The offense struck early against Yusei Kikuchi and Corbin Burnes worked into the eighth inning as the Brewers defeated the Blue Jays 5-4 on Saturday.
All five of the Crew’s runs, only two of which were earned, came in the first three innings against Kikuchi.
A two-out single in the first by Tyrone Taylor plated their first run. Kikuchi hit Mike Brosseau with a pitch to load the bases, but Victor Caratini struck out to end the threat without further damage.
Keston Hiura reached on a throwing error by shortstop Bo Bichette to lead off the second inning and advanced to second on the misplay.
That mistake proved to be costly for the Blue Jays. Jonathan Davis and Christian Yelich struck out, but the error gave Milwaukee one more out with which to work.
Willy Adames lined a base hit up the middle to score Hiura and make it a 2-0 game. Andrew McCutchen went deep on the very next pitch to bump the score to 4-0.
In his first game since being activated from the injured list, Mike Brosseau added the Brewers’ fifth and final run on a solo shot of his own.
That proved to be enough run support for the Brewers’ best arms, who combined to hold the Blue Jays to four runs.
Corbin Burnes was on cruise control for most of the afternoon outside of two solo home runs. Matt Chapman went deep in the fifth, and an RBI groundout by Cavan Biggio scored Toronto’s second run. Bichette tagged Burnes for another big fly in the eighth.
A 72-mph dribbler hit by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ended Burnes’ day with two outs in the eighth, as the infield hit brought the tying run to the plate. Devin Williams entered and punched out Alejandro Kirk to end the threat.
Over 7 2⁄3 innings, Burnes allowed three runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and two walks.
For just the second time this season, Josh Hader looked human in the ninth, allowing back-to-back two-strike hits after striking out the first two hitters he faced. A double by Chapman and a single by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made it a one-run game, but Gabriel Moreno chopped out to first base to end it.
The rubber match is slated for tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. CDT. Chi Chi Gonzalez will make his second start for the Brewers after a passable showing against the Cardinals earlier this week. Jose Berrios, who has gotten off to an unusually poor start this season, gets the ball for the Blue Jays.