean Segura in his first five innings.
Hudson gave up four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“I thought I pitched better than giving up all those runs late,” he said. “Four runs seemed like a dozen the way their guys were throwing. It was just one of those games.”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said his team had several long outs.
“We swung the bats hard, but couldn’t get it off the wall or in front of the wall to get some runs,” he said. “We’re not feeling too good right now with the way we’re swinging the bats.”
The Brewers broke away in the seventh by scoring three times. Segura drove in the first run with a grounder, pinch hitter Taylor Green had an RBI single and Aoki doubled home another run.
Aramis Ramirez hit his 23rd home run in the eighth for the Brewers.