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Peralta, Moustakas help Brewers cruise to 5-1 win over Marlins

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Freddy Peralta struck out 9, Mike Moustakas homered twice, and the Brewers salvage a game against Miami

Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

W: Freddy Peralta (3-2)
L: Caleb Smith 3-4)
SV: Josh Hader (14)
HR: MIL - Christian Yelich (23), Mike Moustakas (17, 18); MIA - None

After a frustrating couple of days, the Brewers could have used an easy, stress-free afternoon against the team that came into this series with the worst record in the National League.

They got exactly that — for the most part — cruising to a 5-1 win over the Miami Marlins Thursday.

It helped that Freddy Peralta was given an early cushion to work with. After Lorenzo Cain led off the game with a walk, Christian Yelich made sure the first swing of the game counted, hitting a 2-run home run against his former team to give the Brewers a quick 2-0 lead.

That home run gave Yelich 59 with the Brewers, matching his total for his entire career with the Marlins.

He wouldn’t be the only Brewer to go deep in the first inning against Marlins ace Caleb Smith, whose flyball tendencies aren’t a great match for afternoon games at Miller Park. Mike Moustakas followed with a solo home run of his own, giving the Brewers a 3-0 lead after the first inning.

He would add another against Smith in the third inning, hitting two home runs against a left-handed pitch in the same game for the first time in his career to give the Brewers a 4-0 lead.

That’s all Freddy Peralta would need, as the Good Fastball Freddy showed up, mowing through the Marlins lineup by setting down the first 9 hitters in order and keeping them scoreless until his final inning of work. By the end of his afternoon, Peralta allowed just 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings, striking out 9 without walking a batter.

That’s the second 0 BB, 9 K game for Peralta this year, and after turning 23 just 2 days ago, he joins some impressive company:

The Brewers added an insurance run later in the game on an infield single by Ryan Braun after Cain and Yelich stole 3rd and 2nd base on a double steal, increasing the Brewers’ lead to 5-1.

Jeremy Jeffress came on in relief of Peralta in the 7th inning in hopes he would be able to work two innings, but after cruising through the 7th, Jeffress ran into some trouble with 2 outs in the 8th. With Curtis Granderson standing on third base after a double and advancing on a groundout, Jeffress tried to pitch carefully to Garrett Cooper, only to lose him on a two-out walk. He then hit Brian Anderson to load the bases, forcing Craig Counsell to bring Josh Hader in early.

After falling behind to Starlin Castro 2-0 with the bases loaded, Hader got a gift call on a fastball that was pretty well outside but was called a strike anyway. Hader took advantage, eventually striking out Castro to end the threat.

Hader surrendered a full count, one-out walk to Martin Prado in the 9th but picked up two more strikeouts, including the game-clincher against Miguel Rojas.

With the Rockies beating the Cubs at Wrigley Field this afternoon, the Brewers are back in a first place tie in the NL Central despite losing two of three to start the homestand. They’ll get the chance to right the ship against a Pirates team they took 3 of 4 from last weekend starting tomorrow night at Miller Park.