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Brewers can't power up against D-backs

Brewers can't power up against D-backs

MILWAUKEE -- When Brewers left-hander Mike Caldwell served up four home runs in a single inning on May 31, 1980, at Boston, he stormed back to the dugout, tore off his jersey and threw it on the ground. At least that's how one of his teammates remembers it.

"He was a fiery guy," said Jerry Augustine, now an analyst for Fox Sports Wisconsin.

When right-hander Dave Bush surrendered four home runs in a row in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 8-2 loss to the D-backs, he was calm, cool and collected. At least on the outside.

"You just try to forget about it," Bush said. "Try to move on."

Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee gave the Brewers an early lead with back-to-back home runs leading off the second inning, but Arizona answered in a big way. The D-backs matched a Major League record with four homers in a row in the fourth inning, then tacked on four more runs in the sixth with only one hit to open a wide lead, en route to a third win over the Brewers in as many nights.

The D-backs go for a four-game sweep on Thursday afternoon. They are already assured their first series win over the Brewers since July 2006, and their first series win in Milwaukee since September '03.

Bush allowed no runs on three singles before the D-backs unleashed their historic offensive outburst. It left the 29,611 fans at Miller Park at first stunned into silence and then perversely cheering for more.

With one out, first baseman Adam LaRoche put Arizona on the board by golfing a low fastball that was supposed to be farther outside to right-center field, an exclamation point to an eight-pitch at-bat. Catcher Miguel Montero, whose homer on Tuesday night gave the D-backs a 2-1 win, hit another fastball and tied the game at 2. Three pitches later, third baseman Mark Reynolds reached for a curveball away and pulled it to left field for a 3-2 lead. Shortstop Stephen Drew followed by hitting another fastball out to right-center field.

In the span of 10 pitches, a 2-0 Brewers lead turned into a 4-2 deficit.

"I'm not sure exactly what goes through my mind because it happened so quickly," Bush said.

Something similar had happened before. Last year on May 3 at Miller Park, Fielder and Mike Cameron led off the bottom of the second inning with solo homers against Arizona's Yusmeiro Petit. Bush took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning and surrendered back-to-back homers to Reynolds and Justin Upton, then retired two hitters and allowed another homer to Montero. The Brewers wound up rallying to win that game, 4-3.

They had no answer against D-backs starter Daniel Hudson (3-0) on Wednesday. Bush (5-10) had yet to replay the big inning via video.

"I'm going to assume I lost my location," he said. "I give up a lot of home runs, and I'm not afraid of giving them up. I don't like giving them up, but a lot of times it's a result of the way I pitch, throwing a lot of strikes."

Manager Ken Macha was asked how close he was to removing Bush during the barrage.

"We're still in the game, OK? I didn't want to run everybody out of the bullpen," Macha said. "He wound up getting us out of that inning with just that damage and pitches us a good fifth, too. When he had given up that many home runs, you want to yank him out of there, sure, but it's still early in the game and you have a long way to go. You have to restrain yourself, because you can't just run through the bullpen."

It was the seventh time in Major League history that a team went back-to-back-to-back-to-back, but Bush became only the third pitcher to allow all four homers himself. Paul Foytack of the Angels was the first, on July 31, 1963 against the Indians. The Yankees' Chase Wright was victimized by the Red Sox on April 22, 2007. Wright is now a starter for the Brewers' Triple-A Nashville affiliate.

The only other Brewers pitcher to allow four homers in a single inning was Caldwell, who owned an 8-1 lead in Boston that May day when Dave Stapleton led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a home run. After a Jim Rice groundout, Tony Perez, Carlton Fisk and Butch Hobson hit back-to-back-to-back homers, and the Red Sox went on to win, 19-8.

"In the grand scheme of things, it's the same thing as a grand slam," said McGehee after tying his career high with four hits. "It was just a weird game."

The D-backs didn't rest on their fourth-inning barrage. Bush walked two batters in the sixth inning and hit No. 8 hitter Gerrardo Parra. Todd Coffey took over with one out and Hudson coming up.

Coffey threw a first-pitch breaking ball for a swinging strike. His next pitch was a fastball and Hudson sent a double to right-center field, clearing the bases and opening a 7-2 lead. Upton added an RBI groundout later in the inning to make it 8-2.

"I made my pitch, executed what I wanted," Coffey said of the offering to Hudson. "He hit it in the air instead of on the ground."

Bush continued his good start, poor start trend. After limiting the Astros to two earned runs in six innings last week, he was charged with seven earned runs on eight D-backs hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Hudson, linked to the Brewers in trade rumors before the White Sox dealt him to Arizona last month, rebounded from the back-to-back home runs by Fielder and McGehee. Hudson allowed two runs on seven hits and set a career high with nine strikeouts.

Fielder's homer was his team-best 25th this season, and it struck some scoreboard signage 440 feet from home plate.

"I just got lucky the scoreboard didn't fall over after he hit it," Hudson joked.

McGehee pounced next.

"Then McGehee kind of ambushed me next pitch," Hudson said. "You've just got to push through that."

He did, while Bush did not.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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