KANSAS CITY -- Many stats could be used to help explain the Brewers' eight-game winning streak, and the one that stands out most to manager Craig Counsell is 14. As in 14 runs allowed by Milwaukee over those eight victories.It was more of the same on Wednesday, as the Brewers
KANSAS CITY -- Many stats could be used to help explain the Brewers' eight-game winning streak, and the one that stands out most to manager Craig Counsell is 14. As in 14 runs allowed by Milwaukee over those eight victories.
It was more of the same on Wednesday, as the Brewers equaled their longest winning streak since 2015 with a 6-2 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Jhoulys Chacin delivered 5 2/3 efficient innings, and a bullpen that has enjoyed recent dominance extended its scoreless streak to 28 innings.
"That  is the number right there," Counsell said. "You are going to have a lot of success allowing 14 runs over eight games."
The Royals got two runners on base in the sixth inning, so the Brewers turned to the bullpen even though Chacin had thrown only 64 pitches. Each reliever delivered, as Chacin did in setting the tone with his pitch-efficient outing.
"[The Royals] were real aggressive," Chacin said. "They were swinging a lot at the first or second pitch. They see my stats. I had been walking some guys early in the season. Maybe they thought I was going to come out and throw more strikes so they were swinging early. I'll take that. It gave me a lot of quick outs."
Chacin, who allowed four hits and two earned runs, left in the sixth with the tying run on base. In a lefty-on-lefty matchup, Dan Jennings came on to retire Lucas Duda.
And so it went for the Milwaukee bullpen.
There was some trouble in the late innings, but no Kansas City runs. Jacob Barnes, Josh Hader and Taylor Williams kept the bullpen's scoreless streak intact.
Hader was particularly impressive in the eighth, striking out Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez with two on.
"They are doing such a nice job picking each other up," Counsell said. "They are not just putting up zeros on their line. They are putting up zeros on the line of the guy who pitched before them."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Four in the fourth: The Brewers got all the offense they'd need in the fourth inning with a four-run frame against Royals starter Jason Hammel. Travis Shaw roped an 0-2 pitch down the right-field line to bring in the first run, and Domingo Santana and Jesus Aguilar, who had two RBIs in his first start as Milwaukee's primary first baseman with Eric Thames on the disabled list, then delivered sacrifice flies, with Santana reaching on an error by Jorge Soler and later scoring on Jonathan Villar's groundout.
With the Brewers scoring by being efficient at the plate, Counsell praised how his club handled themselves on the bases.
"We ran the bases really well in that inning," Counsell said. "It was contact, it was baserunning, it was situational hitting."
Ryan Braun had his first three-hit game of 2018 on Wednesday and seems to be coming around after a slow start. Braun, who hit .176 through the opening 15 games, has gone on a .440 spurt (11 for 25) through his last seven games.
HE SAID IT
"It's not the pitches. He got 17 outs. I thought if you get 17 outs, that's great. That's what we are looking for." -- Counsell on his decision to lift Chacin after the right-hander threw just 64 pitches on Wednesday
The Brewers will be hoping to give right-hander Chase Anderson considerably more offensive support Thursday against the Cubs than was the case on April 8 when Anderson last faced Chicago. Although Anderson pitched well, allowing just four hits and two earned runs through six innings, the Cubs claimed a 3-0 victory. Anderson will be looking for his third straight win in the 7:05 p.m. CT series opener at Wrigley Field with Kyle Hendricks on the mound for the Cubs.
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.