One of the reasons Zack Greinke accepted a trade to Milwaukee was because he wanted to be able to hit on a regular basis. He loves discussing hitting with everyone.
Turns out, he can back up all that chatter, too.
Greinke hit the go-ahead homer and struck out 10 over seven innings, leading the Brewers to a 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals yesterday for their season-best sixth straight victory.
"I talk about it all the time," said Greinke, who rarely got chances to hit when he was in the AL in Kansas City. "It's more fun playing [this] way, I like it, it feels like you're doing more in the game."
Prince Fielder drove in four runs for the Brewers, who are the hottest team in baseball over the last 2 weeks with 13 wins in 16 games.
They've also been dominant at Miller Park with nine consecutive victories at home - one short of their franchise-best mark set in 1979 - after completing sweeps of Pittsburgh, Colorado and Washington.
"I felt all along our team would go on a roll somewhere," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I didn't know where it would be or when it would be."
Michael Morse hit his third homer in 3 days for the Nationals, who limped home on a season-worst five-game skid.
"It was a terrible road trip. We were 1-7. That's a bad road trip," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said.
Greinke (3-1) struck out at least one batter each inning. He ended his outing by striking out pinch hitter Rick Ankiel for his 10th career game of at least 10 strikeouts.
"This is Zack. When I've seen Zack good, this is what he does," Roenicke said. "He can elevate to a level where I don't care what offense we're facing, he can shut them down."
Greinke swung at the first pitch he saw from Jason Marquis (5-2) in the fifth, hitting a towering fly ball down the left-field line to give Milwaukee a 4-3 lead.
"I thought it was foul at first, but it didn't end up curving," Greinke said.
Greinke is now 6-for-32 for his career at the plate with two RBI.
"He's always talking about doing that. He did it. It was pretty cool," Fielder said. "I think he's got some bragging rights now."
In other games:
* At Houston, J.R. Towles broke out of an 0-for-32 slump with three hits, including an RBI single with two outs in the ninth that gave the Astros a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Things weren't any better off the field for the Dodgers as the family of a San Francisco Giants fan who was brutally beaten at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day sued the team and owner Frank McCourt, claiming security cutbacks were partially to blame for the attack. The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Bryan Stow contends the Dodgers were negligent by not providing more security and not having adequate lighting in the parking lot where the incident occurred.
Stow, 42, remains in critical but stable condition under heavy sedation to prevent seizures caused by the traumatic brain injury he suffered in the March 31 attack.
Police arrested Giovanni Ramirez, 31, over the weekend but charges have not yet been filed against him. They have not identified a second attacker and a woman suspected of driving the pair from the scene.
Ramirez was being detained on a parole hold, and detectives still had not presented their case to the district attorney's office.
* At Pittsburgh, Brooks Conrad hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the 11th inning and the Atlanta Braves topped the Pirates, 4-2. It was Conrad's first home run of the season and fifth career pinch-hit homer.
* At San Diego, Chase Headley doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, leading Mat Latos and San Diego over the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-1, ending the Padres' season-worst five-game losing streak.