The Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians matched up against each other on Friday night, and this game got off to a bit of an odd start. Kolten Wong led off the game against hurler Eli Morgan, and he reached base via hit by pitch. Wong advanced to second on a flyout to right, then moved to third on a groundout by Christian Yelich. With two outs and Avisail Garcia at the plate, a pitch from Morgan squirted away from catcher Ryan Lavarnway. He attempted to corral it with his catcher’s mask, which is not a legal use of equipment. It was marked as an error for catcher’s interference and Wong was advanced home to score, making it 1-0.
Luis Urias got the start at shortstop in place of the injured Willy Adames, and we have seen just how adventurous that can be. Sure enough, Cleveland’s first batter of the game, Myles Straw, reached base on a throwing error by Wicho. He stole second, then Jose Ramirez walked with one out. Straw and Ramirez pulled off a successful double steal to make it runners on second and third, then after a Franmil Reyes punchout, Bobby Bradley singled to score both men and make it 2-1. Urias committed another error in the inning, allowing Yu Chang to reach base, but starter Adrian Houser avoided any further damage.
The offenses both went quiet for a bit after that, until the fourth inning. Omar Narvaez led off the frame with a double, then with one out, Urias launched his 20th home run of the season. The two-run blast tilted things back in favor of Milwaukee at 3-2 and made up for some of his defensive miscues earlier in the contest.
Milwaukee broke the game open in the fifth. Eduardo Escobar led off the inning with a bomb to make it 4-2. Garcia and Narvaez hit consecutive singles with one out, then Dan Vogelbach walked to load the bases. Urias reached on another catcher’s interference, this time as his bat ticked the glove of Lavarnway on a swing. That forced home another run to make it 5-2 and brought Lorenzo Cain up to the plate. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, he got a cement mixer slider at 86 MPH up in the zone and he absolutely demolished it. The grand slam was his eighth home run of the season and made it 9-2 Brewers.
Milwaukee added one more run in the top of the sixth when, for the second straight inning, Escobar led off with a solo home run. That was his 27th of the year and fifth for the Brewers, making it a 10-2 game. Houser completed six innings while allowing just those two runs — both of which were unearned — yielding only one hit but with five walks and five strikeouts. After the performance, his ERA lowered to 3.25. Jake Cousins threw a scoreless seventh, then Jandel Gustave gave up two hits and a run in the eighth. Hunter Strickland pitched the ninth without allowing a thing, finishing off the 10-3 victory.
Milwaukee and Cleveland will face off again on Saturday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 5:10 PM central. It’ll be Corbin Burnes squaring off against Zach Plesac.