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Brewers win 9-4 to put Diamondbacks on brink

Oct 2, 2011, 6:34 p.m.
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher John Axford follows through on a pitch to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning in Game 2 of their MLB National League Divisional League Series baseball playoff game in Milwaukee, October 2, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

(Reuters) - The Milwaukee Brewers flexed their home field advantage to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-4 on Sunday for a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five divisional playoff series.

Milwaukee, Major League Baseball's best home team in the regular season, fed off a frenzied crowd in the sixth inning where they broke a 4-4 tie by scoring five runs to bust the game open.

"Everyone strung at-bats together and we didn't get out of our game plan," Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan told reporters of the breakthrough inning. "There's no quit in the Brew Crew. We're a complete unit. We all compete."

National League most valuable player candidate Ryan Braun went 3-for-4 for the second straight game, including a two-run shot in the first inning and three RBIs.

The Diamondbacks erased a 4-1 deficit with a homer by Chris Young and a two-run shot by Justin Upton, but things went awry in the sixth with reliever Brad Ziegler being called for a balk that moved Milwaukee's Jerry Hairston Jr. to third base.

Hairston then scored on a bunt from Jonathan Lucroy and the Brewers followed with three RBI singles that effectively ended Arizona's chances of tying the series.

"The guys battled and they did come back in this environment, and then we unraveled there," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson.

Arizona starter Daniel Hudson took the loss, having allowed five runs on nine hits in 5-1/3 innings.

Brewers starter Zack Greinke has not lost at home all season and kept his streak intact with a no-decision on Sunday as he allowed four runs in five innings before his bullpen shutdown Arizona the rest of the way.

The Brewers jumped in front 2-0 in the first on Braun's blast and added two runs in the third for a 4-1 edge but Young and Upton homered in the fourth and fifth innings respectively to tie the game.

The Diamondbacks, who lost 4-1 on Saturday despite putting 20-game winner Ian Kennedy on the mound, will look to stave off elimination on Tuesday when the series shifts to Arizona. (Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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