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Gerut's cycle leads offensive onslaught

Gerut's cycle leads offensive onslaught

PHOENIX -- Right fielder Jody Gerut made the most of a rare start, and the rest of the Brewers continued racking up big wins.

Gerut became the sixth player in Brewers history to hit for the cycle and drove in four runs in a 17-3 win over the D-backs at Chase Field on Saturday that put the rollercoaster ride that is the Milwaukee Brewers in position to sweep the three-game series.

Gerut and Ryan Braun drove in four runs apiece and Braun also scored four times as the Brewers tallied more than 10 runs for the sixth time this season. Since scoring two total runs in a four-game series in San Diego to begin their current road trip, the Brewers are averaging nine runs a game.

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"We are as streaky as it gets right now," Gerut said.

Making only his fourth start this season, Gerut completed his cycle with a two-run double in the ninth inning. He's the first Milwaukee player to accomplish the feat since Chad Moeller in 2004, but Gerut wasn't the only Brewer smiling in the clubhouse afterward. Braun's big night included a monstrous three-run home run off the center-field scoreboard, Casey McGehee scored three times and starter Randy Wolf avoided disaster in the first inning on the way to six solid frames and his first win in three starts.

The Brewers have scored 44 runs in Wolf's three wins and none in his two losses.

"We've definitely had some feast-or-famine times," Wolf said. "But ever since San Diego, we've played much better baseball. That's the important thing."

In 30 games this season, the Brewers have already scored more than 10 runs six times. The other 15 National League teams have done it only 19 times.

In 2009, the Brewers scored 10 or more runs nine times all year. In '08, when the Brewers won the NL Wild Card, they topped 10 runs five times.

D-backs manager A.J. Hinch was more concerned about his own club.

"Once they started to extend their lead and their offense started getting a hit anytime they thought they wanted to, we just couldn't get them out," Hinch said. "Too many walks, too many hits, not enough urgency to get out of innings. There was nowhere to turn. ... They piled on us and embarrassed us.

"Tonight will test us because tonight we got our [behind] kicked and they shoved it in our face in our home ballpark, kind of the way that our offense likes to do it. Tonight wasn't good and it wasn't fun, and there isn't a whole lot I can take out of this that's constructive. You take your beating like a man and show up [Sunday] and try to salvage some pride and salvage the series."

The Brewers' offense has bailed out Wolf on several occasions this season and it appeared it might be one of those nights again on Saturday, when he threw 28 pitches and surrendered two runs in a shaky first inning that could have been much worse. Wolf faced a bases-loaded, one-out jam and had already thrown 25 pitches before he faced D-backs shortstop Tony Abreu, who bounced into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.

"I felt too good to be giving up hits like that," Wolf said. "So to get that ground ball back to me was big. I really felt like two runs wasn't the end of the world."

Wolf (3-2) settled in following that great escape, allowing only one more run through the end of the sixth inning and exiting after 100 pitches. He won for the first time since April 22 at Pittsburgh, when the Brewers erupted for a 20-0 rout of the Pirates.

Arizona rookie Cesar Valdez (1-1) took the loss after allowing seven runs, six earned, on nine hits in four innings. The next five Arizona relievers combined to allow 10 runs over 4 2/3 innings, though the four runs in the ninth against Chad Qualls were unearned because of an Abreu error.

"The momentum that is created when things get going, it's amazing," Wolf said. "I've never seen anything like that, this often."

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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