Thievery pays off for Crew, with seven steals vs. Bucs
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TSBURGH -- The last time the Brewers had a night like this, they were running wild in the American League East.
The Brewers stole seven bases in their 6-0 win over the Pirates on Tuesday, their best night on the bases in 20 years. Paul Molitor and Robin Yount were still teammates then, and the Brewers led the Majors with 246 steals, a franchise record that still stands. Current Cubs third-base coach Pat Listach was the AL Rookie of the Year. Phil Garner was a rookie manager.
Now the Brewers, under Ron Roenicke, are running again.
The seven steals on Tuesday tied for the second most in a single game in Brewers history, matching the seven they swiped on April 30, 1992. Four months later, on Aug. 29, they set the franchise record with eight stolen bases against the Blue Jays, spoiling David Cone's Toronto debut.
Ryan Braun led the way on Tuesday with three steals, giving him 27 for the season, and Norichika Aoki, Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Rickie Weeks swiped one bag apiece.
"I think one of the reasons we've been playing really well is [that] we've been aggressive over the last month," Braun said. "We pick and choose our spots -- not overly aggressive. I think that was probably the biggest reason we won the game tonight."
The Brewers took what the Pirates have been giving. Pittsburgh has allowed 137 stolen bases this season against 14 runners caught, and that includes some pitchers' pickoffs.
"You never really try to force it," Braun said. "We all get release times on pitchers to the plate, and if guys are over a certain number, we know we're more likely to be successful on our stolen base attempts."
The Brewers lead the Majors in steals this season, with 142.
"I liked it," Roenicke said of Tuesday's spree. "I think the jumps were all good. I think they were all good times to go. We have the opportunity every time we're on second base to get that [run-scoring] base hit, and we got a few of them."