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10th inning walk-off homer by Eric Thames helps Milwaukee Brewers top Padres 6-5

Eric again bounces a game winner off the top of the wall.

San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers
Whoa, boys, this is family entertainment!
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

WP: Jared Hughes (3-1) LP: Ryan Buchter (3-3) Save: none Home Runs: SD - Wil Myers (13), Hunter Renfoe (15); Yangervis Solarte (7); Mil - Travis Shaw (12); Keon Broxton (10); Manny Pina (3); Eric Thames (19)

Box Score

We could get used to this. For the second consecutive game Eric Thames has provided a game winning homer that bounced off the top of the wall and provide the final margin of victory. Last night his two run laser shot in the top of the ninth gave the Brewers a 6-4 win over the Cardinals. Tonight he led off the bottom of the tenth with a high drive to left center that both outfielders misplayed, never giving themselves a chance to take the homer away, and it bounced off the top of the wall and into the Brewer bullpen for the 6-5 win.

Junior Guerra hasn’t had the stuff he did last season. His fastball is tracking 3-4 mph slower; he can’t locate his splitter to save his life; he is rolling his curve ball; and that slower fastball’s location has been as problematical as the splitter. That translated into four runs in the first for the Padres before they had made two outs. An error from Keon Broxton on a lead-off soft flyball, a walk, and two home runs (Wil Myers, Hunter Renfoe) made Juni G’s chances for an effective start look dim.

After Renfoe’s homer, Guerra worked through the sixth without allowing another run or hit. He walked three more, and hit a batter, and only struck out three - but he battled admirably, giving the Brewers a chance to come back.

And come back they did against Padres’ starter Miguel Diaz. Diaz joined the Padres as a Rule 5 pick from the Brewers (by way of the Minnesota Twins), and was making his second start of this season. Diaz gave up a second inning home run off the center field scoreboard to Travis Shaw, but through three innings he had allowed just the one run on two hits with five strikeouts. It fell apart for him in the fourth, as a walk (Domingo Santana), fielder’s choice (Shaw), single (Manny Pina), and home run (Keon Broxton) tied the game at four. Lewis Brinson then tripled to the Robin Yount triple wall in left-center, and Diaz’ night was over. I fully expected Diaz to be removed after the Pina single, but it appears the Padres are trying to stretch Diaz out. He threw 66 pitches tonight; Diaz’s previous season high had been 46.

With one down and Brinson on third, the Brewers opted for a contact play, and Orlando Arcia sent a grounder back up the middle - only to have reliever Craig Stamen throw his glove up behind his back and catch the ball without looking for an easy out at home. Stamen, Paul Maton, and Brad Hand combined to keep the Brewers scoreless through the seventh, keeping things tied at four.

Oliver Drake followed Guerra and had a perfect seventh, but Jacob Barnes allowed a one out home run to Yangervis Solarte on a hanging slider with one down in the eighth, and San Diego re-took the lead 5-4.

After lefty Hand retired Shaw to lead off the bottom of the eighth he was replaced by righty Kirby Yates. Yates’ second pitch to Manny Pina was drilled into the stands in straight away left to bring the Brewers back even at five. The two teams had combined to score all ten runs via the home run ball. Earl Weaver would be proud, and even prouder after the tenth.

Brewer manager Craig Counsell went with his closer, Corey Knebel, in the tie game in the top of the ninth. Knebel moved his consecutive game streak with a strikeout to start this season to 35 games by fanning Allen Cordoba leading off the inning, and worked around a two out walk to Jose Pirela - compounded by an error at second on a steal attempt by Orlando Arcia. A Corey curveball with Pirela on third struck out Franchy Cordero to end the frame. Knebel is now two games short of the modern record of 37 consecutive relief outings with a strikeout to start a season, held by Aroldis Chapman.

Neither team could score in their next at bats, setting the stage for Thames’ bomb in the tenth. The Brewers celebrated by ripping Eric’s shirt off of him, perhaps looking for the ‘S’ on his chest. Thames’ game-winner gives him 19 on the season, tied for the league lead.

Milwaukee’s lead over the Cubs remains at 2½ games after Chicago came back with a six-run ninth to top Pittsburgh. On Saturday the Brewers (37-32) have Chase Anderson (5-2, 2.83) facing the 27-41 Padres’ Dinelson Lamet (2-2, 8.50). Game time is 3:00 PM CST on the usual outlets.