On July 1st the Brewers had a 6 1/2 game lead in the National League Central and going into the All Star break with a lead in the division seemed all but inevitable.
But after losing seven straight and falling into a first place tie with the St. Louis Cardinals the Brewers had one last chance to go into the break with first place in the National League Central intact.
A loss on Sunday would drop the Brewers a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the division and give Cincinnati a chance to pull within just a half a game of the once dominant Brew Crew.
Wily came up big for the Brewers, and the offense was his equal as Milwaukee ran away with the win 11-2 and regained sole possession of first place in the division.
Ryan Braun followed with a broken bat single to short right field. Gomez came around to score, and Matt Adams‘ throw home was well wide of the plate. Tony Cruz fired to second to get Braun and Scooter Gennett scored on that throw. Braun was out at second for the first out.
Jhonny Peralta knocked a one-out single to right in the top of the second but that was it for the Cardinals. Martinez put down Lyle Overbay, Elian Herrera and Peralta in order in the bottom of the second.
Big Wily cruised through the Cardinals in order in the top of the third. Gennett drew a one-out walk in the bottom half of the frame. Braun followed a walk of his own.
After a Ramirez whiff, Lucroy drew the third walk of the inning to load the bases for Davis but Martinez struck him out to end the inning with three men stranded.
Wong struck out to lead off the fourth, but Lucroy couldn’t handle the ball and Wong reached first. He stole second with Holliday batting. Ramirez bare-handed a ground ball by Holliday and fired him out at first for the first out.
Adams grounded out to bring in Wong for an unearned run, cutting the lead to 2-1 with two outs. The other Peralta flew out to right to end the inning.
Herrera singled with an out in the fourth inning to give Milwaukee another base runner. Peralta bunted him over to second. Gomez was hit by a pitch to put two runners on for Gennett.
Gennett knocked a double to left to bring in both Herrera and Gomez and give Milwaukee a 4-1 lead. Braun grounded out to end the inning.
Herrera tossed to Gennett for the first out, but Scooter’s throw for the double play sailed high and Cruz was safe at first. Oscar Taveras struck out to end the frame.
Seth Maness came on to pitch the bottom of the fifth for the Cardinals. Martinez went four innings and allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks. He struck out five.
Maness put down Ramirez and Lucroy quickly but he got behind Davis 2-0 and Davis launched an opposite field home run (15) to give Milwaukee a 5-1 lead. Overbay grounded to second to end the inning.
Davis made another beautiful, running catch to take put down Carpenter as he lead off the sixth. Peralta worked through Wong and Holliday with no damage to end the top of the sixth.
Maness returned to the mound for the bottom of the sixth. Herrera led off with a double for his third hit of the day. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Peralta.
Gomez drove him home with a single to left-center, giving Milwaukee a 6-1 lead. Gennett followed with a single to left, moving Gomez to second. Braun followed with a single to left, scoring Gomez and ending the day for Maness.
Jason Motte came on for the Cardinals with Gennett and Braun on base and one out in the sixth. Ramirez singled up the middle to drive in Gennett and move Braun to second.
Lucroy flew out to right, moving Braun to third, for the second out. Davis flew out to right to end the inning with the Brewers on top 8-1. Maness threw 1 1/3 innings and allowed four runs, all earned, on five hits. Motte allowed a hit in 2/3 of an inning.
Wily rolled through the Cardinals in the top of the seventh in just six pitches.
Nick Greenwood came on in the bottom of the eighth for the Cardinals. After an Overbay ground out, Herrera singled up the middle for his fourth hit of the day.
Ron Roenicke sent Rickie Weeks out to pinch-hit for Wily Peralta, who was only at 80 pitches on the day. The final line on Peralta was seven innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits and no walks. He struck out five.
Greenwood hit Weeks to put two on for Gomez, who lined down the line in right for a double, scoring Herrera. Gennett struck out for the second out; it was the first time on the day that Gennett didn’t reach base after three hits and a walk. Braun bounced out to end the inning.
Will Smith came on to toss the eighth for Milwaukee. Smith got Jay to ground out to open the inning. Cruz followed with a double to left. Smith struck out Daniel Descalso for the second out. Pinch-hitter Mark Ellis grounded out to short to end the inning.
Ramirez led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to left with Greenwood still pitching for St. Louis. Lucroy followed with a ground-rule double, moving Ramirez to third.
Ramirez came in to score on a Davis ground out. Lucroy moved to third and the Brewer lead increased to 10-1. Overbay followed with a single to left to drive in Lucroy. With Overbay’s hit, every Brewers’ starting position player had a hit in the game.
Herrera followed with a grounder to third; the throw to first sailed wide, leaving Herrera safe. Herrera was credited with a hit, as he may have been safe even with a good throw.
Overbay went to third on the play. The inning ended on a double-play ground ball from pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds.
George Kottaras grounded to Gennett at second, but Gennett bobbled it and everybody was safe. Bourjos scored on the play. Craig bounced to short and Herrera got the out at second for the second out of the inning.
Jay flew out to Davis in left to end the game with the Brewers on top 11-2.
Peralta picked up the win for Milwaukee, his 10th. Martinez earned the loss for St. Louis.
The win was Milwaukee’s first non-shutout win since June 28th.