You know, adding Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain may end up working out for the Brewers.
The new duo combined to go 8-for-9 with 4 RBI and 4 runs scored as Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep to start the season with a 7-3 win over the San Diego Padres Saturday night. Yelich set a new career high with 5 hits, going 5-for-5 with 3 of those runs and 2 of the RBI.
They got started early, with Yelich singling in the first inning and Cain drawing a walk. Travis Shaw drove in Yelich with a broken bat RBI single, giving Brent Suter and the Brewers an early 1-0 lead.
After Suter surrendered a 2-run home run to Freddy Galvis in the bottom of the second, the duo (and Shaw) were back at it in the top of the third. Yelich delivered another hit up the middle, and Cain followed with an opposite field double down the right field line. Shaw drove both in with an opposite field ground rule double to left to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
Suter, who struggled early with location before settling down in his last two innings, surrendered back-to-back 2-out doubles to Jose Pirela and Eric Hosmer, leading to a 3-3 tie after three innings. But again, Yelich and Cain picked him up in the next half inning.
Eric Thames, who drew two walks and scored two runs in the leadoff spot Saturday night, drew one of those walks with two outs in the top of the fourth, then proceeded to steal second base (!!) off of Austin Hedges, who’s generally regarded as one of the better defensive catchers in the game. Yelich responded to having a runner in scoring position by — surprise — hitting an opposite field RBI double. Cain followed with a single to drive in Yelich and give the Brewers a 5-3 lead.
Suter would leave the game after 5 innings, allowing just the 3 runs from the first few innings and striking out 4, walking just 1. Josh Hader came on in relief and racked up 4 more strikeouts over 2 innings of work and not allowing a single baserunner. In his first 3 innings of work this year, he’s collected 7 strikeouts.
The Cain-n-Christian Connection added a pair of BMIRs in the 8th inning, with Yelich driving in Jesus Aguilar on an RBI single and Cain tacking on another RBI single of his own to bring home Thames and expand the Brewers lead to 7-3.
Tom Haudricourt sums up the damage the two did in the season-opening series:
We go to the bottom of the ninth at Petco, with #Brewers leading Padres 7-2. Cain and Yelich are 15 for 28 (.536) in the series with four doubles, two walks, seven runs and six runs batted in.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 1, 2018
With the insurance runs added, Matt Albers and Jacob Barnes threw scoreless innings to close out the the game and complete the sweep. It’s the first time since 2006 the Brewers have started the year 3-0.
The team will take Easter Sunday off before playing their home opener Monday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals.
WP: Suter (1-0), LP: Perdomo (0-1)
HR: SD - Galvis (1), MIL - none