A five-run inning helped the offense chase Yu Darvish early and the pitching staff recorded 17 strikeouts as the Brewers trounced the Padres 7-3 in Friday night’s series opener.
The win extends the Crew’s winning streak to six games.
After Darvish faced one over the minimum through the first two innings, Brice Turang singled and Tyrone Taylor reached on a hit-by-pitch to start the third. William Contreras and Willy Adames delivered RBI singles to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. Rowdy Tellez followed with a three-run home run to make it 5-0.
It was Tellez’s 13th blast of the year and his first since May 22, snapping a career-worst drought of 128 plate appearances between home runs.
Brandon Woodruff responded to the run support with his best outing since returning from the injured list at the start of August. He tallied double-digit strikeouts in an outing for the first time this season, punching out 11 Padres while allowing three hits through six innings. San Diego’s lone run came on a solo home run by Manny Machado in the fourth.
It seemed that a high pitch count might spell an early exit for Woodruff, whom the Brewers had kept on conservative pitch counts since his return. Instead, the chains came off on Friday, as Woodruff threw a season-high 107 pitches and capped his outing by striking out all three hitters he faced in the sixth.
The Brewers added a pair of runs in the seventh. Carlos Santana scored from second on a base hit by Adames when Fernando Tatis fired a relay throw into the third-base dugout. Tellez followed with a base hit for his fourth RBI of the night, making it 7-1.
Abner Uribe and Trevor Megill combined to strike out five across two scoreless innings. Andrew Chafin’s struggles continued in the ninth inning as he allowed a two-run home run to Gary Sanchez, but he avoided further damage to seal the win.
The Brewers will go for the series win behind a surging Freddy Peralta on Saturday. Pedro Avila starts for the Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CT.