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Braves comeback comes up just short in 5-4 loss to Brewers

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Donaldson homered and drove in all four of Atlanta’s runs.

Atlanta Braves v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves made things interesting in the ninth but ultimately came up just short in a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers struck first against Dallas Keuchel in the second inning as Jesus Aguilar reached on an error by Josh Donaldson and then came around to score on a homer by Manny Pina.

Keuchel would cruise through the next three innings before tiring in the sixth. Christian Yelich extended the lead to 3-0 with a long home run to center. Ryan Braun followed with his first triple of the season and came home to score on a double by Keston Hiura. Hiura moved up to third on a groundout by Aguilar and then scored on another single by Pina to make it 5-0.

Chase Anderson held the Braves in check through the first five innings but Atlanta had their chances. Brian McCann doubled off the wall in center in the second but was left stranded. Anderson issued back-to-back walks to Ronald Acuña Jr. and Dansby Swanson in the third but got Freddie Freeman to fly out harmlessly to center to end the threat.

Anderson would cruise through the fourth and fifth. He retired the first two batters in the sixth before a walk to Freeman prompted his exit from the game. Freddy Peralta came on and immediately walked Donaldson but got Ozzie Albies to fly out to end the inning.

The Braves would have yet another opportunity as they loaded the bases in the seventh against Peralta with a McCann double and a couple of walks to Matt Joyce and pinch hitter Nick Markakis. However, Peralta got Acuña to chase a breaking ball that bounced in front of the plate and then got Swanson to ground out to again escape the jam.

Atlanta finally broke through in the eighth when Freeman worked a leadoff walk against Brewers reliever Junior Guerra and came home after a long home run by Donaldson to cut the deficit to 5-2.

As they have done so many times, the Braves would make things interesting in the ninth against Josh Hader. Charlie Culberson and Johan Camargo led off the inning with back-to-back pinch-hit singles. Hader battled back getting Acuña to foul out before retiring Swanson on a fly out.

That would bring up Freddie Freeman who worked the count to 2-2 before chasing a slider low and away that eluded Pina. The throw to first was high and Freeman reached to load the bases. Donaldson followed with a single to center that scored Culberson and Camargo to cut the deficit to 5-4. However, Hader was able to finish off the comeback striking out Albies to end the game.

Anderson was in control for Milwaukee and pitched into the sixth inning for just the fourth time this season allowing one hit over 5 2/3 shutout innings. He struck out three and walked three.

Keuchel pitched well before tiring in the sixth. He was tagged for six hits and five runs although only four were earned because of the second inning error. He struck out five and walked two. Chad Sobotka struck out the only batter he faced in the sixth while Josh Tomlin allowed one hit over two shutout innings of relief.

The Braves had plenty of opportunities thanks to seven walks by Milwaukee pitchers but only managed six hits on the afternoon. Donaldson finished 2-for-4 with his 22nd home run and drove in four runs. McCann also finished with two hits, both of which were doubles.

Hiura went 2-for-4 for the Brewers with a pair of doubles of his own. Pina also finished with two hits and drove in three runs.

Atlanta completes a 4-2 road trip and suffers their first series loss in over a month. They will return to SunTrust Park on Thursday where they will begin a four-game series against the Washington Nationals.