Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez looks on Wednesday during Atlanta's loss to the Brewers
ATLANTA -- Carlos Gomez stirred things up and then Kyle Lohse finished off the Atlanta Braves, dropping the East Division champs from the best record in the National League.
Lohse pitched a two-hit shutout for his second complete game in the past three starts and the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Braves 4-0 at Turner Field on Wednesday night to complete a series victory.
Lohse (11-10) retired 20 batters in a row after Andrelton Simmons' leadoff bunt single for the Braves until Evan Gattis singled with two outs in the seventh inning. The right-hander struck out five and walked none, needing only 89 pitches, 67 of them strikes.
Gomez, the second batter off the game, drew the Braves' anger with his actions after his homer off Paul Maholm and never actually got a chance to touch home plate as a bench-clearing melee ensued. Gomez was ejected along with Freddie Freeman and Gerald Laird of the Braves.
With the loss, the Braves (93-65) fell a half-game behind the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals (94-65) for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Cardinals defeated the Washington Nationals 4-1 to complete a series sweep.
Lohse, who defeated the Braves in the 2012 NL wild-card game last year, was 16-3 with St. Louis Cardinals a year ago, but went unsigned as a free agent until getting a three-year, $33-million deal from the Brewers during spring training. He finished with a 3.35 ERA in 32 starts for Milwaukee.
Maholm (10-11) worked seven innings and allowed eight hits and three runs. The left-hander struck out seven and walked none.
The Braves, who lost 5-0 in the series opener on Monday, were shut out for the 17th time this season.
Norichika Aoki was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs for the Brewers, who took the season series from the Braves 4-2.
Gomez admired his 23rd homer, a long blast to left-center field, and then jawed with Maholm before slowly rounding the bases, squawking all the way after exchanging heated words with Freeman at first base.
Before he could get near home plate, Gomez was confronted by Braves catcher Brian McCann and hostilities began in earnest, with both benches and the bullpens clearing.
Gomez, who smashed a leadoff homer in the series opener Monday night, had been hit on the left knee by a pitch from Maholm during the Braves' series in Milwaukee in June and pointed to his leg rounding the bases.
This was second time in a few weeks that the Braves had been involved in a benches-clearing incident after a home run. McCann and the Braves took exception to Marlins rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez's actions after a home run in Miami on Sept. 11.
Notes: OF Jason Heyward, 2-for-15 since returning from a broken jaw, was out of the Braves lineup after starting four of his first five games back. ... Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez left the game after the third inning with left knee soreness. ... SS Jean Segura, leading the National League with 44 stolen bases, missed his seventh straight game for the Brewers because of strained right hamstring. ... The Brewers took two of three games against the Braves at Milwaukee in June. ... RHP David Hale, who struck out nine over five innings in his major league debut against San Diego on Sept. 13, will start Thursday's series opener for the Braves against Philadelphia.