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Brewers top Giants 7-5

Late runs just enough

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at San Francisco Giants
Christian Yelich stays hot
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Josh Hader (3-0); LP: Mark Melancon (0-1); Save: Corey Knebel (13); Homeruns: Mil - Christian Yelich (13), Travis Shaw (19); SF - none

A West Coast Box Score

The Milwaukee Brewers (59-46) lost an early lead but came back to tie and then beat the San Francisco Giants (52-52) tonight at AT&T Park in the city by the bay, 7-5.

Brewers’ starter Wade Miley labored through five innings, allowing six hits and two walks, but just two runs. The third inning was his only clean inning, but the only one they scored in was the second. A lead-off walk and three singles produced the two Giant runs. Miley struck out just one. All of the San Francisco hits were singles.

Milwaukee took a different approach, and through seven innings they had just six hits, but five were for extra bases, including three doubles, a triple, and a homerun. The offensive star was Christian Yelich, who drove in the first run (Eric Thames, who had doubled to center leading off the game) in the top of the first with a groundout to second, then led off the top of the sixth with a homerun on a hanging curve from Dereck Rodriguez to straight-away center to tie the game at two.

Yelich led off the eighth against Mark Melancon with a bad-hop single off of first baseman Austin Slater. After a Jesus Aguilar lineout, Travis Shaw hit a bouncer to short, but with Yeli running on the pitch Brandon Crawford couldn’t get back to the ball except to tip it into short left. Yelich took third.

Ryan Braun grounded a pinch hit single through the hole between short and third to drive in Yelich with the go ahead run, and then a groundball single up the middle from Erik Kratz plated the fourth and final Brewer tally. After a flyball out from Orlando Arcia, Tyler Saladino walked to load the bases but Thames struck out to end the inning. So after all of the extra base hits, four groundball singles produced the winning rally.

Thames had the two doubles, Aguilar a double, and Brad Miller the triple in the early going.

Corbin Burnes took over for Miley in the sixth and gave up a hit with a strikeout in 23 of an inning before Josh Hader took over, getting lefty Brandon Crawford on one pitch with a grounder to short. Josh pitched around a Tyler Saladino error in the seventh with two strikeouts.

Jeremy Jeffress ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth by walking the first two batters. A wild pitch sent Slater to third and a fielder’s choice from Posey brought in the third run. JJ caught Evan Longoria looking on a curve for the second out, but Crawford pulled a single into right, putting runners at first and third with two down. Craig Counsell went with Corey Knebel to go for the four out save, and he struck out Hunter Pence with a nasty curveball.

With the game at 4-3 into the ninth the Brewers went back to extra base hits to tack on their final three runs. Chris Stratton, who got the final out in the eighth, didn’t fare as well in the ninth. With one down Yelich got his third hit of the night, a double down the left field line. Aguilar reached out and dumped a curve ball into center to plate Yeli, and Shaw lined his 19th homerun just over the high wall in right. 7-3 into the bottom of the ninth.

Knebel came back out for the ninth and immediately gave up a double to Steven Duggar. A strikeout, a passed ball (on a cross-up), and a sac fly brought in run number four. A two out walk extended things, and Andrew McCutchen doubled off the wall in right to make it 7-5, but Nick Hundley fanned on a called curve strike that was off the plate outside. Hundley complained to no avail. A shakey thirteenth save for Corey.

Game Notes

  • Yelich is now hitting .314 and has a ten game hitting streak.
  • Saladino came into the game in the sixth on a double switch and had the error and double clutched on a relay that would have been a double play in the bottom of the eighth that would have kept the Giants off the board in that inning (probably).
  • Arcia was 0-5 and struck out his first three at bats, but lined to left and at the second baseman in his last two at bats. Both were maybe there’s hope?
  • Hunter Pence looked done, although this was a small sample size (well, his slash coming in was .231/.273/.315, OPS .589, with one homer - and that came this past Tuesday, in 140 plate appearances) and went 0-4 with a double play and two strikeouts.
  • Speaking of double plays, the Brewers turned a weird one in the bottom of the fourth. Posey and Longoria singled leading off the inning against Miley, and Crawford lined one sharply to Yelich in right. Both runners got off too far, but Posey was way too far - and Yelich didn’t see it. He threw back to first, where Longoria was safe, but the Brewer dugout was yelling at Aguilar to throw to second - and the big man short-hopped the throw and fired over to Arcia to easily double off Posey. Pence flew out and the inning was done.

Game two of the series tomorrow night has Chase Anderson (6-7, 3.87) going for Milwaukee against San Francisco ace Madison Baumgarner (3-3, 3.19).