After their scheduled weekend series with the Cardinals was wiped out due to COVID-19 concerns, the Milwaukee Brewers finally took the field at Miller Park on Monday night for their 2020 home opener against the Chicago White Sox. Brett Anderson started for the home team, and he found trouble immediately.
Luis Robert singled on a ball that deflected off Anderson to start things off for the South Side Nine, then a Yoan Moncada double put runners on second and third. Jose Abreu grounded out to bring in the first run, and then old friend Yasmani Grandal lofted a sacrifice fly. That made it 2-0 Sox.
The Brewers got one back in the bottom of the first against Carlos Rodon, with Christian Yelich and Avisail Garcia hitting back-to-back doubles with two out to push across Milwaukee’s first run. The pitching settled down for awhile after that, although neither starter worked deep into this game.
Rodon was replaced after two innings, with his velocity dropping significantly before it was announced that he was developed a left shoulder issue. Anderson worked three innings, allowing just the two runs on five hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Milwaukee’s offense got back to work in the fifth. Orlando Arcia singled against Jace Fry to lead off the frame, then Ben Gamel doubled to put runners on second and third. After a Logan Morrison flyout, Keston Hiura was intentionally walked so that the lefty Fry could face Christian Yelich. Challenging the MVP worked, as Yelich struck out looking on four pitches. Luckily Garcia picked him up, hitting a single off new pitcher Steve Cishek that brought in two runs and gave the Brewers a 3-2 lead. Milwaukee added one more run in the seventh on an RBI single by Ben Gamel to make it 4-2.
Corbin Burnes took over for Anderson in the fourth inning on the mound for Milwaukee, and he was dealing to start his outing. He navigated through the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings while allowing just a pair of singles and a walk. But things unraveled a bit in the seventh as he attempted to work through his fourth inning. Robert walked with one out, then after a K from Yoan Moncada, Burnes fell behind Abreu on a 3-0 count. Needing a strike, he grooved a 95 MPH right down the middle and the veteran slugger did not miss it, taking the ball out over the center field fence for a two-run homer. That tied the ballgame at four runs apiece.
The White Sox scored the go-ahead run in the eighth on a wild pitch by David Phelps, then added some insurance in the ninth with a Moncada home run off Corey Knebel. The Brewers stranded two runners in the eighth inning and Keston Hiura doubled with two outs in the bottom of ninth to bring Yelich to the plate as the tying run, but he grounded out to second base to end the ballgame.
Milwaukee (3-4) will face the White Sox (6-4) in game two of this series on Tuesday night, with Brandon Woodruff set to square off against Lucas Giolito. First pitch at Miller Park is scheduled for 7:10 PM.