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Yelich gets 3 hits -- including 25th HR -- in loss

@alysonfooter
June 12, 2019

HOUSTON -- The Brewers and Astros, both considered among the elite in their respective leagues, entered their series opener Tuesday having enjoyed a week-long stretch of games against less-challenging teams. This game was bound to be different -- more of a test for two clubs that are either leading their

HOUSTON -- The Brewers and Astros, both considered among the elite in their respective leagues, entered their series opener Tuesday having enjoyed a week-long stretch of games against less-challenging teams.

This game was bound to be different -- more of a test for two clubs that are either leading their division by double digits (Houston), or have recently moved into first place after stringing together a four-game winning streak (Milwaukee).

The Astros struck first, topping the Brewers, 10-8, to take the first game of the brief two-game set at Minute Maid Park. The Brewers put up a fight, however, scoring four runs in the final two innings to turn a blowout loss into something less comfortable for their opponent.

Box score

"It was good to fight back," Travis Shaw said. "That's a good team over there. They're missing three key guys [George Springer, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve] and they're still putting up 10. It's probably the most complete team in the AL. It was a good test for us, to see where we're at. We came up a little bit short tonight, but we made it close."

Three takeaways from Tuesday's series-opening loss:

1) Yelich rakes, again
There were highlights, however, and, unsurprisingly, Christian Yelich provided several of them. The reigning NL MVP was 3-for-5 -- a triple shy of the cycle -- and extended his hitting streak to nine games. Yelich doubled and scored in the first inning, led off the third with a homer and singled in the fifth. All three hits had an exit velocity of at least 104 mph.

During his streak, Yelich is hitting .559 (19-for-34) with four homers and 11 RBIs.

"I could not see Yelich hit again and be fine," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "He is really good. Any time the inning is turning over and it's getting to the top of their order, the middle of their order, it's really tough."

2) Shaw, Grandal go yard, too
Shaw and Yasmani Grandal also homered for the Brewers. Shaw's was a 440-foot shot off Brad Peacock in the seventh that went into the second deck in right field, around five rows from the top of the section of seats located just below the scoreboard.

Shaw had an idea what to look for, and he ended up swinging at the first pitch.

"We had been attacking [Peacock] pretty well all night, especially early in counts," he said. "They had a big lead, so for me, it's high first-pitch fastball right there. And he threw it right there. I got a good swing on it."

The distance didn't rank among the farthest home runs ever hit at Minute Maid Park, but regardless, it was a doozy. Shaw said he didn't see where it landed -- he put his head down and ran the bases -- but, "I knew it was a pretty good one," he said.

Grandal's homer was a three-run blast in the ninth inning off Chris Devenski, which forced another Houston reliever -- closer Roberto Osuna -- to get fully warmed up in the 'pen. There are no moral victories, of course, but the Brewers can at least take solace that they made the 'pen put in a little overtime in what earlier looked like a blowout game.

"We did a nice job and came back against some of their relievers and got their closer up and a couple of their big guys in the game," manager Craig Counsell said. "We just fell short."

3) Peralta struggles
Though starter Freddy Peralta allowed six runs over four innings, Counsell wasn't wholly dissatisfied with the quality of the pitches. Peralta was around the plate, but the Astros seemed to be sitting on his fastball, which created problems.

"They hit some good pitches that I hit in the right spots," Peralta said. "They just hit them."

"I thought some of the pitches were good pitches," Counsell said. "Sometimes that's concerning, too, because they're hitting your good pitches. That's trouble. He threw strikes again, he attacked. That part, I liked. The home runs and driven balls got him."

Peralta, who has spent time in the rotation and bullpen this season, has had only a couple of good outings as a starter. Counsell declined to speculate on the right-hander's future in that role.

"We have the San Francisco series and still have things up in the air as we move forward," Counsell said. "We'll see as we move forward."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.