After bench-clearing argument in 1st, Braves fall 4-0 to Brewers
ATLANTA (AP) Kyle Lohse pitched a two-hitter and the Milwaukee Brewers overcame Carlos Gomez's ejection in the first inning to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 on Wednesday night.
The NL East champion Braves were shut out for the second time in three nights and have been blanked 17 times, second-most in the league.
After losing three of four, Atlanta has fallen three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL's best winning percentage.
Lohse (11-10) struck out five and threw just 22 of 89 pitches for balls. In his first season with Milwaukee, Lohse was pitching for St. Louis when he had his last shutout, a 5-0 victory over Washington on April 21, 2011.
Gomez, made it 1-0 in the first with his 23rd homer, but was ejected without touching home plate during a benches-clearing argument.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and reserve catcher Gerald Laird were also ejected.
Gomez stirred emotions on both teams as the game's second batter.
As soon as he homered, Gomez stood in the batter's box watching the ball sail into the seats in left field, stared at starter Paul Maholm and flipped his bat behind him.
Gomez was yelling at Maholm as he slowly trotted up the first base line, and Maholm yelled back. The argument continued as Gomez slowly trotted across first base and began arguing with Freeman.
Freeman yelled back at Gomez, who touched second and third without incident before McCann, Atlanta's catcher, stood in the third base line about 20 feet from the plate and stopped him.
The benches emptied, and it appeared Gomez was ejected for shoving Braves reserve outfielder Reed Johnson and Freeman went for charging toward Gomez and threatening him.
Gomez never touched home plate, but the Brewers were still credited with a run.
Laird was ejected, too, but it wasn't immediately clear why.
Logan Schafer took Gomez's spot in center field. Chris Johnson took Freeman's spot at first while second baseman Dan Uggla entered the game for Atlanta and Elliott Johnson moved from second to take Johnson's spot at third.
One run was all Lohse needed. He retired 20 straight batters after Andrelton Simmons led off the first with a bunt single, and threw just 54 pitches, 42 strikes, through the first six innings.
Lohse is 10-4 with a 2.91 ERA over his last 22 starts. He pitched his 10th career complete game, allowing four hits, two starts ago in a 5-1 home victory over Cincinnati on Sept. 13.
Evan Gattis' two-out single in the seventh gave the Braves their second and last baserunner, but Brian McCann followed with a flyout.
Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Yuniesky Betancourt singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Jeff Bianchi's single and scored on Sean Halton's sacrifice fly.
Scooter Gennett singled with two outs in the seventh, moved to second on Lohse's single and scored from second on Norichika Aoki's RBI single to make it 3-0.
All three runs were charged to Maholm (10-11), who gave up eight hits and struck out seven in seven innings.
Scott Downs, the third Atlanta pitcher, gave up an RBI single to Aoki with one out in the ninth to make it 4-0.
Lohse, facing Atlanta for the first time this season, began the night 3-1 with a 4.97 ERA in 10 career starts against the Braves.
Maholm dropped to 5-11 with a 5.07 ERA in 24 career starts against Milwaukee.
NOTES: Atlanta won the season series 4-3 over the Cardinals and 5-2 over the Dodgers. ... Betancourt entered the game when 3B Aramis Ramirez left midway through the third inning with left knee soreness. ... Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez confirmed before the game that RHP Brandon Beachy will not pitch again this season. On the DL since Aug. 23, Beachy is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five starts this year after missing 105 games to recover from elbow ligament replacement surgery. Gonzalez said Beachy hasn't had a setback, but added that the team wants him fully healthy for the start of spring training. ... Rookie RHP Jimmy Nelson will make his first career start when the Brewers visit the New York Mets on Saturday. Nelson, who made his debut on Sept. 6 at the Chicago Cubs, has pitched three scoreless innings in five games this season. ... Nelson is taking the place of RHP Wily Peralta. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said Peralta, who went 11-5 with a 4.37 ERA in 32 starts, has a blister on his right index finger and needs to rest. ... Brewers SS Jean Segura still wants to return for the final weekend, but was unable to run in the outfield before the game because of the wet field. Segura has been sidelined since Sept. 25 with a strained right hamstring.