McGehee knocks out Angels' Aybar, helps Braun, Brewers torch Saunders

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Casey McGehee's first game at Angel Stadium was an eventful one. Just ask Torii Hunter and Erick Aybar.

McGehee homered off the glove of the leaping Hunter in center field, then knocked Aybar out of the game with a hard but clean takeout slide in the seventh inning of the Milwaukee Brewers' 12-2 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.

Ryan Braun hit his third career grand slam and finished with five RBIs for the Brewers. Corey Hart had three hits and two RBIs.

Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove winner, timed his leap perfectly on McGehee's drive off Joe Saunders in the sixth. But the ball spun off the webbing of his glove and disappeared behind the center-field fence.

Hunter has pulled back home run bids by opposing players more than 30 times in his career -- including one by Barry Bonds in the 2002 All-Star Game at Milwaukee's Miller Park -- according to the Angels.

"I wasn't sure," McGehee said. "I know the ball was carrying pretty good during batting practice, but being my first time here, I didn't know how much it took to get one out over there. I kind of decided that it was just going to be another tough-luck out. I think someone could make a pretty good special on watching him take back homers and make great plays in the outfield."

McGehee was hit by a pitch from Trevor Bell during Milwaukee's five-run seventh, after Brewers starter Randy Wolf (5-6) had plunked Maicer Izturis and Howie Kendrick two innings apart. McGehee was forced at second on Carlos Gomez's grounder to fill-in first baseman Kevin Frandsen, who made shortstop Aybar stretch way to his right -- leaving him vulnerable to McGehee's straight-on slide.

The knee-on-knee collision left Aybar with a hyperextended left knee, and he had to be helped off by trainer Ned Bergert and an assistant.

"He's walking around a little bit, and tomorrow he'll get examined and we'll get a better indication of what's going on," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're relieved to see him walking around in this clubhouse. Erick's a tough kid. We're cautiously optimistic."

McGehee was booed by the crowd of 39,289 as he left the field following the play, and got the same treatment when he came up in the ninth.

But Scioscia said it was a clean slide. When the manager's comments were replayed on the TV in the visiting clubhouse, McGehee made sure he heard every word -- as well as the update on Aybar's condition.

"By no means was I trying to hurt anybody. I've got a clear conscience. There was no intent," McGehee said. "I just went in hard, trying to break up a double play. Unfortunately, he was in an awkward position. Hopefully, he sees the video and sees that I wasn't going out of my way trying to do anything malicious.

"You never want to see anybody get hurt in this game, but it does happen," McGehee added. "They're known for playing hard-nosed, aggressive baseball, so hopefully they understand where I'm coming from. I play the game right."

Wolf allowed three hits over seven innings -- all of them in the second, including a two-run double by Frandsen. The left-hander retired his final 13 batters after hitting Kendrick on the left arm to load the bases with two out in the third. Wolf escaped that jam by retiring Juan Rivera on a fly ball.

It was a much better performance than Wolf's previous start, when he gave up a career-worst five homers against the Cubs.

"It took me a day to forget about that. I had a day of mourning," Wolf said with a smirk. "I was very discouraged after that game, but it may turn out to be the best thing that could have happened. Sometimes you need to get your butt kicked to get yourself in the right frame of mind."

Saunders (5-7) gave up six runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander, coming off a complete-game victory last Wednesday at Oakland, is 1-6 with a 6.75 ERA in eight home starts -- compared to 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in six outings on the road.

Frandsen started at first base for the first time in the major leagues, becoming the fourth player the Angels have started at that position in 16 games since Kendry Morales went down for the season with a broken left leg.

Game notes
Saunders has a 9.41 ERA in his 29 career losses, and a 1.97 ERA in his 53 victories. He was 4-1 over his previous six outings. ... Braun is on track to become the first player in Brewers history to start in three consecutive All-Star games. He leads all NL outfielders in the fan balloting, after garnering the most outfield votes in each of the previous two years.