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Garza, Broxton lead Crew to sweep of Orioles

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Matt Garza put together his best outing of the season and was fueled by Keon Broxton's two-run home run, as the Brewers secured a series sweep of the Orioles at Miller Park on Wednesday with a 4-0 win, the sixth in their last seven games.

The win moved the Brewers to a season-high seven games over .500 at 47-40 and gave them their first sweep of Baltimore since 1997. With a Cubs win earlier in the day, the Brewers remain 3 1/2 games ahead in the National League Central.

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MILWAUKEE -- Matt Garza put together his best outing of the season and was fueled by Keon Broxton's two-run home run, as the Brewers secured a series sweep of the Orioles at Miller Park on Wednesday with a 4-0 win, the sixth in their last seven games.

The win moved the Brewers to a season-high seven games over .500 at 47-40 and gave them their first sweep of Baltimore since 1997. With a Cubs win earlier in the day, the Brewers remain 3 1/2 games ahead in the National League Central.

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"Our starters did an outstanding job. We basically pitched with a lead the entire series," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "They did a heck of a job. Matt got into the seventh today, which is really well done."

Video: BAL@MIL: Garza K's four over 6 1/3 scoreless innings

Garza struggled to miss bats early, giving up extra-base hits with exit velocities of 115.3 and 112.3 mph in the first two innings, according to Statcast™, but he settled in as the game progressed. Those were the only two barreled balls he allowed en route to 6 1/3 strong innings with four strikeouts before departing with a 4-0 lead. It was Garza's first scoreless performance of the season, and the deepest he's gone in an outing since May 6.

"We keep feeding off each other," Garza said of the Brewers' rotation. "We need to keep going. We have [Brent] Suter coming in and stepping in and going into the seventh. We have to keep up here. It has been a fun ride. We need to keep going and see how this thing plays out."

Orioles left-hander Jayson Aquino, starting in place of Chris Tillman while he's on the paternity list, allowed an unearned run on one hit through three innings before coming undone the second trip through the Brewers' order. Ryan Braun led off the fourth with a sharp double and scored on Domingo Santana's RBI single. Two batters later, Broxton left the yard with a Statcast-projected 404-foot two-run homer to make it 4-0. Aquino's outing, which saw him strike out seven over 5 1/3, was a welcome sight for an Orioles rotation whose 5.68 ERA ranks worst in the American League and second-worst in the Majors this season.

Video: BAL@MIL: Aquino gets Thames to go down looking

"He's not scared," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "This is a guy that comes up and attacks people. His repertoire and stuff don't really play out of the 'pen. It's that guys have to see him. He's [been in consideration] for a while. He presented himself well. I was proud of him. I've always had a little something in the back of my mind about him. I've always liked the approach he has."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Coming up empty: Garza struggled to miss bats early, and Baltimore looked primed to jump out in front after loading the bases in the second inning. But the veteran right-hander shut down the O's -- who entered ranking third in the Majors in batting average with runners in scoring position at .290 -- with back-to-back strikeouts and a flyout. It marked the Orioles' 11th plate appearance this season with the bases loaded and no one out, a scenario in which they have recorded zero hits.

"It's always the first at-bat in those situations," Showalter said. "We've got to put a ball in play there. Once you get to the pitcher's spot, they have a shot at getting out of it. Once we don't get anything in that 8-hole, it opens up the possibility to get out of it."

"It kept runs off the board," Garza said. "It was a big momentum shift for us. It was awesome. I was able to sneak out of it. I got a couple of punchouts and a flyout. I really took off from there. I got my mechanics back in order in the third, and I felt like I was in control from there on out."

Star performance: Broxton was all over the place Wednesday, whether it was ducking tags on the basepaths, smacking a two-run homer or robbing base hits in the outfield. He tracked back to snag a liner from Ruben Tejada with one out in the fourth, making a Statcast-rated 5-star catch by running 97 feet in 5.2 seconds. It was his Major League-leading fourth 5-star catch of the season, with a catch probability of 21 percent, according to Statcast™.

"Lately I've been playing a little more shallow than I usually have," Broxton said. "Just trying to limit the bloop hits that fall out in front of me and just make good plays on balls that are back. I'm way better on balls that are behind my head than coming in on balls, so I just take my chance right there. If it's high enough, I can run under it, and if not, it's a double either way." More >

• Broxton pulls Houdini to escape rundown

Video: BAL@MIL: Statcast™ measures Broxton's five-star catch

QUOTABLE
"Call it what you see it: We're just not playing good baseball. You can sugarcoat it any way you want to. We're just not playing good baseball. I think all the guys know it. You can see the frustration on everybody. It's a result-based world, and I think what's happening right now is they're looking at the result and they say, 'They're not trying hard.' We're trying hard, just now, nothing's going our way." -- Adam Jones, on the Orioles' recent slide that has seen them lose five of their last six games

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Manny Machado's first-inning double off Garza was tracked with an exit velocity of 115.3 mph, his second-hardest hit ball of the season and his fourth hardest-hit ball since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015. His hardest-hit ball of the season was a 116.3-mph single on May 13.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Orlando Arcia led off the seventh inning with a chopper back up the middle and off Orioles reliever Zach Britton, who was making his first appearance after missing 56 games, which rolled to Machado. The O's third baseman threw on to first to get the sliding Arcia and rob him of an infield single. The Brewers challenged that Arcia beat the throw, but the call stood after a 1-minute, 31-second review.

Video: BAL@MIL: Machado cuts down Arcia after call stands

WHAT'S NEXT
Orioles: Baltimore will send Dylan Bundy to the mound Thursday at 8:10 p.m. ET against the Twins at Target Field, as he looks to rebound after becoming the fifth pitcher this season to allow three homers that traveled a Statcast-projected 420 feet or further in a start. Thursday is the opener of a four-game set.

Brewers: The Brewers will play a makeup game from a May 20 rainout with the division-rival Cubs at 1:20 p.m. CT on Thursday. Right-hander Zach Davies will start opposite Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery. Davies started off shaky in his last start, allowing four runs in the first three innings, but he bounced back by tossing three straight 1-2-3 innings, which Counsell called his best innings of the season.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the Orioles on Wednesday.

Carson Mason is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.