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Braun hits three-run homer in Brewers win over Cubs

The Canadian Press

4/19/2013 11:52:08 PM

MILWAUKEE -- Jean Segura produced a memorable piece of baserunning that outshined Ryan Braun's three-run homer.

Segura somehow wound up safe at first base after attempting to steal third, only to later be thrown out attempting to steal second base again in Milwaukee's 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.

"It's just a weird moment," Segura said.

That's an understatement.

Segura led off the eighth inning with a single and stole second before Braun walked. Segura attempted to steal third, but Shawn Camp didn't deliver a pitch. Instead, he threw to third well ahead of Segura, who turned and went back to second.

Braun was there, and shortstop Luis Valbuena tagged both runners as they stood on the bag.

The rules say only the trailing runner is out in that case, but Segura trotted down the line toward first base and the home dugout, then appeared to realize what had happened and sped into the unoccupied base.

"I was surprised because I was going to the dugout," he said.

He later attempted a straight steal of second, but Cubs catcher Welington Castillo threw him out.

"I don't know if that's ever happened in the history of the game - a guy steals second and gets thrown out trying to steal second in the same inning," Chicago manager Dale Sveum said.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke gave Segura a pass for his blunder after the game, meeting with the young shortstop for a few moments in a quiet conversation in the locker room.

"Seg is 23 years old, he's got all kinds of energy," Roenicke said. "He's going to make some mistakes. We know that. But his pluses are so good. The mistakes are going to happen."

Rule 7.08(i) allows a runner to go backwards on the bases unless he is trying to confuse the defence or make a travesty of the game.

"After he has acquired legal possession of a base, he runs the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defence or making a travesty of the game," the rule states. "The umpire shall immediately call 'Time' and declare the runner out; If a runner touches an unoccupied base and then thinks the ball was caught or is decoyed into returning to the base he last touched, he may be put out running back to that base, but if he reaches the previously occupied base safely he cannot be put out while in contact with that base."

Umpire Phil Cuzzi said he had never seen such a play, and Tom Hallion, the crew chief, called the play bizarre.

"Technically, he stole second, stole first, then got thrown out stealing second," Hallion told a pool reporter, although Segura is not credited with a steal of first.

It didn't matter, though, because Braun went deep against Jeff Samardzija (1-3) and the Brewers won their fifth straight.

"It's a good thing we're still able to win a game despite something like that happening," Braun said after homering for the second consecutive game. "Clearly a confusing play," Braun said. "I've never been a part of anything like that. I think it's pretty simple what's supposed to happen, but as far as the ruling goes I have no idea what their supposed to do, what's normal."

"It was actually a simple play until he came off the base," Braun said, jokingly saying he was angry to be credited with a caught stealing on the play.

Anthony Rizzo hit his fifth homer of the year for the Cubs.

Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada (2-0) pitched out of trouble in his six innings, getting three double plays and holding the Cubs hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position. The right-hander gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.

Jim Henderson pitched the ninth for his third save in three chances.

Sveum was ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Chris Guccione for arguing a called ball from Samardzija on a 2-2 pitch to Braun.

Samardzija had some tough luck in the first, needing 27 pitches to retire the Brewers. Norichika Aoki reached on a fielding error by Rizzo at first base to open the inning.

Aoki broke for second on the first pitch to Segura. The Brewers shortstop hit the ball squarely to the right side of the infield in what could have been an easy double play ball, but Darwin Barney had vacated the spot to cover second and the ball went into right field for a single, with Aoki taking third.

Braun then hit the fifth pitch from Samardzija for his fourth home run to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead.

"You have to get him early," Braun said. "You saw it tonight. Once he settles in, he's as tough as anybody in baseball."

Rickie Weeks followed with a bloop double down the right-field line, and Jonathan Lucroy hit a liner into the right-field corner for a triple, scoring Weeks and giving Milwaukee a 4-0 lead.

Chicago came within 4-3 in the third when Luis Valbuena led off with his second homer of the year, Samardzija walked and David DeJesus homered to right for his second of the year.

Carlos Gomez led off the seventh with his second homer to make it 5-3.

Samardzija pitched seven innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out four. He retired 11 consecutive batters between the second and sixth innings.

Rizzo led off the eighth a homer to right off reliever Tom Gorzelanny, his fifth of the year, to pull Chicago within 5-4.

For the game, the Cubs went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Chicago is batting .144 (16 for 111) with runners in scoring position this season.

NOTES: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers watched the game from a luxury suite. Braun did Rodgers touchdown dance move after hitting his home run. ... Starlin Castro singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. ... The Cubs claimed OF Julio Borbon off waivers from Texas on Friday. ... Brewers INF Taylor Green will have surgery on his left hip and will miss the season. ... The Brewers recalled RHP Hiram Buros from Triple-A Nashville Friday. He will start Saturday in his major-league debut. ... The Brewers have won six consecutive games and 16 of 18 against the Cubs at Miller Park.