MILWAUKEE (AP) — The end of a seven-game losing streak lifted the spirits of the Milwaukee Brewers.
An 11-2 win Sunday over the St. Louis Cardinals gave manager Ron Roenicke's team a one-game lead in the NL Central at the All-Star break. A team that has also had to cope with the death of shortstop Jean Segura's 9-month-old son now gets a breather for a few days.
With Segura home on bereavement leave, Elian Herrera had a career-best five hits a day after being called up from the minors to take Segura's roster spot. The offense tied a season high with 19 hits to back a strong seven-inning outing by starter Wily Peralta.
"Somebody had to step up. ... That's huge for us, for everybody. It lets us go into the break like that and still in first place," said Peralta (10-6), who allowed three hits and struck out five before departing after seven innings because of a minor leg cramp.
Like Segura, Peralta is from the Dominican Republic. The pitcher was heading home for the break, and he was planning to text Roenicke to let him know how Segura was doing.
The morning started with the Brewers organization holding its annual Family Day outing, when players and coaches can bring their children to the ballpark. Players were smiling alongside their sons and daughters on a sunny afternoon, and Roenicke hoped the day would create a diversion from the team's roughest patch of the season.
All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy said he thought the family time possibly helped the squad.
"But it doesn't matter if you're winning or losing whenever you're with your family," Lucroy said. "It is a business and it is a job we have to perform, but ultimately the goal is to provide for our family, and family is most important."
Peralta allowed just three singles and gave up his only run after Kolten Wong reached first on a passed ball despite striking out. Wong eventually scored on Matt Adams' groundout.
Peralta got a defensive boost with a runner on base in the fifth when left fielder Khris Davis made an over-the-shoulder catch on Jon Jay's fly to the warning track with a man on first.
"I had to step in like an extra gear ... just kind of a lucky play," Davis said. "A big play with the runner on first, he's probably going to score."
Davis hit his team-high 15th homer in the bottom of the fifth for a 5-1 lead.