MILWAUKEE — Trying to extend their longest winning streak in four years, Spencer Turnbull and the Detroit Tigers were out of control.
The Milwaukee Brewers were more than glad to take advantage.
Keston Hiura and Jace Peterson homered as the Brewers rallied for an 8-5 win Wednesday night, snapping the Tigers’ six-game string. Detroit pitchers did damage, too, issuing a season-high 10 walks and also hitting two batters.
“It was just a kind of grind-it-out game offensively,” said Craig Counsell, who improved his career record to 422-400 and tied Tom Trebelhorn for third place on the Brewers' all-time list for wins by a manager.
“We got enough of those hits with guys on base, and the walks helped us. That’s’ what you have to do if you keep getting people on base, and tonight we got a couple of homers with guys on base," he said.
Six of the batters who walked ended up scoring for Milwaukee. The Brewers’ only two other runs were scored by Hiura and Peterson on their homers.
Eric Sogard’s sacrifice fly off Joe Jimenez (1-2) scored Justin Smoak with the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Brewers responded after falling behind 4-0. Peterson provided insurance with a pinch-hit, two-run shot in the eighth.
That homer was particularly satisfying for Peterson, whose hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was ravaged by Hurricane Laura last week. Peterson said before the game that his house only sustained “some roof damage and a little bit of water damage in the ceiling of the kitchen.”
“It’s definitely one I’ll remember for the rest of my life, for sure,” Peterson said. “I kind of put that one up there with my first career homer, really, with everything going on back home, being away from the family and just kind of doing it for Lake Charles, Moss Bluff and that whole Calcasieu Parish and Cameron Parish."
Milwaukee finished a 10-game homestand by going 6-4 as it matched its biggest comeback in a victory this season. The Brewers trailed 5-1 in a 6-5 triumph over the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 27.
The Tigers’ control problems led to the end of their longest winning streak since the summer of 2016, when they reeled off eight straight victories.
“I have to go back and, you know, probably watch some things and see if the strike zone was tight,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It looked like a lot of close pitches, catchers from both sides were holding pitches, framing them, and we weren’t getting them, and they weren’t either. It was both ways, you know, and it is what it is. You’ve got to adjust to the umpire's zone, and we didn’t do too well with that.”
Eric Yardley (2-0), Devin Williams and Josh Hader combined to pitch four innings of no-hit relief after Brewers starter Adrian Houser gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings.
Hader, who hasn’t allowed a hit in 11 2/3 innings this season, earned his ninth save in 10 opportunities. Williams has yielded four hits and one run in 16 innings.
“Those two guys have been phenomenal, for sure,” Counsell said.
The Tigers took a 3-0 lead during a first-inning outburst that featured two infield singles and a bases-loaded, ground-rule double from Jorge Bonifacio. Detroit made it 4-0 on Christin Stewart’s RBI single in the third.
Then the Brewers rallied.
After Turnbull walked Ben Gamel and Christian Yelich with one out in the third, Hiura delivered a towering drive to centre for his ninth homer of the season.
Turnbull walked five in 4 1/3 innings.
The Brewers trailed 5-3 in the fifth when they loaded the bases on walks from Yelich, Smoak and Avisail Garcia. They tied the game on a two-run single from Omar Narvaez, whose broken-bat blooper barely eluded second baseman Jonathan Schoop and landed in shallow right.
HELPING HIS HOMETOWN
Peterson and his wife have teamed up with Baltimore Orioles pitcher Wade LeBlanc and his wife to raise money for Lake Charles and surrounding areas through a GoFundMe account. LeBlanc also is from Lake Charles.
“The amount of trees and power lines that are down is indescribable,” Peterson said before the game. “My brother said it looks like a war zone. Driving somewhere that might normally take 10 minutes now takes an hour. It’s just a lot of devastation.”
The Tigers recalled outfielder Derek Hill from their alternate training site in Toledo, Ohio, as they put outfielder JaCoby Jones on the injured list. Jones fractured his left hand Tuesday when he was hit by a pitch from Brewers reliever Phil Bickford. Gardenhire says Jones is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Both teams are off Thursday. The Tigers open a five-game series at Minnesota with a doubleheader Friday. The Brewers continue a stretch of seven straight interleague contests by opening a three-game set at Cleveland on Friday.
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Steve Megargee, The Associated Press