Yelich’s 8th-inning homer sends Brewers past Twins 5-4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers are making themselves at home on the road.
Christian Yelich hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth, Josh Hader struck out six in 2 1/3 hitless innings of relief and the NL Central leaders beat the Minnesota Twins 5-4 Saturday night.
“It seems like it’s been somebody different every night,” Yelich said, “and that’s kind of what it takes to win on the road.”
The Brewers are now 7-2 on a 10-game road trip with a chance to sweep on Sunday. Milwaukee is 18-9 away from Miller Park this year.
The left-handed Yelich went the opposite way off Addison Reed (0-3) to give Milwaukee its first lead since the second inning. Yelich has a hit in 16 of 18 games.
“He’s going to put his good swings out there very often,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He hit that ball really well. That ball was well struck.”
A one-run lead was all the Brewers needed with Hader (2-0) on the mound, throwing for the first time since May 14. The well-rested left-hander got the final out of the seventh, struck out the side in a 1-2-3 eighth and struck out the side again in the ninth after giving up a lead-off walk.
Hader, who leads the team with six saves, has pitched two innings or more in five of his last six appearances. He’s struck out 56 in only 27 1/3 innings.
“I really just try to do my best and attack hitters and try to keep them off balance,” he said. “Today the fastball was there, so it just came down to executing.”
The Brewers trailed 4-2 before scoring twice in the fifth. Manny Pina delivered an RBI double and Twins starter Fernando Romero uncorked his second wild pitch of the game, tying the score.
“He had a chance to get off the field there in the fifth inning,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Jake Cave had given Minnesota a 4-2 lead with a two-run homer in his major league debut. That came after Jesus Aguilar hit his third homer in two days.
Wilson had put the Twins in front 2-1 with a two-run, two-out double in the second.
Ultimately, Yelich came through with the game’s biggest swing, while the Twins had no answer for Hader late in the game.
“We’ve been rolling,” said Hader, “and hopefully we can keep this momentum.”
YOUNG STARTERS STRUGGLE
Milwaukee’s starter Freddy Peralta, who struck out 13 and permitted zero runs in his outstanding first start, allowed four runs in four-plus innings while walking six.
Romero, who allowed just one run combined in his first three starts, lasted five innings, allowing four runs, though only three were earned.
Both had eight three-ball counts in their relatively short outings.
The Twins’ best chance to score off Milwaukee’s bullpen came in the sixth when Logan Morrison led off with a double against Dan Jennings. With nobody out and Robbie Grossman at the plate, Jennings stepped off the mound and fired to shortstop Orlando Arcia, who snuck behind Morrison and tagged him out for the pickoff.
″(Orlando’s) sense of timing in those plays is wonderful,” Counsell said. “That’s not a fielding play necessarily, but that’s a big-time defensive play by a shortstop, and Dan made a nice throw.”
Twins: 1B Joe Mauer was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a cervical strain and concussion-like symptoms before Saturday’s game. Mauer was removed from Friday’s game with neck stiffness but was later revealed to have “balance issues and light sensitivity.” . 3B Miguel Sano (left hamstring) began a minor-league rehab assignment Saturday with “tentative” hopes of returning for the Twins’ trip.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (rotator cuff inflammation) made a rehab start with Milwaukee’s Single-A affiliate, allowing no runs and striking out nine in 4 2/3 innings. Counsell said the team would evaluate Davies’ next step after his bullpen session on Monday.
Milwaukee sends RHP Junior Guerra (3-3) to the mound Sunday. RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-2) pitches for the Twins.