Sunday’s victory, which followed the Corbin Burnes/Josh Hader no-hitter, proved that the Brewers are not resting on their laurels. A trouncing to complete the series sweep in Cleveland was the only way to celebrate the feat, along with what is now a fourteen-game division lead, 34 games over .500, and a magic number of six.
Eric Lauer delivered a gem while filling in for an under-the-weather Brandon Woodruff. He put fans on no-no watch, dragging Cleveland hitless into the sixth inning, mere hours after Burnes and Hader ended the 34-year drought in Milwaukee. Lauer had 5.1 innings and eight strikeouts in the books when Ryan Lavarnway finally hit a liner that hardly missed Kolten Wong’s glove and fell for a single. Lauer would immediately give up two more singles, the second of which scored Lavarnway for Cleveland’s only run of the day.
That’s when Craig Counsell called in Brad Boxberger to do what Brad Boxberger does - retire the rest of the side with inherited runners on. He cleaned up and closed out the inning with two strikeouts.
Aaron Ashby came on in the seventh for the super save. He struck out five across three scoreless innings, walked nobody, and allowed only one hit. The hit was only the seventh Cleveland would scrape together in the series. The five strikeouts rounded out a 31-strikeout series for the formidable Brewers pitching staff.
Meanwhile, the Brewers put on an offensive show and home run derby. Kolten Wong started things off with a leadoff homer to right, bringing Milwaukee up 1-0.
Just another @KoltenWong leadoff bomb ♂️ pic.twitter.com/E9UOeVNAKu— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 12, 2021
In the second inning, the Brewers took a brief break from the long ball to play small ball. Jace Peterson, Luis Urías, Daniel Vogelbach, Manny Piña, and Eduardo Escobar all reached, evading a sluggish Cleveland defense to plate three runs and bring the Brewers to a 4-0 lead.
The offense is charged up ⚡️#ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/fdaZZoqGFd— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 12, 2021
Avisaíl García and Piña kept framing runs in the third. García blasted the leadoff pitch 116.7 mph over the left field fence to bring the Brewers up 5-0. Piña tacked on two more with a 106 mph shot of his own.
Baseballs aren't safe around Avi @AvisailGarcia | #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/twwMzJfCKq— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 12, 2021
Come for the , stay for the reaction. pic.twitter.com/VY2JRK1O5m— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 12, 2021
Piña would end the day a triple short of the cycle. He led off the sixth with a double, advanced to third on a Kolten Wong single (Wong’s only non-homer on his 3-5 day at the plate), and was in position to score on a fielder's choice characterized by a Jose Ramirez throwing error.
Avisaíl García and Kolten Wong would each secure muli-homer appearances in the eighth. Avi’s home run notched a career-high 82 RBIs to match his career-high of 27 home runs and traveled 464 feet. Wong’s thirteenth bomb of the season was also a career-high.
4⃣6⃣4⃣ feet for Avi— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 12, 2021
He sets a new career-high for RBI.@AvisailGarcia | #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/GHMX2QqrEp
Second homer of the day, dad strength is real @KoltenWong | #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/WqmlXHL3oy— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 12, 2021
The Crew is headed to Detroit to move closer to an NL Central clinch. Freddy Peralta will take the mound in the first game of the series on Tuesday, 5:40 CT.