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Walker loving contributing to Brewers' chase

Second baseman extends hitting streak with key double in Milwaukee's win
August 23, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ever since joining the Brewers' clubhouse roughly a week ago, second baseman Neil Walker has had no issue finding his offensive touch.He's hit safely in all eight games as a Brewer and his hitting streak dates back 10 games, counting his time with the Mets. The veteran

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ever since joining the Brewers' clubhouse roughly a week ago, second baseman Neil Walker has had no issue finding his offensive touch.
He's hit safely in all eight games as a Brewer and his hitting streak dates back 10 games, counting his time with the Mets. The veteran turned in another quality performance in the Crew's 4-3 win over the Giants on Tuesday, going 2-for-4 while scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh.
"He's been a huge addition," teammate Eric Thames said. "He's a smart player and such a professional. Having him in the two-hole or wherever, he always does a good job. That's been his reputation around the league. He's doing as advertised."
Walker's showing Tuesday bumped his slash line to .444/.531/.593 in his first eight games with the organization. His most important hit of the game came after Thames drew a walk with one out. Walker hit a soft double, which carried a hit probability of 5 percent according to Statcast™, to right field to put the go-ahead rally in motion.
"I just wanted to be aggressive in that situation, especially with a guy on first," Walker said. "I got into a good count and was able to pull that ball."
On Walker's hit, Thames moved to third with less than one out, then Ryan Braun recorded a sacrifice fly. Travis Shaw, the team leader in RBIs, followed that up with a run-scoring double to bring home Walker, giving the Brewers a late lead just in the nick of time. Milwaukee entered Tuesday with a 1-45 record when trailing after seven innings.

The Brewers' win enabled them to remain 2 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago in the National League Central while moving three games back of the Rockies for the second NL Wild Card slot.
That October hunt is especially intriguing for Walker.
"The best thing about this whole situation is coming over here with a great clubhouse and being in a playoff race -- that's exciting," Walker said. "To be a part of any type of win and contribute, it's great."
Walker also singled in the ninth and drew a walk in the fifth.
"He's offensively done a really nice job, for sure," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's going to be an important player for us in the stretch run."
Added starter Jimmy Nelson: "He puts together -- no matter the situation or score of the game -- professional at-bats. It's so fun to watch."

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Brewers on Tuesday.